TRAVEL TIPS

 

ITINERARY


DAY 1 | SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2022 | FLY TO FRANCE

This exciting itinerary is current as of today 9/13, but still subject to change pending the scheduling of rehearsal for musicians, optional excursions, and a few other TBD logistics.  MCI tour managers Gary and Phil accompanying you in France & Spain will provide on-site updates as needed. Bon voyage!
  • TOCCATA Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus tour of France and Spain 2022 starts with a transfer from Reno to SFO Airport and an overnight flight from San Francisco to France.
  • 7:45 AM         Meet at Grace Church to load luggage and instruments onto the private motor coach that will take us to San Francisco Airport
  • 8:00 AM         Coach departs Grace Church, 1220 Robb Dr, Reno, NV 89523
  • If you are not on the coach to the airport, we assume you will make your own way to SFO or meet us in Toulouse.
  • 2:40 PM         Depart San Francisco International Airport on Lufthansa flight #455 for Frankfurt, Germany


DAY 2 | MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2022 | WELCOME TO FRANCE!

10:30 AM       Arrive at Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

4:15 PM         Depart Frankfurt on Lufthansa flight #1098 for Toulouse, France

5:55 PM         Arrive at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS)

Collect luggage and proceed to the Arrivals Hall where Music Contact International tour managers Gary Nihsen and Phil Sabourin will be will be waiting to greet us.  Together, we’ll transfer to our hotel in Toulouse, home for the next three nights:

Those who arrive independently to Toulouse Airport at the same time or earlier than the group, can ride to the hotel with us. Please come to the Arrivals Hall and identify yourself to Gary or Phil.  Note we will be leaving the airport as soon as the group is assembled and cannot wait for latecomers.

Hotel Crowne Plaza Toulouse

7 Pl. du Capitole, 31000 Toulouse, France

When dialing from the USA: 011+33 5 61 61 19 19

@7:30 PM     Check into rooms and refresh from the journey.

8:00 PM         A casual welcome dinner at Grand Café Florida with French food and wine kicks off TOCCATA’s performance tour! (1 minute walk from the hotel)

After dinner, return to the Hotel Crowne Plaza Toulouse for a good night’s rest.



DAY 3 | TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2022 | SIGHTSEEING AND DISCOVERY OF TOULOUSE

Wake up to your first full day in France with a fresh breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Hotel Crowne Plaza serves breakfast daily from 6:30 AM – 10:00 AM

 

Choir & Orchestra rehearsal will take place today at either 10 am or 2 pm TBD

A locally guided walking tour of Toulouse for all TOCCATA travelers will be scheduled around rehearsal at 10 am or 2 pm TBD

 

Therefore, the day will look like this:

10 -12 AM      Rehearsal for musicians or locally guided walking tour of Toulouse

12 – 2 PM      Free time for lunch in cafes near the hotel

2 – 4 PM         Rehearsal for musicians or locally guided walking tour of Toulouse

4:00 PM         The remainder of the day and night is free for independent discovery of Toulouse.

You are welcome to join walking tours and break off at any time. Tours typically last about 2 hours.

Your tour managers and guides will recommend restaurants for lunch and dinner.



DAY 4 | WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2022 | A DAY IN TOULOUSE | CONCERT

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel followed by a day of leisure to spend as you wish in ToulouseAn optional excursion to Museum Toulouse Lautrec will be offered today!

4 – 6 PM         Musicians rehearse at Chapelle des Carmélites, then return to the hotel with time to get dressed for the concert

Chapelle des Carmélites:1 Rue de Perigord 31000 TOULOUSE (less than 10 minute walk from the hotel) https://www.toulouse-tourisme.com/chapelle-des-carmelites/toulouse/pcumid031fs00094

This venue is real gem King Louis XIII and his wife Anne of Austria laid the first stone of this chapel when it was built in 1667. Inspired by the Sistine Chapel, Jean-Pierre Rivals covered the roof and walls with 17th-century Baroque oil paintings depicting figures of the biblical virtues. Jean-Baptiste Despax, Jean-Pierre Rivals’ successor, completed the chapel in the 18th century. Today the chapel serves as a coveted concert hall. The nave’s vaulted ceiling features oak ribs, which create superior acoustics.

