Last November we were still basking in the memories of a wonderful late September weekend in London attending the Big Big Train live gigs and enjoying fellowship with newly met friends from far and wide. The coming year, 2018, was supposed to be the year we laid low and saved our pennies for the next big adventure. But Big Big Train was scheduled to play in Germany at the Lorelei amphitheater for The Night of the Prog festival in July and try as we might to do the practical thing, we just couldn’t ignore the siren call. We looked hard at our finances again and decided, what the heck, we could swing it. Hey, the heart wants what the heart wants.
Eight months flew by. As the date grew closer the excitement began to build on the various Facebook forums associated with the band and the festival. Our own excitement began to build.
And then we ran smack into Murphy and his law and it seemed that anything that you would not want to go wrong right before a major vacation began to happen. Ten days before the trip Carol developed a painful sinus infection. Hoping it would clear up on its own she finally broke down and went to the doctor on Sunday (yes – they have walk-in hours on Sunday!) and got some antibiotics. Feeling better within a couple of days, she then developed a toothache. Three days before departure and one day before a major American holiday. At first the dental practice said they had no openings but when she explained the situation they found a way to squeeze her in. Fortunately it was nothing more than a small cavity which they filled quickly and painlessly. That was the day Mike discovered a leak in the oil tank in the basement. Really? Now? Luck came through on this one and it turned out not to actually be the tank, but a feeder pipe. We closed the valve to the pipe and were able to actually find someone able to come out on Thursday to take care of it. Then there was the arcing light fixture in the basement. Two trips to the hardware store and we got what we needed to fix that.
In the end – thanks to luck and the miracle that is modern medicine and dentistry – we are now at Dulles airport having a bite and a glass of wine waiting for our flight to Amsterdam. The plan is to spend a few days in Amsterdam (and environs), and then take the train to Cologne, Germany. After a day and a night there, we take the train to Bingen where we get a boat that will take us up the Rhine to Sankt Goar, opposite the river from the Lorelei rock, housing the outdoor amphitheater where all the music will happen.
Many of our friends will be there, although we’ll be missing some as well. (Admittedly, the airfare from Melbourne is probably a bit more then from DC. We’ll be thinking about you, Harry!) But there will also be many new folks from the Facebook forum we have yet to meet.
We will arrive on Wednesday, a day earlier than most of the folks. Our job is to find a gathering spot for everyone on Thursday. Shouldn’t be hard. Mike has done his advance research and it’s just a matter of checking out a few venues. Whatever we find will be perfect once everyone is there. A Mead Hall can be created anywhere – it just takes beauty and music and friendship and love.
No regrets about giving in to Lorelei’s song. It feels good to be on the road again, getting ready for new adventures with friends old and new!