Hardly a cloud in the sky, the sun shines brightly across the landscape at just the perfect temperature as the winter cold is relegated to an afterthought. Easter holidays happen to be the perfect time for an excursion in most parts of Germany - if there wasn't any curfew or lockdown in place. Here is how you can experience a family excursion from the comfort of your home.
Social distancing is the buzzword that is on everybody's lips these days. Everyone would love to stretch their legs outdoors during the Easter season, inhaling the fresh air and indulging in a picnic while taking in the wondrous beauty of the weather. However, the health risk of large crowd congregating at this point in time cannot be understated, which is why here are some suggestions on how you can enjoy digital excursions this Easter.
Digital museums: art and history at your fingertips
When was the last time you actually went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC? Never? And what about a visit to Carnegie Hall? Finding it difficult to remember? The long Easter weekend is the perfect time for art and culture connoisseurs can give the Google Arts and Culture app a spin. This Google service is available for the PC, smartphone, tablet or VR glasses, where you will be able to step foot into different famous museums from all over the world without having to leave your home. You will also be able to take a stroll through various World Heritage sites and drink in the breathtaking beauty of famous architectural works.
Please bear in mind that this is one experience that is best enjoyed with a pair of VR (Virtual Reality) glasses/headsets. Otherwise, you will only be able to enjoy limited access to the museums and view only a handful of the other exhibits. A pair of VR glasses simply offers a far more immersive experience, as you can experience numerous 3D tours or "walk through" World Heritage sites and architectural monuments through carefully curated 360-degree videos.
Download Google Arts and Culture from the Play Store
Download Google Arts and Culture from the App Store
Wait, there is more! Free musicals and operas
If museums sound too dreary for you, there is something that is far more upbeat in the form of streaming "Les Misérables" via Netflix (or watch it with others remotely), but that detracts from the feeling of enjoying a musical in person. Still, something is better than nothing, which is why Andrew Lloyd Webber has made it possible for music fans to enjoy some of his masterpieces on his YouTube channel "The Show Must Go On!" On a side note, we do know that the economic picture is far from a rosy one at the moment, so if you feel moved to support the musical community during this time, you are most welcome to make a contribution. The premiere of "Jesus Christ Superstar" will be on April 10th from 7pm (BST), where it will be available for 48 hours only.
Online Easter operas
If you are more of an opera and orchestra buff as opposed to musicals, there is also something for you. Many opera houses have taken the altruistic step to make their performances available online - for free! For instance, the Vienna State Opera will let you enjoy opera or ballet performances that have already been performed at 5 or 7 p.m. (every evening) for 24 hours. The only exception would be on Good Friday, which falls on April 10th, as no stream will be shown then.
In order to enjoy these critically acclaimed performances, all that you need to do is to register on the website as the subscription remains free at the moment. It remains to be seen as to how long it will be free, although a lot of it depends on the restrictions imposed by the authorities. Over the long weekend, you can indulge in the following operas:
- April 11: The Fairies (children's version)
- April 12: Parsifal
- April 13: The Knight of the Rose
You can also have a different experience with the Elbphilharmonie & Laeiszhalle, Hamburg. At #ElbphiAtHome, you can participate in guided tours of the house. You will also be privy to tune in to concerts and music clips or enjoy the children's program. A sample itinerary would be to take part in the ECHO concert stream "St. John's Passion" on April 10th from 8 pm or enjoy the "Silk Road Festival" on April 11th from 8 pm. For all concert fans, you will definitely find something interesting to occupy yourself with this weekend.
Worldwide virtual concerts
Sometimes, a concert by your favorite artist is enough to chase all the blues away. A growing number of artists have started to play for free across numerous social platforms, so enjoying a concert within the confines of your own four walls would not be too strange a sight - especially when you have a bangin' pair of headphones to rock to! In order to see who is hosting a live concert on Facebook or Twitter, why not follow the artists' page from time to time?
Should you find it too troublesome to chase after your favorite artist(s) on social media, there are other avenues to explore. There are companies that offer free live concerts in co-operation with artists, with Sennheiser as an example. Sennheiser will be broadcasting concerts under #DontStopTheMusic on Instagram TV (IGTV). That would mean LEW's live stream concert is scheduled for April 10th at 10 am (EST). Should you find that to be too early, there are other artists affiliated with Sennheiser who are scheduled to play at a later date and time.
Assuming nothing suits your eclectic musical taste at Sennheiser, you can always pay a visit to O2. This company also broadcasts live concerts under the #StayOn campaign. You can enjoy live streams of LENA or Sarah Connor here. Also, try to keep an eye out for the #WeStayConnected hashtag over Easter where many notable artists have already held live streams across two weekends. Each artist will stream their greatest hits from their own living room, now how about that for variety?
What are your plans for the long weekend? Do you think our suggestions will help alleviate your cabin fever, or do you have other tips to share with others?