Well, I’m here, landed in Berlin and staying with some totally awesome people. Today's travel went well, other than one little mix up at the end of the day. Everything got sorted out though so here I am. Ready to rock.
Travel Lufthansa. Do it. With all of the horror stories I’ve heard of our Canadian air lines I was prepared to spend the 10 hour flight cramped, hungry and constantly worried about the drum and fiddle I had carried on. The German airline Lufthansa on the other hand, was amazing. Yes we could have used a bit more leg room, but my Violin traveled in the first class coatroom, the drum fit perfectly in the overhead bins, and the FOOOD…. They fed us, snacks, dinner, breakfast and drinks throughout the flight. After the flight we picked up our bags (yay! They arrived!) and headed to the long distance train station, here Chris Suen and I parted ways… that man has a lot of patience to put up with my excitement, worrying and what ifs for 12 plus hours. I ended up making friends with a young man from LA who spoke only a little more German than me (My knowledge of the language is limited to Bitte and Danke) we (my new friend and I) managed to get on the right train, but were not sure of the fact until half way through the trip when we managed to sit next to 2 German guys that spoke fluent English. I ended up in Berlin safe and sound, and after some running around at the train station trying to co-ordinate with my hosts Toni and Kaja I managed to make my way to their house by showing the cab driver their address on a letter our friend Alex was sending them. After leaving Vancouver at 4:00pm on Thursday, I was very glad to put my suitcase down at 8:30pm Friday.
Tonight I went to a show at acoustic club in Berlin… cool right? Guess who was playing? THE FOGHORN STRINGBAND from Portland, weird right? Guess who I got to sit with? Miriam Sonstenes and Jeff Dill. SOOOOO COOOOOOOL!!!!!
I’ve spent the last two days being shown around the city by Toni and Kaya, without them I would have been too scared to leave sight of the apartment. Yesterday we visited my first castle (there were rugs and chairs and dressers older than Canada by 200 years.) The city is full of trees and parks and covered in graffiti. Open alcohol is allowed on the streets and while this is pretty cool there is also a ton of broken glass everywhere… there are ups and downs to everything I guess. We tried to order Curry wurst without Ketchup… but things got a little confused and I just ended up with Wurst and fries and mayo, super yummy. Today we visited a giant Russian monument and the remaining part of the Berlin Wall. Toni says that developers want to tear down what is left to build expensive high-rise apartment buildings. I hope that they do not succeed, I think it is important to have a visible reminder of what has happened. It is also covered in beautiful artwork. Some of the pieces have been “bombed” by taggers (large unartistic vandalism, usually a name or symbol), but the murals are incredible. After visiting the wall we went to a magical park in the middle of the city that is on a hill so you can look over the city 360 degrees. By then it was time to head to the Show and after escorting me to the venue and giving me directions and a bus pass to get home Toni and Kaya left me with Miriam and Jeff. I made it home without a hitch, and probably would have done just fine with out it but I was sure glad to have data on my phone to look up maps and transit directions. Well worth the money for the SIM card.
Ps. Also today we went inside this giant church/cathedral and there was a choir singing and it was incredibly beautiful. No amplification necessary and the reverb was so sweet. There is not enough time in the day.