By Barb Hauge
Although you need to learn the calls and listen to the caller, my husband Art and I feel that for pure relaxation and fun nothing is better than square dancing. It's also a great way to meet interesting people as we did during our dance across Europe in May 1985.
Guide Bart had a birthday and ordered a cake; then asked us to share the "wedding cake" they did bake. It's no wonder the poor lad was badly confused; his parents and fiance had joined us and all were amused. Later we got the chance to lovingly dance!
From Britain through Europe we saw walls, bridges and forts left by the Romans; huge marble baths, stone-paved highways and courts. They'd conquered the world back before the first century. Only behind walls could mighty Romans find any safety. On those walls we did prance in a kind of military dance! V-E Day found us in Europe with memories of war. Veterans shared tales of bloody-bad days and of World War II lore. Canadian and American armies from Britain through France had liberated Europe and gave them a chance. It served to enhance our victory dance!
In Europe we all took a cruise on the Rhine. Castles on hilltops made the cruise quite divine. Each German Prince tried to out-castle the other. The Emperor and Pope each claimed to be the "True Mother". Despite the "Old Castle Hants" we did our own spooky dance!
Salzburg in Austria is an enchanting place where "Sound of Music" smiles shine on every face. In the Pleasure Castle we got a wet surprise; hidden fountains sprayed us in places we didn't surmise. In the gazebo we found our chance to do a drip dance! Beneath Mozart's Statue a chorus sang; while we dined on a balcony their voices rang. Above were the mountains over which the VonTrapp family did hike for they refused to be any part of Hitler's Evil Third Reich. On the Square we too did prance in our freedom dance!
The Hapsburg Empire in Vienna long ago did thrive. For a more opulent lifestyle they forever strived. Their palace shone with more space and splendor than anyone needs, all supported by bloody conquerors and wartime deeds. We escaped to a beer garden and took our chance by doing a wild version of the snake dance!
Then on to Italy we did go; to Saint Mark's Square in Venice where the pigeons grow. We toured the canals and we did it in style, serenaded by the opera singer all the while. But we couldn't dance on the boat and still keep it afloat! On the Grand Canal we nearly lost Caller Mike. Five Italian beauties said, "What's not to like?" He displayed his belt buckle there above his knees with its Canadian flag proudly waving in the breeze. When they grabbed at his pants, we feared they were ending our chance to square dance!
On the continent toilettes are made front to back with grinders inside that go clickity-clack. God forbid you should drop anything into the loo, so hang on to your diamond rings and your false teeth too. Still, it's nice when you're riding in a boat that shredded toilet paper is all you see afloat!
Up in Swiss Country they'd drilled through the Alps to build Saint Gotthard Tunnel; so long and so airless it prickled our scalps. But at last we arrived at lovely Lake Lucerne where the Alp mountain air gave us energy to burn. In our brain that implants our need to square dance!