One of the least charming aspects of doing the European tour is actually getting to Europe itself. A four hour bus ride takes us from the campground to the Detroit airport, where we wait four and a half hours for the plane to leave, which then takes another eight or nine hours to fly into Paris. THEN we are picked up by our tour bus for an immediate seven and a half hour journey into Germany to our first stop. Needless to say, it’s a tedious amount of travel after such an exhausting week.
A bit of bus boredom selfie-ness with the maestro hanging out in the background
In years past, the soloists have traveled with the choir and flown out of Chicago; however, this year we were cordoned off with the orchestra group and got to fly out of Detroit … an airport with which I am much for familiar (and quite frankly prefer much more over the Windy City’s).
Arrivals at any stop can be a bit calamitous, especially ones which require an organized yet hasty unloading of three buses of campers, instruments and luggage. You’ve never received such looks of disdain as when traveling with 80+ high schoolers. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I share in their eye-rollituted, but there ain’t nothin’ I can do about it.
Mid luggage unloading. This is about a third of the total in case you need a bit of scale, not to mention the myriad of instruments
Historically, Blue Lake has used Air France as their preferred travel provider, and this year was no different. I must say, though, that the folks at DTW have definitely got a leg up on their ORD counterparts. I mean… FRESH FLOWERS for goodness’ sake!
Let’s just pretend those yellow roses were specifically placed there for this dear Texan, shall we?
Having gone to the University of Michigan in nearby Ann Arbor, the Detroit airport was my go-to departure point whenever flying anywhere of import, and I must say it was a pleasure to once again spend a bit of time in the psychedelically enhanced walkway between terminals. Even DTW’s light tunnel has a leg up on ORD’s!
Colors, man… just look at those colors
The schedule being what it is, one tends to have to grab any amount of sleep whenever possible. We hadn’t even taken off before Sabrina managed to knock back a couple of z’s on the plane.
Super classy as always, Air France (and later the orchestra bus in Europe) were kind enough to provide the soloists with our own cough drop holders. That’s what’s happening here, right?
Cough drops aren’t the only thing that can be mentholated
With the exception of one of the bass instruments getting broken during transit, every leg of the trip went very smoothly for all involved, and we arrived into our first stop, Landau, right on time. One never knows exactly what the internet situation will be at each host stay, but I’ll try to update as soon (and as much) as possible!
Artist: Meredith Monk / Album: Book of Days