You may have noticed my absence last week, but never fear! I have not abandoned you. Last week I rejoined my previous secondary school as their orchestra, wind band and jazz band went on tour in Lake Garda, Italy. As I had been on the Tuscany tour 2 years earlier, it’s safe to say that I was buzzing with excitement in the run up to our departure.
The whole party was divided up into 2 coaches, both of which would travel across the country to Dover where we would take the ferry across the Channel to Calais. From there the coaches drove through the night and worked their way through France, Germany and Switzerland until we reached the Italian Lake.
A journey that lasts over 30 hours is enough to drain anyone, however we all still managed to jump in the hotel’s pool almost as soon as we arrived.
On the first day, Monday, we visited the city of Verona: a beautiful city and the home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. For hours we wandered around the shops and explored the market square, eventually making our way to Juliet’s Balcony. A small courtyard off one of the streets with green leaves covering most of the walls, it is a pretty sight to see in any place, but having the connection to the famous literary couple the place was packed with visiters. Over the years many of those visiters have marked their coming by writing on the walls of the archway that leads to the courtyard. Love letters and graffiti have been displayed there and the artwork continues to grow everyday.
That evening we held our first concert of the tour. Sirmione - a town that sits with three of its sides directly on the lakeside, and, as would be expected, is extremely pretty - was our venue and we returned to the town on our last full day in Italy and took advantage of its close proximity to the lake and its large number of ice-cream shops.
On Tuesday and Wednesday we went to a nearby waterpark and Gardaland theme park; both days were great, even if the scorching heat did have us sweating buckets (this was where the waterpark perhaps made us happier than the theme park did!).
Our two remaining concerts were held on Tuesday and Thursday, also in towns either near or on the lakeside.
I had an absolutely fantastic week in Italy. It was brilliant to spend so much time with people who, I know, are true friends of mine. If I could repeat the trip ten times over I would, but as for now I’ll just have to wait until August until I see you guys again and til, well, whenever, until I return to Lago di Garda.