Austria (Innsbruck)

I started the morning with a 25m minute run across the bridge to a forest and down the path a little. Felt great!

After a little email, Geri and I walked into their town of Muettenz, a suburb like village near Basel. We went to the post office to mail the CDs ordered in Pieterlen and I got rid of my coins for paper Euro.

Great lunch outside in the warm sunlight. Very different from the winter in the US.

In the afternoon, Geri went with me and we caught the train from Muetenz into Basel, just 10 minutes. He had errands and I caught the train from Basel to Zurich and then to Innsbruck.

Arrived 20:16 and Helmut Berchtold met me. I knew him from about 20 years ago when I first played for him. His friend Hardwig came with a car and they took me to the Gasthof Pradl where Karl the proprietor met us. His family has had this hotel for many years. The guestbook has a note from Ernest Hemingway in 1953! Karl used to work as a cook on a Cruise Ship, hence the pictures behind him in the photo and, I suspect, the T-shirt!  

​Click here for photos

NOTE - Hardwig is a tennis player also. My Roger Federer cap keeps starting this conversation.

Good to get an early night!

Tuesday, March 18 - Innsbruck (see photos)

Vanessa from the music club met me at the hotel at 9:30 and we traveled by bus to the Musikmittelschule. Uwe Schallegger met us. He is the teacher of the class of 13-14 year olds that I will talk to today. Also met Olivia from the American Center in Innsbruck. They are sponsoring my show in return for my talking to the class.

The class was fun. This is a terrible age to be, but a wonderful age to be around. They are very shy and would not share the songs they wrote. I had assigned them to translate a German song (1 verse and chorus) into English. Uwe said that some of them did it, but they would not share! So I sang Old Flames for them and we wrote a new chorus to that melody about there being no winter in Innsbruck that year. They liked it. The finally opened up at the end and asked some great questions.

After a snack with Uwe, Vanessa conducted me back to the hotel where I skyped with Mary and per her request, wrote an article for a Nashville plant society on the building of some garden boxes. It turned out to be humorous. I hope that's what they like!

Helmut met me at the hotel about six and we went to his home. His wife, Elizabeth made a wonderful fish dinner for us. She is a teacher of Chemistry and Physics in a high school there. Both of them plan to retire at the end of this year. My best wishes to both of them.

We went to the venue, Die Baeckarie Kultubackstube. Very rustic, the music venue is a separate room off the bar. In the back is a stark concrete open space with paintings on the wall.

The show went very well. They had room for about 50 and it was nearly full.

Back to the hotel and to sleep at midnight.

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