7:00 PM         Musicians return to the venue pre-concert

7:30 PM         TOCCATA friends and patrons walk together from the hotel to the concert

8:00 PM         TOCCATA Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performs a concert at Chapelle des Carmélites

After the performance, return to the hotel or go out for dinner and fun on your last night in Toulouse!

Reminder to pack suitcases for tomorrow’s departure.

Musicians, pack your music, concert attire and instruments separately from your suitcase.  You will need it handy for tomorrow’s concert.



DAY 5 | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2022 | TOULOUSE to CARCASSONNE to NARBONNE | CONCERT

Have breakfast, check out of the hotel in Toulouse, and get ready for a full day of exploring and performing in historic Carcassonne!

10:00 AM       Load motorcoaches in the parking area near the hotel.

Musicians: All instruments, music, attire and props you need for this evening’s concert must be accessible (not put underneath the coach).

TOCCATA patrons:  Anything you need for the day must be accessible as well and carried with you inside the coach.

All suitcases go underneath the coach.  You will not have access to them until tonight when you get to Narbonne.

 

10:30 AM       Coaches depart for Carcassonne.  Drive through exquisite countryside of vineyards and chateaux to the medieval town featuring a massive castle surrounded by stone walls, turrets and towers.  The entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the castle itself is a French national monument with extensive exhibits on the area’s long history.

12:00 PM       Arrive in Carcassonne and walk into the town center to get yourself lunch

You’ll want to eat a full lunch today, especially if you are performing.  Then, an early-pre-concert dinner and buy yourself snacks, or make due with bar food later in Narbonne.

2:00 PM         Join a guide for a walking tour through the historic squares, castle walls, and Basilique St. Nazaire where TOCCATA will perform this evening.

Your guide will point out additional places to eat, shop and visit on your free time this afternoon

5:30 PM         Musicians rehearse at the Basilica St. Nazaire.  Friends and patrons have additional time to enjoy the charming town.

7:00 PM         TOCCATA Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus concert at the Basilica St. Nazaire under some of the most beautiful stained-glass windows in France!  (Place Saint-Nazaire, La Cité Carcassonne 11000)

8:30 PM         When the concert ends, re-board the coaches and drive onto Narbonne.

@9:30 PM     Arrive at your hotel in Narbonne and settle in for night:

Zenitude Hotel Residences

18 Bd Général de Gaulle, 11100 Narbonne, France

When dialing from the USA: 011 33 4 57 38 37 11

 



DAY 6 | FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2022 NARBONNE, A CRUISE AND WINE TASTING

7 – 9:30 AM  Breakfast is served at the hotel in Narbonne.

10:00 AM       Take an excursion to the coast and nearby Mediterranean tributaries!  First, enjoy a scenic boat cruise, then stop in a quaint village where there will be free time for lunch, followed by afternoon wine tasting!

At the end of this wonderful day, return to Narbonne where you can visit the Palais Neuf, Archbishops Gardens, canals and markets.  Perhaps seek out the birthplace of French singer Charles Trenet, born in Narbonne in 1913, whose famous song La Mer, you may recognize from French films.



DAY 7 | SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2022 | EXCURSION TO THE CARMAGUE

Have breakfast followed by a special day on the Camargue!  The Camargue is western Europe’s largest delta where the Rhône River meets the Mediterranean Sea – a region of sea, dunes, water, and wildlife in a corner of Provence unlike anyplace else on earth.

8:00 AM         Depart the hotel for Aigues-Mortes, gateway to the Carmargue

10:00 AM       Gather at the pier in Aigues-Mortes and board a barge to sail through the reserve

11:15 AM       Visit a traditional “manade” – A farm where a free herd of oxen, bulls or horses is led by a guardian. Observe how the herder sorts the oxen and learn about this unique pastoral lifestyle in the French Carmargue.

