Saturday, November 03, 2007

back to the Rhineland

Day 19

it took us 1 hour and 40 minutes to find the highway
out of Prague
it was fitting that our last conversation
with a not so helpful member of the hotel staff
involved a hand gesture and half-hearted
"the highway is over there" directions
this is a pretty massive city
it was the equivalent of me pointing
and telling someone in the heart of Irving that
"Hamburg is that way...just follow the signs"
we basically drove aimlessly
trying to find a road we recognized
Gavin sat calmly and patiently in the backseat
sucking his thumb and looking out the window
as his poor bewildered parents struggle to escape
the Czech Republic
i made some sort of turn into a long tunnel
that Jayme swore would be the end of us
but when we came out the other side
i recognized where we were
we'd made a full circle around the outskirts of the city
and came back to the castle on the river in the city center
we followed the massive traffic
swept up along with in our little microwave on wheels
it took us about another 2 hours to get out of the country
when we finally crossed the border
entering the Rhineland
crwling at a snail's pace
behind - guess what?
a Czech cop car
i wished i could have sung the German national anthem
once we finally crossed over
i was so happy
our GPS even lit up and came back to life
we gave a little cheer as we pulled onto the autobahn into a normal flow of traffic
goodbye and good riddance Czech Republic!
lets do a little dance
we drove 7 uneventful hours until we reached Hamburg and familiarity
by the time we got back to Gunther's house
i only had 30 minutes before i had to leave for my show
it was at a place called Musicstar
in a suburb called Norderstedt
Basti and his girlfriend Rahel (pictured)
had agreed to accompany me to the gig
so i drove into the city center
to pick them up
i really enjoyed the 25 minute drive
at dusk
down along the river
through nice wooded neighbourhoods
that reminded me a lot of Seattle
Hamburg is an extremely livable
and well-maintained city
i met Basti and Rahel in front of an old theater
and we were on our way
Musicstar was a small listening room
in the basement of a music shop
it reminded me a lot of bend Studio
in Dallas
really great sound
a small nicely decorated stage
kind and gracious people running the venue
an Australian guy named Beau Young
was opening up for me
i was told he'd been a world surfing champion
and was now playing music
i sipped wine with Basti and Rahel
then played a short 40 minute set
to a polite and attentive
but smallish audience
afterwards we decided to eat at a Mongolian
restaurant in the same strip shopping center
as the club
i felt great
the food was excellent
and the company even better
it had been another really nice evening
one i will always remember


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