A Travellerspoint blog

Holland

Amsterdam

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Hello from Holland! Amsterdam is our place of residence. And what a place! We arrived at  Camping Zeeburg after a tiring drive from Cologne. We decided to get the drive over and done with after the gig instead of staying another night in Cologne. I think there was a joint excitement to get to Amsterdam as soon as possible. I think it also had something to do with the reception that we received at the Cologne campsite. It seemed all we has to do was turn up and we'd done something wrong. 10 pm was obviously not an acceptable time for us to make our arrival. And mr campsite owner did not hold back in making that clear. Disconcerting frowns accompanied the repeated statements 'you may not party', 'no party', 'no party here'. I don't think he wanted us to party. He then sent us to the back of the campsite, away from other campers. Couldn't have us pesky musicians rocking the joint. Quite ironic, as the only danger was who was going to be snoring the loudest.

Amsterdam has a really chilled out vibe. Everyone is so laid back and friendly. I think that may have something to do with a certain plant that seems to be quite popular in this part of the world. As a non participant, i still have love for this plant. I mean, we've witnessed no fights yet, everyone is open to forming new friendships with limited hesitation, and everyone just has a generally chilled persona. Without wanting to become overly
Opinionated, as that's not what this blog is about; i can see the benefits. 

We've got a lovely spot in the campsite. Although we only discovered it the morning after the arrival night. Waking up in a greenhouse wasn't really for us, so we decided to relocate. Although I was not a fan of waking up to the idea of reassembling a tent. It's not one  in my top ten wake ups. But it was definatly worth it. We are no
Longer in a greenhouse. Huzzah. And we have a rather lush view to wake up to in the morning. Although this morning we woke up to the defending sounds of torrential rain pounding the tent. To then further discover that we now have a leak. The 4 man Confidence tent is not so confident. I bought it a couple of years back in a half price sale at Halfords. It has servers me well, however it had not yet braved the wet until now. Do not buy this tent if you are in for less than sunny spells on your holiday. Hopefully it won't get too bad, although we will need to monitor it.

Callum and I have ventured in to town to go to our favourite coffee shop that we discovered when we got here. The Wonderbar caffe located down Nieuwendijk centrum street. It has a really chilled vibe, with wooden carved seats in the main area and cushioned sofas at the back. Also in the windows are two carpeted areas scattered with cushions and rugs. Defiantly the type of thing we are looking for to kit the new flat out with. Chris is the owner, and what a lovely guy he is. He has been really helpful and chatty with us everytime we have come here. We would definitely  recommend this place as a must see in Amsterdam. We are probably going to relax here for a while and use the wifi to google map our way around this wondrous place. The band have a gig tonight. It's a late one, at 11pm. I think this will be really good. I've got high hopes for it. We need to find a clutch for Callum's drum kit, so we're going on a search for drum shops. That's as much as we have to document for now. We will be back later with more selubrious updates.

Posted by Jarmitage 06:16 Archived in Netherlands Tagged amsterdam Comments (0)

Holland

The beginning

We have just reached the boarder of Holland. Hurrah! It's 12:10am on Sunday morning. Considering the long day we've had, I'm pretty awake. Callum is moving between tired and peaceful, to awake and wanting to party. He can't make up his mind. I think he's still racing the high from the gig. It's quite endearing to see. Despite there not being a huge audience, the band sounded really tight and the sound was most salubrious. So Callum deserves his moment of glory. I'm really proud of him.

Out of context, but i thought I'd mention this magical moment ; before the boarder of Amsterdam, we stopped for a smoke break. The sky was blanketed with piercingly clear stars. I've never seen the sky so clear. *this* is why I want an slr camera. 

So back to the present. We almost got to Amsterdam with a clear run. But it was not to be. We got stuck in a mammoth traffic jam about 20 minutes back that's delayed our journey by an hour or so. You win some you lose some. Also awaiting us when we do arrive is the task of assembling the tent. Fun times. All parts of the highs and lows of the travelling life style. And I have to say, I'm pretty ok with that. I might sample some of the peach liquor we bought in Cologne. Why not! 

