Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chorin Chorale

The visit to Chorin in March, Lively German-style, meant tagging onto someone else's Deutsche Bahn group ticket, in this case the Brandenburg ticket, and only paying a couple of euros for each of us each way. Of course this takes a fair degree of hutzpah and luck, both of which the Lively German has in spades. This is easier to do as a single person traveling to and from larger population centers, but it's a great way to beat the system when it works. On the way back, the conductor wasn't far behind us as we searched for and found a group of three on its way back to Berlin.

Our visit to the monastery coincided with that of a Hamburg choir, which, as soon as they found an acoustically perfect room, burst into song. I was, quite simply, spellbound. There is nothing more captivating than stumbling into completely unexpected beauty. It didn't take much mangled but enthusiastic German to talk them into an encore. The complete truce that the L.G. and I had declared, combined with the immediate rush of endorphins that choral music dumps into my bloodstream, must have meant we were both emitting unusually strong peace-and-tranquility vibes. After a walk around the nearby pond into which the L.G. immediately plunged (that German suffering thing, don't you know), we were both chilled through. This nearly perfect day was topped off as we returned to the monastery for our bikes, struck up a conversation with a retired pastor who guides monastery tours, and were invited to his house for tea in front of his spectacular Ofenheizing.

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