A Travellerspoint blog

If this is Friday it must be Belgium!

What an adventure we have had already. Friday four of us headed to Lieges, Belgium as there was no competitions. It is a lovely place where beer is cheaper than coffee - go figure! You have to admire the European way of life. Sit yourself down at your local cafe , of course with your European cigarettes and your dog and have your coffee. People watching is my new favorite pastime. Liege is a good sized city where we experienced high end shops like Prada to small holes in the wall. Thank heavens for our GPS which has navigated us through our whole trip so far. It even helps you find your car when you are lost......

We also travelled to Aachen, Germany on Saturday (actually, we were lost on Thursday night and may ave ended up there then). This is the burial grounds for the European ruler Charlemange. We would have liked to spend more time in the cathedral but a stern German kicked us out because of a wedding. The nerve. We settled for sitting in the market drinking more cappichino and listening to the street entertainers.

We have also bonded with our fellow band parents - a great group of people. The downtown music festival is like the Calgary Stampede without the miniskirts and cute girls (according to the brother of one of the band members). It is true. Kerkrade is for nearly deads that is for sure. There is more jitneys than miniskirts. We had a bit of a runaway on Saturday night with AlpenRocker and Igor entertaining the group in the town square. Tons of fun - eating too much pizza and Dutch latkes and drinking way too much Dutch beer. For as hard as the kids were working on the show we were partying it up like it was Stampede.

Posted by jonaway 05:58 Comments (0)

First - one of many updates

I will try and subtitle these to keep things straight

rain 18 °C
View Europe 2009 on jonaway's travel map.

Hello from sunny Spain. Oh how nice it is here. It seems like ages since I have been in touch and it has- mostly due to lack of Internet and a computer. We had a lovely time in Kerkrade being typical band groupies. It rained for a good part of the competition but the sun came out just in time for the Showband show. The Canadians did our best to cheer the band on and it must have worked.

First to the competition - if Calinś blog is different it is because there were so many awards given out we arnt quite sure what we won. The Showband came away with a 1st (in parade I think), 2nd in WAMSB (World Marching Show Bands) and 3rd in the World Music Contest (against 2 bands from Thailand that competed earlier in the contest (not even against us). The best news is that we WON Sundayś competition by .50 marks against the Thailand band that beat us on Thursday. We were also awarded top community band for something or another! If we sound confused it is because we are - all the announcements were in Dutch and went on for 90 minutes or more. The Japan band must have had 12 or more kids faint during the awards.

Stetsonś performed well but we missed them (due to the WMC not being able to keep to a schedule). The good news is that I was able to sneak around and finally see Kelsey. Debbie and Darren she is fine but is pretty homesick so I suspect will be really glad to see you on Tuesday. When I showed up she jumped up and down and then the tears came (from both of us). This has been a pretty long trip for the kids and the food and accommodation in Kerkrade not up to the standard they had in Switzerland. She didnt need money but a hug from home certainly seemed to help. One of our friends also saw a girl from Stetsons and she had the same response ' a flood of tears. They are all fine and performed well on the international stage.

Posted by jonaway 05:42 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Can you say Deerfoot Trail on Steroids...

or surviving the Autobahn

semi-overcast 20 °C

Hello everyone from Holland. We arrived yesterday morning after a lengthy delay leaving Calgary (almost an hour which is generally unheard of from Lufthansa). This put us into Frankfurt a little late as well. After clearing customs and getting our luggage and car we were off to the Autobahn. So picture this - a nice Citroen SUV type vehicle, standard transmission and our newest toy a Tom-Tom GPS. Thank heavens for the Tom ton - once we got the hang of how it works it successfully navigated us out of the airport and onto the Autobahn. You may know that there is virtually no speed limits on the Autobahn - the only restrictions - only around construction and corners. Even the corner speed limits is around 100 km. Marty got the hang of it pretty well and stpped signalling after about a half an hour! "Why should I signal - nobody else does" was his response. So with the Tom Tom I just have to hold it and it does the rest of the work. No marital spats yet!

We arrived in Aachen and picked up our friends at the train station. We were then off to the hotel which is in a lovely forested area - it used to be an old horse stable. I think our room is three horse stables. It is clean and surrounded by lots of plants.

We caught the tail end of the parade - we were told it started at 3:30 but really it started at 2 PM so we missed Stetsons totally. We did see Stampede at the beginning and end of the parade. Then it was off to the town square to drink Heiniken with the locals! So Kerkrade is like the Kelowna of Holland - all the retired people live here. And oh how they like their Heiniken. We made lots of new friends and drank lots of beer. Being the new visitiors to town and not having slept much on the plane we made it out of the square came over to the Abbey to see the kids and drop off the food stuffs. The abbey is a truely beautiful location. We are looking forward to hearing the band sing in the chapel on Sunday night. It will be a lovely way way to end their time in Kerkrade.

The band is coping well - excited for their field show competition this afternoon.

That's all for now. Hope all is well at home.....

Posted by jonaway 04:29 Archived in Netherlands Comments (2)

Our itinerary

Here is our itinerary for our adventure. The weather is going to be interesting; comfortable in Holland (70's), stinking hot in Spain (100's) and in the 80's and 90's for the rest of the trip. No wonder Europeans take August off! Maybe it will be too hot for them to travel to the south of Spain!

Posted by jonaway 07:29 Comments (0)

Are we only a delivery vehicle for the band?

Packing for others.....

View Europe 2009 on jonaway's travel map.

Well, the band left on Tuesday and are now settled in to the Dutch routine. They seem to be doing well and enjoying their stay in the Abbey. Already they have put in requests for: 1 coat, Oreos, Pepsi (I think it is made in Holland) and some sort of Crystal Lite/Tang drink crystals. Good thing Marty has a big suitcase! Once we drop all that off (along with two sleeping bags) we should be set for some serious shopping! I understand Spain is in a deep recession so we will do what we can to help stimulate the economy.

I am not sure how often we will have Internet access but when we can, we will update you on our adventures. The thing I like best about a blog is that you are able to record the events of your journey on a daily basis which helps when you get home and try and remember everything you have seen.

I hope you enjoy my ramblings!

Posted by jonaway 18:30 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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