It’s 2pm and as is so often the case when touring, we have to leave, just when we’re getting to know the place. Our stay in Dresden has been all too brief but we’re on a tight schedule and have to be in a place called Bad Mergentheim in 2 hours. No problem. The cars glide us to Dresden airport where there is a slight communication issue which leaves us waiting at the screening machines for all of 5 minutes before getting on an airport bus to the waiting plane. Kristina serves up plates of sushi and we’re flying again. For some reason, some of the best sushi is found in the town where you would least expect. Today’s fishy feast from Dresden was fabulous. Airborne for 38 minutes, we land at an old allied airbase called Giebelstadt. Used by the United States Air Force since 1947, it was handed over to the German government in 2006 and is now used commercially although I didn’t see a single aircraft apart from ours at the tiny facility.
I love airfields like this, windswept and quiet, in stark contrast to modern vast, soul-less terminals with their over-zealous security regimes and endless Multimodal transit corridors.
Bernie and team collected us from the steps of the plane and we drove through some beautiful German countryside to the small town of Bad Mergentheim. In 1826, a shepherd by the name of Franz Gehring discovered rich mineral springs in the area, during the time when spas were expanding in Germany at a rapid pace. The water turned out to be the strongest sodium-sulphate water in all of Europe, especially effective for the treatment of digestive disorders.
We pulled into the venue in time to unload our ‘stuff’ in the dressing rooms and head for catering where Georgie was just starting to take dinner orders. Nigel ponders the menu….
It was to be another spectacular evening in front of nearly 10,000 people enjoying the best weather you could wish for in a beautiful setting in the grounds of the Deutschordenschloss castle where Medieval Teutonic Knights once had their home base. The castle is a complex of buildings which were probably first constructed in the 12th century.
pic Charlie Spieker
As always when the weather is so nice, there is a really pleasant atmosphere in the venue and the response we received when we played was as good as it gets. With the show complete and to roars of applause from the lawn area, we left in our convoy of Rangers and headed for Stuttgartm an hour’s drive away. Bernie had bought us a bottle of the local ‘Franconian’ white wine in its characteristically pear shaped bottle. Mark, Glenn and I drank it in the car. It was utterly delicious, further reinforcing our new-found love affair with German wines. The mild climate and the special soil along the banks of the Main river combine to make this fabulous Summer wine. Highly recommended.