12:00 PM       A group lunch is served at the manade

2:00 PM         After lunch, sail to the Salin – an area where salt is extracted from the sea

2:30 PM         Arrive at the Salin and board a train to discover the wonders of the salt tables and pink waters in the Mediterranean salt pan

4:30 PM         From the Salin, transfer back to Narbonne

6:00 PM         Approximate arrival time back at the hotel

Tomorrow, onto Spain!

Remember to pack suitcases for tomorrow’s departure.

Musicians, pack your music, concert attire and instruments separately from your suitcase.  You will need it handy for tomorrow’s concert.

 



DAY 8 | SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2022 | FRANCE TO SPAIN | CONCERT*

7:00 PM         Have breakfast and check out of the hotel in Narbonne

8:30 AM         Load suitcases onto French coaches

Musicians: All instruments, music, attire and props you need for this afternoon’s concert must be accessible (not put underneath the coach).

TOCCATA patrons:  Anything you need for the day must be accessible as well and carried with you inside the coach.

All suitcases go underneath the coach.  You will not have access to them until tonight when you get to Barcelona.

 

9:00 AM         Bid adieu to France and depart for Spain!  Drive south from Narbonne and cross the border to Catalonia. This fascinating region of Spain has its own language (Catalan), parliament, flag and anthem.

11:00 AM       Arrive in Figueres at the designated parking place and transfer luggage from French to Spanish coaches.

Then, visit the Salvador Dali Theatre Museum, a surrealist journey of his world with one of the best collections of his art. Peruse the museum at your own pace and get yourself lunch in nearby Figueres town center. Incidentally, Salvador Dali was born in Figueres and is buried in the Museum courtyard.

1:30 PM         Musicians set up for the concert at Teatro Museo Dali

3:00 PM         TOCCATA Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performs at Teatro Museo Dali!

5:00 PM         After the concert, board Spanish coaches and continue to Barcelona known for art, great soccer, architecture of Antoni Gaudi, parks, beaches and more!

7:00 PM         Arrive at your hotel in Barcelona and check into rooms:

HCC Montblanc

Via Laietana, 61, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

When dialing from the USA: 011 34 933 43 55 55

 

8:30 PM        A group dinner is served in the hotel dining room



DAY 9 | MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2022 | MONTSERRAT & CAVA | CONCERT

7:00 AM         Breakfast begins at the hotel in Barcelona

9-10 AM         Musicians rehearse at the hotel

10:15 AM       Enjoy a full day excursion to Montserrat followed by cava wine tasting!

The Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat set in the Catalan mountains is one of Europe’s most important religious sites.  Its basilica houses the Virgin of Montserrat “the black Madonna” and visitors flock to the shrine to pay homage to Our Lady and ask for her guidance through difficult times.

11:30 AM       Arrive in Montserrat, site of the splendid Monastery and Basilica

12:00 PM       Musicians prepare for the concert. Friends and Patrons line up at the Basilica to pay respects to the Madonna.

12:40 PM       Musical offering in Montserrat dedicated to Our Lady (20 minutes)

The Basilica at Montserrat is also home to Escolania, one of the oldest and most renowned boy choirs in Europe who sing daily at midday Mass

1:00 PM         If the boychoir is in residence you will hear their angelic voices.

Musicians store instruments in the coach before lunch

1:30 PM         A group lunch is served at the restaurant in Montserrat

2.45 PM         Descend Montserrat by cog railway

Re-board your coaches and take a drive through surrounding countryside dotted with farms and vineyards to Codorniu, Spain’s oldest leading cava wine producer.

4:00 PM         Enjoy a presentation, tour and tasting at Codorniu cellars

At the end of this delightful day, return to Barcelona where the rest of your night is free

 



DAY 10 | TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2022 | BARCELONA | CONCERT*

Have breakfast then discover the wonders of Barcelona!

9 – 10 AM      Musicians rehearse at the hotel

10:00 AM       Guides lead walking tours from the hotel through the Gothic Quarter.  They’ll show off highlights of Cuitat Vella and share advice for free time plans.