Posted by Jarmitage 18:47 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Germany

Cologne - The debut gig!

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The first gig has arrived! We are at odonien in north cologne. How can I describe this venue...there are so many words! I think the first one that comes in to my head is green. Very green. It reminds me of a hippie commune. Tucked neatly down a side road, a small waste land greets our view. Literally, waste land! Sculptures formed from car parts shape the space. The average bar/club toilet is replaced by a metal cage contraption, containing steel cubicles and intriguing sculptures. A door? Doors are overrated. Instead, why not put the rotating sponges from an electric car wash in its place? The owners of this place certainly did. I have never come across a place quite like this. It's pretty unique. The bar looks like  a clapped out burger can hut from the 70s, placed by the side of the main stage. As the boys set up and started their sound check, I decided this would be a good idea for a beverage. The menu was limited, consisting of beer, larger and wine. I prefere it this way. Cuts out so much confusion. Nice and simple. There really isn't enough of that. I was pleased to discover that two drinks would cost me 5 euros, yet slightly confused when the bar tender asked me for 7 euros. I was quickly returned to pleased when I discovered that they have a very environmentally friendly system in place. On top of thr price for the drinks, you are to pay one euro per bottle. When you have finished the bottle, return it back and get your euro back. They then send the empty bottles to a recycling bank, or use them for more fantastic sculptures. How very green! I am a fan of this place!

As I sit on a chair made entirely from teslalating bicycle seats, I write this blog entry while the band near the end of their sound check. There aren't many people here. I think this gig will be more of an open air sound check. But it's a pretty sweet place to have a sound check! Yep...pretty sweet trip so far. And we are in for more of the same ahead! Next stop...Amsterdam. I'm pretty hyped up for that. We all are. Time to sign off now and experience the wonder that is Gruz (www.gruzmusic.com) see you in the Dam!

Get the stats:

Time spent: 2 days, 3 nights
Money spent: 50 euros
Top spots: Odonion music venue, Cologne
Germany overall chillometer score: 4 chills

Posted by Jarmitage 18:44 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Germany

Cologne

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We are on our way to a local music shop to get a clutch for Callum's bass drum. The nerves are setting in fast now with him, but he's taking it in his stride.its so lively to see his excitement for this. This has been an ambition of his for a long time. It's great that he has the chance to do this. The odds were stacked against it when we were back home.it looked like the tour wasn't going to happen at one stage. Usual life Obstacles; money, work, commitments etc. While Callum was stressed with the organisation process of the tour, he was downhearted every time they looked at the possibility of it not being feasible. I had really hoped that they would find a way round the obstacles and live their dream. And here we are! I've never been in love with a drummer before, it's quite exciting! I have never been in love before. It's quite exciting.

Posted by Jarmitage 18:43 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Germany

Cologne - settling in

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Today has been very pleasant so far, despite the outside influences. Supermarket confusions and rude check out assistants were to be the start of our day. We woke at the early hour of 8:30am. I think this was largely down to the unbearable  painful ground that we were sleeping on last night. In general, our sleeping quarters are quite pleasing. We took my kingsize winter duvet to sleep under, as we figured this could only be an epically good idea. Unfortunately we were unable to retrieve the summer duvet from the van last night. A rather large bass drum was in the way. So we were left without a comfortable surface to sleep on. We will have to get it from the van tonight once we have fetched everything else out, ready for the first gig tonight. Callum is quite nervous today. I don't think I've seen a time where he has been completely still so far, without fidgeting or tapping out various drum solos on his chosen body parts. Or mine. Today is a big day for the band. It is the first gig, on the first tour. And in fact, the first proper gig. It's a big day. And we have the right weather for it! I actually gave tan lines. A ginger? With a tan? Surely not! Ive been good though. Factor 15 on everyday. Definite necessity. And some spray tan. This is not a necessity, but I may as well maximise my resources.  

Posted by Jarmitage 18:39 Archived in Germany Tagged in - cologne settling Comments (0)

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