Bill and I have had a busy week so far. Monday night, we drove to Schwetzingen, a nice town next to Heidelberg, to visit old friends. One of Bill’s former co-workers came to Germany and Austria with his wife, to celebrate their wedding anniversary and visit the Christmas markets. They used to live in Heidelberg when Army troops were still posted there. Back in the mid 2000s, Bill was a branch chief at the Army National Guard Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. That’s where he met the male half of the couple we met on Monday night.
We had dinner at the Brauhaus zum Ritter, a nice restaurant just across the street from the Schloss in Schwetzingen. We visited the Schloss in 2008, when we spent a weekend in Heidelberg. That was the first and last time we were in the area, though I had been trying to get back there when we were in Stuttgart. Now that we’re in Wiesbaden, Heidelberg and its environs are even closer. We could conceivably spend an afternoon there.
Because it was a visit with old friends, I kept the picture taking to a minimum. I did get a few shots of the excellent beer and food, though. Have a look.
We got to the restaurant before our friends did, so we had a round of beer in their bar area.
I had a very tasty and surprisingly flavorful Schwarz Bier…
And Bill had a Weiss Bier… again, surprisingly flavorful compared to other Weizens I’ve had.
The Brauhaus zum Ritter offers a lot of the usual German fare. I had a cordon bleu Schnitzel, stuffed with mountain cheese and ham and served with potato salad. It was very good and not too huge.
I’m going to have to ask Bill what he had. It appears to be a Rinderfilet with mushroom sauce and spaetzle.
Instructions on toilet use… Apparently, they had trouble with women building “nests” of toilet paper.
It was really great to see Tim and Melody, especially since it had been over ten years since we last saw them in person. They have gone back to Munich and will be flying back to the States today. We got home late Monday night, had a rather calm Tuesday, then went out again last night to see the Scottish Music Parade at the RheinMain Congress Center in Wiesbaden.
I found out about this event when we were visiting Wiesbaden for the first time, back in October. There was a billboard posted near our hotel advertising it. Since I’ve been on a roll with concerts lately, I decided it might be fun to go see this event, which apparently happens regularly. One thing I’ve learned during this Germany stint is that Germans seem to love the Scots and other Celtic folks. On Halloween of this year, we went to the Stuttgart version of the Irish Folk Music Festival, another annual tour. I thought maybe the Scottish Music Parade would be like the Irish Folk Music Festival, but it turned out to be decidedly different. Still, we had a good time. Below are some pictures.
We got to the surprisingly large concert hall a bit early. I think Bill’s original plan was to find somewhere to have dinner, but we got caught in some traffic and I really needed to pee. So instead of looking for a restaurant, we entered the concert hall early… I noticed one guy wore a kilt. I wish Bill had worn his, but then the weather was a little chilly…
We enjoyed a little wine at the wine bar after checking our jackets. Light snacks and wraps were available. We drank wine and ate pretzels. We also bought three CDs from the dancers who were selling them, as well as programs and t-shirts.
A view of the stage before the show began. My heart was done good as I heard Bruce Hornsby playing on the sound system. I grew up near Williamsburg, Virginia, which is where Mr. Hornsby was born and raised.
A kilted man who spoke German came out to introduce the performers. There were pipes and drums, dancers, and the band Aceltica, whose music was on the CDs we bought. There was also a male and female singer. The female singer’s name was Jane Jackson. She is from Glasgow, Scotland, but she now lives in Australia. Most of the other performers are from Scotland and live there now. I didn’t take a lot of pictures during the show because I’d rather watch it than record it for posterity. However, I did get a few shots of the dancers during the second half of the program, which ran for about two hours with a twenty minute intermission.
The man in the kilt was pretty much the star of the show. He normally pipes on Britannia, which was once Queen Elizabeth II’s ship. The Royal Family sold the ship and it is now permanently docked in Edinburgh, Scotland where tourists can visit it.
He was quite the showman.
I really enjoyed the dancers, who were very graceful and athletic. I found myself wishing I’d learned how to dance when I was a girl.
Again with the head piper… I think his name was Stephen or Steven… I should have bought a program.
The guitar player was also quite the badass.
During the finale, the singers had everyone on their feet. The male singer, who also played acoustic guitar and, I think, was named Mike, had a voice and a style that reminded me a little of Bono’s.
The dancers came down the aisles to get everyone going.
Taking a bow…
And they piped in the foyer after the show. I was very happy that they played Highland Cathedral, which has both German and Scottish ties. It was the music I walked down the aisle to when Bill and I got married. And yes, we did have a bagpiper who played with the organist.
I thought the Scottish Music Parade was a perfectly enjoyable event, although I think I liked the Irish Folk Music Festival better. The Scottish Music Parade seemed to rely more on lights and electronic music and was… for lack of a better word… a little bit cheesy. That being said, Bill and I had a lot of fun watching the performance and would attend again. I really love listening to bagpipes… must be all that Celtic blood in my history. The musicians were excellent, as I expected them to be, and I was surprisingly even more entertained by the dancers than I was the musicians.
The tour continues tonight in Koblenz and on into 2019. If you’re living in Germany and don’t mind traveling to see this show, you can easily catch it. There are still tickets left. I’m glad we went.
Tonight, we’re going to a wine tasting and Christmas party. It’s not often I go out so much during the week!