It's official: The Allegro Handbell Ensemble's 2015 European Concert Tour has begun. After a wonderful send-off by friends and family at Union Church in Hinsdale, Illinois, we hopped a plane in Chicago yesterday, stopping briefly in New York, and landed bright eyed (more or less) just after 7:00 this morning in Edinburgh.
Throughout the trip, Allegro members will share a bit about what's happening.
Today's update from Scotland's capital is by Lyndsey Notaro '16 and Gretchen Huebner '18, with a couple comments from director Stephen Edwards:
Once landing in Edinburgh we had to quickly get our acts together. When we arrived at our B&B we barely had time to freshen up before we made our long trek to Edinburgh Castle. We walked the royal mile twice, stopping in shops along the way.
Upon arriving to the castle we experienced the 21 shot salute for the 94th birthday of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We toured the castle, stopping to take pictures. We learned a lot of interesting facts about the recent history of Scotland.
On our way back we continued following the royal mile. At this point we were all exhausted and wanted to sleep, but instead we went back home, showered, and got ready for the long-awaited dinner ahead.
We ate at Jeremiah's tonight. We started a daily prayer of gratitude where everyone speaks on two things from the day that they grateful for. It was so fun...from silly to profound to very touching.
Lyndsey and Gretchen continue:
Some of us did not make it through the dinner with outnodding off. Bob, Ben and Tine literally fell asleep at the dinner table. The rest of us, however, were just trying hard to stay awake.
We finished our evening with a trip to the grocery store for sunscreen (it was sunny and warm today), breakfast, and some deodorant. We are tired and looking forward to our trip to Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the highlands in the morning!!!
Lyndsey and Gretchen conclude:
Now it's 9:06 and we've settled in for a long good night's sleep.
Allegro's first concert during the tour will be at Callander Kirk in Callander at 7:30 PM on Friday, 12 June.