An old friend
A couple of years ago, I decided I want to visit every European capital and I’ve never been to the Netherlands before. So when the Fellowship performances in Rotterdam were announced, it was a no-brainer to buy tickets. To make the most of our trip, my girls (Babsi and a friend from Germany) and I decided to stay a whole week and tour around the country.
The Netherlands are… well, flat.
(By the end of the week I really wanted to see mountains again, mountains! ;-))
But the lack of variety of landscapes is more than compensated with beautiful old towns, fascinating modern architecture, romantic canals, picturesque windmills, delicious cheese and interesting museums and exhibitions. And bicycles! Seriously, I’ve never seen so many bicycles in my whole life!
We took a canal tour in Amsterdam, visited a windmill in Leiden and the Vermeer-Center in Delft, explored the old towns of Den Haag, Utrecht and Gouda (where the cheese is from :-)), spent a day on a beautiful beach (Hoek van Holland) and saw a fresh water port (Amsterdam), a historic port (Delfshaven) and the largest port in Europe (Rotterdam).
And we visited a Maori exhibition at the Ethnological Museum of Leiden. We were in New Zealand together and keep saying how badly we want to go back, so we took this as a good sign we’ll be back in Aotearoa soon. ;-)
So, long story short: It was an amazing week and the concert in Rotterdam was the icing on the cake.
Speaking of good signs: Rotterdam is packed with all kinds of sculptures and on our way to the concert hall, we saw a Dwarf and an Ent! :)
We got there 10 minutes before the performance started and were slightly disheartened when we saw the long queue in front of the building, but fortunately we got in unexpectedly fast. When I found my seat I was thrilled to realize that I was sitting next to the children’s choir!
The performance was almost flawless and the acoustic was fantastic. Ludwig was as cheery and Kaitlyn was as brilliant as always and the boy who did the moth-solo gave probably one of the best live-performances of that piece I’ve ever heard.
The orchestra did a fantastic job as well – especially the percussionists (one of them seemed to be really absorbed by the Five-beat Pattern, I’ve never seen so much head-banging during a symphonic concert….).
After the last note had faded away, some of the most rapturous applause I’ve ever heard shook the concert hall – with immediate standing ovations and much cheering and shouting. Who would have thought the Dutch are that enthusiastic. ;-)
A perfectly well-behaved audience in a perfect concert hall and a perfect concert.
Like Daan, we already bought our tickets for Two Towers next year.