Okemos High School Orchestra Germany Tour
October 31 - November 11, 2007

Other collections of photos from the Germany tour are available at:

Wednesday, October 31 - Happy Halloween!

Loading luggage into the van at the high school.

We rode in 4 school buses from OHS to the Detroit airport.

In the Detroit airpoit, waiting for our flight.

Thursday, November 1

In Frankfort, Germany, waiting for our buses.

We traveled in 3 or 4 buses while in Germany.

Arriving at Theodor Heuss Gymnasium (THG) in Ludwigshafen, Germany!

Press coverage of our stay in Ludwigshafen. Click here to see the entire newspaper page from Die Rheinpfalz.

Taking photos of Okemos students with their hosts.

Mike with his host family in Ludwigshafen.

That night, the chaperones ate at the Dürkheimer Riesenfaß restaurant in Bad Dürkheim. It looks like a giant barrel (capacity 1.7 million liters!), but is actually a multi-story restaurant.

Friday, November 2

The first rehersal at THG.

The chaperones went to Heidelberg for a tour.

Food vendors.

The Heidelberg Castle.

Looking down on Heidelberg from the castle.

The castle moat.

Rebekah at the Heidelberg Castle.

The chaperones walked across this bridge to get from our hotel to THG. We stayed in the Excelsior Hotel, which is the pink(!) building to the left of the bridge.

We ate at Engel's Restaurant. This night they offered a Tuscan feast, which was wonderful.

Saturday, November 3

The Excelsior Hotel is near the train and subway stations. We often traveled by train.

In Oppenheim, Germany for a tour.

Sycamore trees were very common in this part of Germany.

Oppenheim is built on a hill.

Narrow, twisting cobblestone streets.

Touring the famous tunnels under Oppenheim.

Our tour guide, who also operates a restaurant in Oppenheim.

This is his building, which houses a restaurant and the Gillot winery.

A typical building in Oppenheim.

Interesting "Y" street intersection.

The wine barrels sticking out of the building are not functional.

Lutherplatz in Oppenheim.

We were told that Martin Luther wrote the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" while staying here.

Rebekah in the tunnels under Oppenheim.

We toured the Katharinenkirche (St. Katharine's Church) in Oppenheim. This is a magnificant Gothic cathedral, dating from the 13th Century.

We saw an organ which Albert Schweitzer played while visiting Oppenheim.

The back of Katharinenkirche.

The ossuary at Katharinenkirche. The bones of worshippers were collected here for centuries.

We ate dinner at the restaurant owned by our tour guide. It was a buffet of German foods, and was very tasty!

Sunday, November 4

The cathedral in Speyer, Germany. The orchestra played during the service. The acoustics are amazing, with an extremely long reverberation.

The orchestra performing in the Speyer Cathedral.

The orchestra performing in the Speyer Cathedral.

The orchestra performing in the Speyer Cathedral.

A side view of the cathedral, showing the various stages of its construction.

The fountain of St. George slaying the dragon.

The chaperones in Speyer.

A street pretzel seller.

In the evening we traveled to Freinsheim, a classic German village with an intact medieval city wall and stone towers.

One of the old city gates in Freinsheim.

Monday, November 5

A poster announcing the orchestra concert in the Luthern Church in Bruchsal, Germany.

The performance in Bruchsal.

Performing with the local chior in Bruchsal.

The Luthern church in Bruchsal.

After the concert, we toured the 18th century Baroque palace in Bruchsal. It was largely destroyed during WWII, but has been restored.

The Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments is housed at the palace.

One of the more ornate musical instruments.

Tuesday, November 6

Our farewell concert to our hosts in Ludwigshafen.

Cheryl House, a former OHS orchestra member, played with us. She is now a professional cellist, and lives in Switzerland.

Wednesday, November 7

We left Ludwigshafen and traveled to Strasbourg, France for a tour.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, a famous Gothic cathedral. We toured the cathedral, bought lunch, and proceeded to Freiburg, Germany to check into the youth hostel.

That night, the orchestra performed with a local chior at the Goethe Gymnasium in Emmendingen.

Thursday, November 8

We travelled to Basel, Switzerland for a tour.

Basel is very hilly. The architecture is similar to Germany.

Our guide told us that no one really knows why this ancient king is sticking his tongue out towards Lower Basel.

We traveled from Basel to Rötteln Castle in Lörrach, Germany. This was the best castle tour on the trip, in my opinion.

The view from the top of the tower at Rötteln Castle.

Friday, November 9

We took a train trip to Feldberg in the Black Forest. We toured the Nature Center. There was a heavy snow storm while we were there.

Riding the bus to Stuttgart to check into our youth hostel.

Our youth hostel in Stuttgart.

Our final concert in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart.

Saturday, November 10

We toured the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

The orchestra outside the Mercedes Benz Museum.

We enjoyed an excellent Italian lunch at Leonardo Restaurant in Stuttgart.