Sardische Gruppe am Eroeffnungsabend

40. Europeade 2003 in Nuoro, Sardegna

The merry circle of Bergisch-Gladbach

Picture Overview

Monday, 14/07/2003

For this Europeade we share a bus with Silesian groups from Braunschweig, Schwalmstadt and Munich, which collects the groups on its way from Braunschweig. We meet the bus in Schwalmstadt.

Tuesday, 15/07/2003

Essen auf der Fähre
On the ferry
Around 5.00 a.m. the group from Munich is picked up. Sometime during the drive Martin starts playing the accordion, Vera finds her violin, Anna the guitar and there is even a flute. Despite the music and singing it is a long way, but finally, at half past five in the afternoon we arrive at the ferry in Genoa. Genoa has an impressive skyline. The sun is still strong, some Spanish groups are already dancing and we enjoy the shade while we wait for the ferry. After 8  p.m. we can board the ferry and find our seats. Our group decides to eat dinner on deck, where we slaughter a watermelon and witness the sundown. Most of the passengers are participants of the Europeade and a good part of the night is spent with talking and planning

Wednesday, 16/07/2003

Arrival in Sardegna at 7 a.m. For breakfast we have a coffee from the machine near the stairs with the sandwiches that we brought along.
Unser Quartier
Our room
One hour later the bus takes us towards Nuoro where we arrive after two hours drive. A blue sunny sky, ocean breeze, summer. The landscape is very poor and dry. After two hours we arrive in Nuoro, check in and go to our quarters.  Some visit the neighbouring supermarket first, to replenish our provisions of water, wine, fruit etc. Afterwards we explore the quarters: unfortunately the showers are not yet connected, but our hosts are working on the problem. All available hooks are hung with the historical costumes and the beds get tested: very comfortable.
The group decides to get rid of all the provisions first of all with everybody contributing something. We invite the Bretons from the next room to join in, who then return our sung welcome with Breton music.
The afternoon is at our disposal, and since the city centre is said to be quite close by we actually venture there for a cappuccino. Afterwards it is time to meet the others for the ride to the place where dinner is served. A lot of people are already gathered in the gym when we arrive. Some nasty pushing and shoving ensues, with some old Danes between 50 and 80 featuring as the worst pushers and conducting themselves intolerably. 

Die Arena
The Arena
The evening programme has been postponed due to the heat. It starts at 9 p.m.: the region Sardegna introduces itself with orchestras, dance groups and choirs. This evening is a pleasure for both ears and eyes. It is shortly before midnight when all the performers gather on the stage to dance all together and our departure approaches.
In the corridor in our quarters we get to know the other groups living there. Short night.

Thursday, 17/07/2003

Breakfast. Well – there is one juice carton and one sweet roll. Obviously the Sardinian population does not eat any breakfast at all, so what we get is actually quite a big breakfast. We urgently need to buy some coffee...
Some of us walk to the forum to look around and sample the offered specialities. The groups performing now are not to be envied: while they have the full attention of the media, there is a lot of sun as well, and it is very warm.
im Speisesaal
At 1 p.m. we have a lunch date with the rest of our team. Today the queue is much more orderly, and soon we see the reason: carabinieri have taken post at the gates, and it is their presence that prevents the mob from pushing and shoving. Strictly speaking it reflects poorly on the participants that our hosts have to take such drastic measures.
We hold a siesta before walking into town to have a cappuccino, visit the forum and do some sightseeing. In the forum groups are dancing again, among them the fabulous Hungarians – awesome! We enjoy many good dancers and colourful costumes. After this stroll we meet in the school again.

After supper, where eventually we are joined by the finally arrived rest of the Silesian members, we dress in our costumes and ride to the stadium. The opening evening is beautiful as usual, and especially those of us who are new to the Europeade are thrilled. There is a sad moment when the committee-member Zarko Gakovic is commemorated, but the Europeade goes on. After this fantastic programme we return to the quarters and spent another long night with the French group.