The afternoon in Barcelona is open for lunch and personal interests.  From Roman ruins, to Picasso murals, Las Ramblas, the Jewish Quarter, Gaudi treasures, and cultural points across Montjuic, Barcelona is a fabulous place to explore!

7:00 PM         All travelers depart the hotel for Sagrada Familia Cathedral where TOCCATA will perform for the last time on tour.

Musicians:  Be dressed and prepared to rehearse in the venue directly before performing

7:30 PM         Short pre-concert rehearsal inside the venue

8:00 PM         Celebrate Mass in the Crypt at Sagrada Familia ~ TOCCATA Tahoe Symphony Chorus may be asked to sing at mass pending Covid protocols / church permission

9:00 PM         TOCCATA Symphony Orchestra & Choir performs a Concert in the Crypt of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the oldest part of the basilica!

Sagrada Familia Cathedral is the emblem of Barcelona, known around the world and visited by millions of people. It is the most complex and unique project Gaudi carried out throughout his professional career and to which he dedicated 43 years of his life. The work presents the life of Jesus and history of faith in what Gaudi envisioned to be the perfect temple.  When it is eventually completed, Sagrada Familia will be the highest building in Barcelona and highest church in the world.

10:15 PM       When the concert is over transfer back to the hotel for the night



DAY 11 | WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2022 | A DAY IN BARCELONA

Today is free to spend as you wish in Barcelona!

You may want to tour Gaudi sites:  La Pedrera, Park Guell, Casa Batllo or Casa Amatller.  If you are a fan of Picasso, visit his unique museum in atmospheric el Born, tour Montjuic palaces and attractions and take the cable car down to the port.  Between the end of Las Ramblas and Via Laietana you’ll find the Barcelona Aquarium, featuring a splendid display of marine life and undersea habitats. Tickets to the aquarium and other Barcelona attractions can be purchased online and be sure to plan for your tickets and entrances ahead of time, as popular things to do sell out.



DAY 12 | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2022 | LAST DAY IN SPAIN & FAREWELL FLAMENCO

Enjoy your final day in Spain wrapping up sightseeing and souvenir shopping.  If you’ve not been to the food markets in Barcelona, you must stop in for snacks or tapas.

Another recommendation for today is to visit the Catalan Palace of Music “Palau de la Música Catalana” an architectural jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau and UNESCO world heritage site for music. MCI will offer an optional tour the Palau. Stay posted!

Tonight, a Flamenco Farewell Party brings TOCCATA’S tour to a festival close!

7:00 PM         Depart the hotel by coach for Pueblo Español “The Spanish Village” on Montjuic

7:30 PM         Visit Pueblo Espanol, a collection of traditional buildings representing diverse Spanish design and architecture.  Inside the buildings are artisan shops, galleries and exhibits.

8:30 PM         Celebrate the success of your performances and unforgettable sightseeing at a festive farewell dinner & flamenco show in Tablao del Carmen

8:30 PM         Festivities begin with a Flamenco workshop on the captivating music and dance form from southern Spain

9:15 PM         An aperitif is served on the plaza followed by a dinner of traditional food and drink inside the restaurant

10:15 PM       Flamenco Show!

11.15 PM       When the show ends, return to the hotel.

We leave early in the morning for the airport and flight home. 



DAY 13 | FRIDAY,OCTOBER 14, 2022 | FLY HOME

6:00 AM         Early breakfast at the hotel

6:30 AM         Load luggage onto the motorcoach

7:00 AM         Transfer to airport for your flight home

9:40 AM         Depart Barcelona El Prat Airport on Swiss Airlines #1953 to Zurich

11:30 AM       Arrive at Zurich Airport (ZRH)

1:10 PM         Depart Zurich on Swiss Airlines #38 for San Francisco, USA

4:00 PM         Arrive at San Francisco Airport (SFO)

Clear immigration, pick up luggage, walk through customs, and gather in the arrivals hall to walk together to the coach that will bring you to Reno.

5:30 PM         Meet the coach at the designated SFO pick up point and transfer to Reno

10:00 PM       Estimated arrival time at Grace Church

Thank you for connecting our world with your music! 


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