We went to Hamburg when Nathan won the Steinway Competition at home, to represent the Netherlands and meet all of the other winners from other European countries. We were joined by Grandma and Grandpa, and Anna unfortunately was not with us, as she was visiting friends in Cambridge. First day there, we went with the other winners to the Hamburg Zoo, walked around the city and took a river boat cruise for dinner. After a good night's sleep, it was Nathan's big day. With all the others, they test out the piano and practice for a few hours before the concert (not competition). They all played amazingly, of course, and Nathan attended the afterparty, playing fun duets and eating food. The next day, we were all taken on a tour of the Steinway factory, where we could see them being made, and all of the different models. Overall a fun trip and a great reason, a huge honor, to be able to go.
We visited Germany a few different times more, seeing German Christmas markets, and watching Emily and Anna play in the AMIS Honor orchestra concerts. Tera and the girls also included Germany on a road trip, and drove through Bavaria and saw the castles of Neuschwanstein and Schwangau
#1 - Watching Nathan play at the Steinway festival in Hamburg, in the Leizehalle (same concert hall where Brahms would play and conduct)
#2 - Guided tour of the Halloren Chocolate Factory in Halle, and a free shopping spree in the Candy shop, courtesy our host, the owner
#3 - Watching Emily play in the honor orchestra in Dusseldorf, and playing Where’s Waldo on the steps by the river with the kids
#4 - German castles, there are so very many, in all shapes and sizes and are all very cool to visit.
#5 - Meeting Savannah Stevenson, a West End star who played Glinda in Wicked, and helping her with her German Fireside Concerts
#6 - Huge amounts of fog at the Neuschwanstein Castle, blocking the view of the castle