Naechtlicher Tanz 2

Naechtlicher Tanz 1

Naechtlicher Tanz 3
Improvised "Bal Europe"

Friday, 18/07/2003

After breakfast on the sunny terrace we meet at the school in the city where the other Silesian groups are staying. In the big schoolyard a rehearsal is held for the communal programme, followed by a short, slightly non-sensical birthday serenade for one of the boys.
Waiting for spectators
After lunch we put on our traditional costumes and meet at 2 p.m. at the official location of our performance. A small arena in a tiny park is where we are told to dance. We are the first group – nobody there except us. The sun is scorching and everybody seeks refuge below the trees. A little bewildered all of us regard the site as inappropriate for longer dances. Dutifully we carry out two dances.
Auftritt in Nuoro
Performing in Nuoro

The owner of a nearby store of traditional Sardinian costumes invites us into her street and treats us to water and wine. As a thank-you we dance another dance and sing “Tourdion”.
At a café in the city centre a group from Brno is winding up their performance. The spot is nice, in the shade and attractive for dancing, so we dance here as well and are rewarded by offers of water and beer. By now we are all sweating again.

We are invited to visit Gavoi, a Sardinian village, after the official performance, so we quickly sort out our belongings, put the white aprons and shawls away safely for the journey and are collected by a bus. Travelling time is approximately 75 minutes towards the mountains in the surroundings of Nuoro. This area is appealing for holidays, with plenty of forests and rocks. A lake glitters in the sun near Gavoi.
The traditional costumes
In the city hall we are already expected. Since we are not sure what exactly to expect we dress in the shawls and aprons again. Our attire is very much appreciated and we take some nice pictures. Our hosts offer water, wine and lemonade with baiser-cookies, a typical sweet. Afterwards we set off for the guided tour around the twisted streets of the hamlet with their typical houses. Besides the big church there is a chapel, a horse museum, a builder of instruments and a toy museum. Of special interest is the instrument-builder, naturally.
Beim Instrumentenmacher
Beim Instrumentenmacher
At the Instrumentbuilder´s

In the meantime the second invited group, Latvians, has arrived, and together we take a second walk through the village. The guided tour ends in an ice-cream bar where we are all treated to ice-cream or a soft drink. On the festival site a stage has been erected and many spectators are gathering there. The whole village is up and about. The “Ballo Sardo” begins. By now our stomachs are grumbling quite audibly, but there is nothing to be done about it at the moment. The Sardinians dance first, the Latvians next and then it is our turn. After that the cycle starts again. Now, in their Latvian costumes, we finally recognise these dancers as our neighbours from the school .
Sarden in Gavoi
Letten in Gavoi
Gavoi dancers
Latvian dancers

Gemeinsamer Tanz
Learning Sardinian dancing
Everybody has a lot of fun and a lovely time. The separate performances are followed by a joint dance of all participants on the stage. By car we are then taken to the restaurant where the banquet is held. Our hosts conjure up magnificent foodstuffs. Phew, this is a veritable feast. Everyone is thrilled. After dinner all gather at the bar, the Sardinian group dances and we join in. We express thanks for the lovely experience, the excellent food, and the hospitality. The Gavoians bid us a hearty farewell, then we are ushered into cars that take us back to Nuoro. For all of us it was a great experience.
The official programme for the evening consisted of the “European Choir and Music Festival” in the amphitheatre where we had experienced the Sardinian night.

Saturday, 19/07/03

The official reception of the groups is in the Museo ethnografico in Nuoro at 10.30. A spoken preamble is followed by the introduction of all officials, then president Bruno Peeters expresses gratitude towards all participants for the excellent running of the Europeade so far. Afterwards the separate groups are summoned and introduced, gifts are exchanged.

