A touring Bolivian orchestra is stranded in a German castle surrounded by 23 packs of wolves

Earlier this spring, more than 20 members of Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos pan flute orchestra left their homes in Bolivia and embarked on a European tour. They arrived in Germany on March 10, right as that country's government imposed a ban on large gatherings to fight the spread of coronavirus. Within days, their bus had broken down, and all of their performances had been cancelled, and their own government back home in Bolivia announced that it would close its own borders, leaving the orchestra stranded.

And so they spent 73 days living and rehearsing in the Rheinsberg Palace, a 15th-century moated castle ninety minutes northwest of Berlin. Until this past Monday, they hadn't been allowed to travel beyond the woodlands that surround the castle. But that forest — and the land beyond — are inhabited by 23 packs of wild wolves.

The palace itself is also rumored to be haunted by Frederick the Great, a former Prussian king and alleged idol of Adolf Hitler.

The musicians have also reported encounters with a far more terrifying threat: German police in riot gear, intent on delivering punishment on the musicians for breaking social distancing rules, despite the fact that they technically qualify as a family unit.

BBC has the more in-depth story, including interviews with the musicians, many of whom are dealing with other personal struggles amidst all this other chaos.

Coronavirus: The Bolivian orchestra stranded in a German castle [Oliver Barnes / BBC]

Image: ernstol / Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0)