The 2014 Blog starts here. We welcome your comments, please let us know that it is not disappearing into the ether.
We left Australia on April 9th. and stayed with my sister in Princes Risborough for four days to recover from the jet lag (and also to catch a nasty cold). We then embarked on an extraordinary opera tour with nine other Australians and some occasional English enthusiasts. For the non-opera lovers I will summarise briefly:
Dresden - 3 nights Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss) King Arthur(Purcell) Leipzig - 2 nights St Matthew Passion (Bach), Parsifal (Wagner) Berlin - 3 nights Two Piano recital: Daniel Barenboim and Martha Argerich Tannhauser (Wagner), Parsifal (Wagner) Amsterdam -1 night Arabella (Strauss) Paris - 2 nights Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) Vienna - 3 nights Mozart Requiem, Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss) Lohengrin (Wagner)
There was the potential for a degree of operatic indigestion but we enjoyed every minute. The undisputed highlights were the masterful playing of two of the world’s greatest pianists in Barenboim and Argerich, the wonderful old fashioned Rosenkavalier in it’s home town of Vienna and Klaus Florian Voigt as Lohengrin. We were with a great party of old and new friends who were immensely knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
We returned to Palma, Mallorca on Monday May 5th to find Exotica exactly where we had left her. Although we had had one email in German from Frank, the engineer who has cared for the boat since she was new, stating that all was in order, we were still a touch apprehensive as regards her survival in the winter.
We need not have worried. The boat was immaculate and all the jobs have been done. Frank, who is now our very best friend, has lovingly cared for her and even replaced the toilet seats because he felt they were too worn for our guests.
We are spending a few days alongside in Palma to engage a sailmaker to measure for a new light airs sail, purchase some bedding and a Nespresso machine before setting off for a few days around the island. Our rough plan is to meet up with friends in early June at the north of Mallorca, then sail to Sardinia, Corsica, the west coast of Italy and end either in Sardinia or Malta. But that is always at the whim of the weather!