Die Münchner Zwerge
The "Münchner Zwerge" (dwarfs)
At 2 p.m. on the dot we are in front of the stadium for the setting up of the parade. A large crowd in traditional costumes is gathered and awaits the start. All together 192 groups will be participating in the parade. They are ordered according to regions, so we quickly find our companions and our position. Till the departure there is enough time to admire the other costumes, dance a little and rest in the shade. And then we set off in the blazing sun. On every corner spectators or officials offer water and drinks, which is quite necessary due to the high liquid loss. We can hardly drink fast enough to compensate the sweating. The girls are glad to be wearing bonnets which protect them from the sun. Regarding our men we should consider the question of hats sometime soon. At around 4 p.m. the parade ends and we are glad to have made it. Until the arrival of the bus we take the opportunity to once more watch the groups performing in the forum.
Galicische Gruppe
Polish group Greek Spanish Group

Then we ride to the quarters for a change of clothes and a shower, a siesta. Some of us go into town before we meet again for dinner. Afterwards the rehearsal for our official stadium performance is held in the Nuoro stadium.
Beim Bal Europe
At the Bal Europe
Tonight’s programme is the “Bal Europe” starting at 10 p.m. On the large central square in Nuoro all participants meet for dancing. Various orchestras take turns playing. Everyone is enjoying themselves, and we are right in the middle of things. In front of the stage we meet the girls from the Provence that we had danced with last year in Antwerp after the parade. That was a special pleasure. At half past midnight the bus arrives. Some are already tired and go back to the quarters, the others organize alternative transport and return later. I am among the first group and drop into bed gratefully.

Sunday, 20/07/03

Coffee,  today only coffee will help. At 10 a.m. the festive service starts in the cathedral. We are lucky and obtain good seats half an hour before the beginning. Quickly the cathedral is overcrowded with people standing in the aisles and outside. A speaker system transmits the service there. The cathedral choir, the Milan orchestra, alphorns and a fantastic Sardinian male choir take part in the mass, which is held by the archbishop of Nuoro in person. Afterwards we meet the other Silesians and treat ourselves to a nice cappucino.
Warten auf den Bus
Die Musiker
Our musicians and flags
After lunch and a pleasant afternoon in the town we meet the rest of our group for dinner. This is the night of our performance in the stadium. The musicians are somewhat apprehensive and we are all anxious about the outcome. Since we are going to dance in the first third of the evening it is not worthwhile to find seats yet. From a position behind the scenes we watch the presentations of the other groups. 
After the presentation

And suddenly it is our turn – strange how long three minutes can be. Everything is going well, the musicians play as beautifully as the dancers dance. All is well. Returned to our former position we are greatly relieved. We toast to our success and are happy about the good performance. Now we can enjoy the remaining dances of the other Europeade-groups. After the official end of the programme everyone rushes onto the lawn and into the general commotion ensuing there. There is singing, dancing and celebration of friendships. Eventually we have to go to the bus that takes us to our accommodation. We change our clothes and gather at the main entrance. By and by the other musicians and dancers join in and together we sing and dance. What a night.
 Breton friends
Sardinian musician
Irish girls

Monday, 21/07/03

Farewell tune
Not much leisure today. We pack our costumes and other belongings and bid the other Europeade-participants farewell. There is even a farewell committee: when we are in the bus one of the other musicians from last night appears with his bagpipe to play us a tune. This leaves nobody unaffected. It has been a great time, after all.
Since our ferry does not leave till evening we go to the beach. The sea is fantastic, and swimming there is a pleasure. But ultimately we have to get to the ferry.
The sun sinks as we leave Sardinia to return to Genoa. Probably there are only musicians and dancers onboard. The whole ship is playing music, some even try to dance on the slippery deck. Fabulous. Especially the Hungarians, Slovaks and Czechs playing in the corridor are remarkable. Double bass, violin and viola strike up Czardas and Kerezel. The girls are singing along – fantastic. We would not mind listening for hours, and thankfully the groups actually do us the favour of playing for hours with relentless energy and obvious enjoyment.

Tuesday, 22/07/03

Alle vor dem Bus
Farewell in Munich

Arrival in Genoa. The city looks beautiful. Our bus makes its tortuous way up the mountains and then we are finally on our way north. After a big farewell in Munich we continue the journey. The bus is noticeably emptier now that the first are gone. Towards midnight we arrive in Schwalmstadt. To go on home now would be too exhausting, so we gladly take up Helga and Friedrich´s offer of spending the night in their house. The next morning brings an excellent breakfast with fresh rolls and coffee in Helga and Friedrich´s garden.
After the last good-bye the Europeade is finally over.
Now that we have met so many likable Latvians we are more determined to go to Riga for the 41. Europeade next year than ever.