Lünen 2015

Thursday 30th July

It was a long journey! The choir set off from Eccles on the coach at 5.30 am and travelled via Dover/Calais reaching  Lünen at 10.00 pm,  ready for a good night’s sleep at our comfortable hotel, Ringhotel ( pictured below)

here we are on our way!

1 Setting off  2 setting off 2

First night in Lünen

6 first night in luenen

Friday 31st July 

We had a guided tour of the lovely town of  Lünen. Lunch was a chines banquet funded by the people of Lünen through the council. Everyone we met was very welcoming. Here are some photos from the day

25 Luenen 2 25a Mktplz 3  26 mktplz 4 27 Marktplatz Luenen 2 28 Marktplatz luenen 3 29 marktplatz Luenen 30 mktplz 5 31 Mktplz 7

32 MktPlz 8 38 Asia Pearl Luenen meal 2 39 Asia Pearl Luenen meal  33 Mktplz6 36 Luenen Jewish memorial 37 Luenen 40 evening drinks

Saturday 1st August

We took the coach to Cologne. We had a guided tour of the magnificent Cathedral

52 Cologne Cathedral 53 Cologne Cathedral 2 57 interior Cologne Cathedral

60 Cologne Cathedral 4 61 Cologne Cathedral 5 61a pianist john in Cologne Cathedral 59 Cologne cathedral 3

Then, came our turn to sing – what a great privilege to perform in such  splendid surroundings. The singing was enjoyed by many of the visitors; we were filmed by Japanese tourist and an American lady said we sang like angels!

54 Cologne Cathedral 1 55 Cologne Cathedral singing 56 Cologne 58 tourists and choir Cologne Cathedral

Although it was a very different experience for us, we enjoyed singing as crowds of people milled around inside the cathedral. The officials were clearly suitably impressed, because they invited us back to sing in the noon service next year.

Once we left the pleasantly cool ambience of the Cathedral out into the very hot day (over 30 degrees!) we then had a few hours free, to enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants and cafes, followed by a one-hour boat trip on the Rhine and other cultural delights before taking the coach back to Lünen ( see photos below).

62 boat trip 68 Leslie and Judith 69 horesless carriage 2 70 horesless carriage  

50 eating out in Leunen 51 Leslie in Luenen

Sunday 2nd August

This was our big singing day because we had a full concert to perform in the evening. In the morning, we were invited to sing at the ecumenical service in Christuskirche in Horstmar, Lünen organised by the Lünen/Salford Deanery twinning committee. We were privileged to sing five pieces at the morning worship service.

9 church in Leunen

The church Pastor, Reverend Andrea Ohm took great pains to help us feel included by providing translations and the service provided a spiritual and moving experience for all. Although it is not the normal custom for a  Lünen congregation, there was spontaneous, rapturous applause for  our singing. Following the service there was a typically German light lunch of Bratwurst and Kartoffelsalat, sponsored  by the Salford Deanery. We also had time to meet and chat with our hosts.

17 post performance meal   16a post service

Evening Concert

11 Angela taking photo of poster 12 concert poster

The evening concert was nothing short of fantastic. Some concerns had been mooted that many locals could be away on holiday on the dates of our visit, but the main church in Lünen was packed with over 300 in the audience. We presented a two-part programme similar in format to our concerts in Eccles.

18 ready to perform in Luenen 19 director 19a Men 19b ladies

20 Concert in Luenen

The reception was incredible it overwhelmed us all. the applause and standing ovation lasted fully five minutes! We sang two encores which again produced long and warm applause.

21 standing ovation 22 standing ovation 2 23receiving applause

A lovely buffet super was then provided by our hosts; German salads , breads, cakes and drinks.

Monday  3rd August

On Monday morning we were officially welcomed at the Town hall by the Deputy Mayor, who had us all sign the ‘Golden Book’

7 introductions at Luenen 8 first day in Luenen

We then took the coach to Munster, about an hour’s drive away. We started the day by singing, unaccompanied in St Lambertini, the second largest church after the Cathedral.

16 Rehearsal

The singing was appreciated by a small gathering and was a unique experience because of the several-second echo. The temperature was 35 degrees, so finding lovely cafes for lunch, and finding shade inside St Paul’s Cathedral were welcome escapes from the heat. En route back to our Hotel, we visited the beautiful small moated castle of  Scloss Vischering.

Munster 1 Munster 2 munster 4in Munster 6 in Munster 7Munster 8

64 Anne S and Karen 65 Anne S and Lesley 63 cultural trip   66 Lesley 67 Karen

Heading Home

We had such a busy visit but all too soon, it was time to head home and we got comfortable on the coach and then the Ferry until the White Cliffs of Dover came into view.  The choir thanked Angela for the huge amount of work she put into organising the experience and leading us in every aspect of the trip.

72 On the coach 73 on the coach 2 73a farewell to Janet and John 74 feet up 75 Trish and Angela 76 thanks 77 Thank you Angela 78 angela likes pressie

4 ferry 2 3 all aboard

79 white cliffs of dover

We had such a brilliant time! We were able to learn a little more about our ‘Twins’ and their culture, share our friendship and increase the bonds between us. We would like to thank the Salford/Lünen Deanery twinning committee for organising the venues and the lovely meals. We hope to return next year to perform for the 50th Anniversary of the town twinning of Salford and Lünen.

In October  this year we will be giving an informal concert for ten German guests visiting us from the Eccles Deanery partnership committee. Time to start planning for next year!