Monday, 30 May 2011

Banská Bystrica and beyond

Leaving Poland at the crack of dawn, four coachloads of musicians and instruments embarked on an epic voyage spanning seven countries in five days, with three concerts thrown in for good measure.

First stop was beautiful Banská Bystrica, where we stopped for one night...

...before heading off to Budapest to play the closing concert of the Budapest Spring Festival in the amazing National Concert Hall.

Next stop Belgrade, stopping for lunch on the way at a dubious-sounding 'tourist farm' that turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. Strangely enough, it reminded me of quaint English tearooms.

Our concert in Belgrade was in a huge complex filled with shops selling ridiculously expensive handbags, shoes and dresses. We can but dream.

From there we went to Zagreb and enjoyed a brief tour around the city the morning after our concert, walking past market stands selling gorgeous flowers and fruits and marvelling at the beautiful architecture.

On our way to Ravenna we stopped for lunch in beautiful Slovenian surroundings.

If only the same could be said for the hearty fare on offer, which was slightly less pleasing to the eye (and stomach...):

Fortunately our next stop was Ravenna, where the copious pizza, pasta, wine and gelato more than made up for the slightly less inspiring culinary delights proffered by the Balkan states!

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