Sunday 23 October
The day started bright and early, and the coaches rolled out of Cwmbran rail station at around 6:30am. The first of many registers were taken and we made good time, arriving at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone about an hour and a half before our scheduled time. This meant we arrived at our luxury hotel earlier than originally planned.
Once we had all come to terms with the size of the hotel rooms (up to four people squashed into a room no larger than a wardrobe, with a caravan-style moulded plastic bathroom), we went out to look for food, and those of us not wise enough to venture out to the nearby Macdonald's enjoyed the "Fawlty Towers" style service in the restaurant adjacent to the hotel ("when you have 3 hotels full of guests to cater for, it's difficult to work out how many staff to put on"). Everyone was glad to get to their beds after a long day.
Monday 24th October
Much excitement among the choir, as this was our first day at Disney. All aboard the buses, registers taken, and we drove the 15 mins to Disneyland Paris. As the choir were "cast members" for the day, we got to see a little of the "backstage" areas - I can say nothing about it though...
All arrangements made for our performance later in the day, we were free to roam the park, and get in as many rides as possible.
The performance was at 2:00pm, and amongst our audience was a family from Newport who had heard that Nidus were going to be performing on that day, and had come in to listen. After a brief soundcheck, the choir performed, as professionally as ever. Their professionalism was tested to the limits when anxious parents in the audience noticed that one of the choir members was looking decidedly unwell, and had to be rescued by Heidi. Undeterred, the children carried on singing, never missing a beat while their sick friend was helped off the stage behind them.
You can see a snippet of their performance on our "see us" page.
The rest of the day was spent enjoying all that Disney had to offer.
Tuesday 25th October
Another performing day today, but first we had a trip along the Seine on a "Bateau Mouche". Although it had been raining earlier in the day, it stayed fine for our boat trip, and we were able to sit outdoors on the deck of the boat (with some judicious use of tissues on the wet seats).
Upon disembarking from the boat, we excitedly got back on the coaches for the short trip to the bandstand "in the shadow of" the Eiffel Tower. Although the audience was mainly made up of the old familiar faces (groupies?!) at first, a small crowd soon gathered (including dogs and pigeons) and by the end of the performance there was a good audience, who hadn't been deterred by the bin lorry arriving half way through, nor the digger behind us providing a literal interpretation of our rendition of "Climb Every Mountain" by building a mountain of stones. The adult choir joined the children for the last two pieces in this performance.
Just enough time for lunch and then we were back on the buses to go to L'Eglise de la Madeleine. Our timing was impeccable, as the heavens opened just as we had climbed aboard, accompanied by thunder and lightening.
The Madeleine church is a very impressive and imposing building, and that, coupled with the size of the audience (around 400 people!) meant that we were all a little nervous. However, the children rose to the occasion as always, and sang like the angels we know they are. The adult choir also managed to put in a creditable performance. Madame / Evelyn's singing was the icing on the cake; as always she sang gloriously, and didn't seem phased by the fact she had to conduct as well.
The feedback we have had from that concert has been phenomenal - from comments posted to our website, to the church saying that they would like us to return another time. It was certainly an experience that none of us will forget.
Wednesday 26th October
This was our "free day", with the majority of the group heading back to Disneyland Paris, and a few taking the option to go into the centre of Paris for the day. I think it might have been the bus driver's stories of ostriches and other random facts about Paris that were the major draw...
Everyone had a great day, and we were very lucky with the weather once again; mostly bright blue skies.
That evening, once again, we made use of the pool table and some of the parents sampled the local wine and beer - just to be polite of course!
Thursday 27th October
Time to head home. We bid a sad farewell to our hotel, the register was taken for the last time, and after a visit to Cite Europe shopping centre, we were having our passports checked at the Eurotunnel terminal and then heading back home, looking forward to a night in our own beds.
It certainly was a trip that none of us will forget, and has made our planned trip to Cincinnati all the more eagerly anticipated.