Continuing my fascination with weirdly alien-looking objects of Bavaria, I became somewhat obsessed with this field of wild sunflowers I drove past every day on the way home to my digs.

With each return to Bayreuth, I find myself staying further and further afield. Since my first year, I have eschewed staying in the town, partly on the advice of such luminous alumni as John Tomlinson and Graham Clark, and partly because, after my first year at the festival, I discovered that there is a stretch of de-restricted Autobahn just to the south of the town.

I love speed. Sue me.

This year, home was a little Ferienwohnung about 25 minutes south of the theatre, on the outskirts of Pegnitz. Cue the Meistersinger.

The last part of the drive home each day was on single lane backroads through some of the most stunning scenery in the Fränkische Schweitz. No speeding here. Just bimbling along, mouth agape at the astonishing perfection of nature on every side. Amid so much beauty, one might be forgiven for thinking that a small field of wild sunflowers might not cause the eye to linger.

And yet…



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