*Note* Our correspondent on this tour is Alexander Keogh. The Internet where the choir is stayed was non-functional, so this blog was not published until the choir arrived home.

Our travel day was full of uncomfortable sleeping and layover adventures. It was some choir members’ first time outside of the country, making it a memorable day for all.

Our travel group consisted of BYU Singers, Stacey Christensen (our tour manager from BYU Performing Arts Management), Dr. Andrew Crane, Dr. Brent Wells (BYU conducting faculty), and Dr. Jared Pierce (BYU piano faculty). On our way to Amsterdam, we crossed off a bucket item list when we unexpectedly caught glimpses of the Northern Lights from our plane windows!

Northern lights from plane–the red is the wind of the plane.

After more than 9 hours we arrived in Amsterdam, some of us sleepless and wired and others groggy and jet-lagged. Our layover in Amsterdam was 6 hours long, which meant time to get out and explore a new country! The city was beautiful, with the picture perfect canals that lined each street creating a neat contrast against the block colored buildings. There were stroop waffles and the scent of fresh bread on every corner. We felt like we were in a European movie the whole time!

Scenes from Amsterdam:


To Dr. Crane’s relief, everyone successfully boarded the plane to Spain and no one was left behind at the Dutch border. Jet lag hit hard and fast, and none of us remember the sleepy flight from Amsterdam to Bilbao, Spain. One short bus trip later and we finally arrived at our destination.

The adventures continued when we learned that wifi was down at the hotel, and since this is the Spanish “holiday season”, no one would be around to fix it until next week (after we left). Several travel weary students spent the evening putting our heads together to find some way to turn in our impeding assignments over the next week. No one can say musicians aren’t studious!

After a very long journey and a stressful wifi-crisis, we took a stroll by to the beach, which lies just a 3 minute walk north of our hotel. The weather is perfect and the sand is so fine and soft. As we watched the sun set behind the green hills overlooking the ocean, we felt peace knowing we were in the right place, despite the challenges. This tour is going to be something special.