Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig and the Oper celebrated this fact by doing something which as far as anyone knows has never been done before. Namely to perform all the operas he wrote in their chronological order. This included the three early works which are hardly ever done.
This festival, not to be missed, continued to delight us. It was a feat of determination and organisational skills for Leipzig Oper to perform these immense productions as most nights they had to replace singers, musicians and even a conductor due to Covid. But always, the show went on.
Hayllar Tours saw to our every need and guided the unfortunate couple who contracted Covid. The inspiring talks by the Wagner Scholar, Heath Lees, gave us new insights into the music and side tours to Dresden and charming smaller towns such as Quedlingburg, Torgau and Halle were full of Reformation history.
A highlight was arranging an after party at the conclusion of The Ring for Stefan Vinke (Siegfried) who brought along Lise Lindstrom (Brunnhilde) who in turn brought along Falk Struckmann (Klingsor in Parsifal). The Steigenberger doesn’t close the bar while they still have patrons so we were there until 2am with Stefan!
Our original plan to return to Berlin and then a flight to Preveza had to be abandoned as a result of the catastrophic state of European airlines where our Easyjet flight was cancelled then, yes, our Lufthansa Munich to Preveza was cancelled, so another day spent finding a Condor flight, which wasn’t cancelled. Thus, we hired a car and drove from Leipzig to Munich. Stopped off at Bayreuth to pay our respects at the Festspielhaus, the opera house which Wagner built for performances of his own works
In Munich we met our friend Juergen who took us out to dinner at Landshut on the banks of the River Isar before returning to the airport hotel for a 6am flight to Preveza. We were horrified by the length of the queues for planes at 4.30 am at Munich airport. Fortunately, because we had so much baggage, Julie upgraded the baggage allowance which gave us priority boarding, so we were able to bypass the queues, otherwise, there is no doubt we would have missed the plane.
On Saturday 16th July, we returned to Exotica where we will remain until returning home. Sailand had left replacing the stern gland to the last minute, found they needed to lift the boat onto the crane to do this then returned Exotica back to her berth the day before we arrived, we then found fresh-ish water in the bilge which took two days of engineers trying to trace. We resolved that there was residual water from the stern gland leak which has eventually dried. We also replaced the old dinghy, which had too many leaks, with a brand new one, which also appears to have a leak. Is this the story of our lives!
Finally, we were able to set off to some of our favourite bays. The weather this year has been spectacular. In all our experience we have never had such settled conditions. Day after day of hot sunshine but very little wind so a good deal of motoring and only a few moments with the sails up. However, the water is warm, 28C, and we fall into it when we get too hot.
On Sunday July 24th Angela Bush arrived for six days. We anchored in turquoise bays on the islands of Kastos and Ithaca. Anchored stern to Dimitry’s Taverna in Vathi, main town in Ithaca we laid out all our chain and some warp which required considerable lateral thinking to get it back into the chain locker when we departed the following morning. Then we found that we had snared a bit of an underwater rope which caught on the anchor itself. Terry eventually cut this away with the breadknife. All of this to the amusement of the flotilla on the jetty.
Angela left us on July 30th, so to Palairos Bay on the Greek mainland with Spiro’s delightful taverna on the beach. Unfortunately, being Sunday the beach bars were blasting out loud music which rather diminished the pleasure of the place, however we stayed an extra day as Monday was peaceful and serene and Spiro’s lamb chops at Taverna Paralia were to die for.
We have a few days to ourselves before our son Edward and wife Charmaine arrive from Canada to be followed by our Mexican relations whom we’ll meet in Corfu.