Monday, 26 October 2015

Oil be schraubing in Bremen and moain moin in Hamburg

No subtlety here, it's just OIL! and bicycles ! Looks like the bicycles are winning!
Just wait till we get to Hamburg....
But first Bremen a city full of trees and little front gardens full of pots and flowers and green things, BBQ's in the streets, people leaving things out on the bins and even an organised 'Freebox'... There must be Wombles here!
And creative Wombles they are too, painting trompe l'oels...
And some rather stylish, slicked back lions.
Shame about the beautiful bicycle shop closing down. We only got a glimpse through the window... but we like the wine holster and we liked Bremen!
And we liked the Freischrauber! What a fabulous workshop, buzzing with people, lots of Refugees getting their bikes and fixing them.
We had a great time playing our show to a full crowd, soaking up the atmosphere.
The Freischrauber celebrated their 6th birthday this summmer.
May they be fixing bikes for many more years to come!

Then on to Hamburg! Taking the Bremen to Hamburg cycle path we arrived into town through the old Elbtunnel...
.... straight into Germany's biggest Critical Mass!

With already hurting bums, after a 90 km day we joined another four to five thousand cyclists to take on the streets of Hamburg for a four hour jolly.
Some serious sound systems, including ours, this one was probably playing techno all evening...
Team 'High Viz' kept the crowds rockin' with Saturday Night Fever, Cumbia and Greek protest Hip Hop....
... Sigga Mi Kallipso!

Here a little impression of the evening with a bicycle tune by Speck

Bicycle by Speck    Speck / CC BY-NC 3.0

Our lovely friends Per and Sabine took us out into the dangerous big harbour of Hamburg on their little, little friend Paula. We spent the night of the Supermoon howling on the island with the other seafaring wolves...

Because Sabine couldn't come to see our show at the Nonstop Schwitzen Bar, we played for her and some other invited guests in the Kreativikum, Per's headquarters... it felt like playing on a train, but actually it was the corridors of a madhouse...

Another memorable performance was had courtesy of  The#Brake a weekly meeting point of the thriving bicycle culture of Hamburg...

The week we was there the Brake was at the Wilhelmsburg Pop up Festival where the Nonstop Schwitzen collective was running a pedal power smoothie bar.

And at the fleamarket on Sunday the mini velodrome of death!
We didn't dare to ride it... we still had a show to play in the afternoon.

To round our visit of, we met this Moai from Hamburg who wished us a safe journey onwards to Berlin...


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Floating in Aule, crossing Holland and tea drinking in Ostfriesland

 From Trois Vierges in Luxembourg we took the Vennbahn to the gentle hills of Belgium.
So gentle were they, that we floated, in a most peculiar way.... 
floating in a most peculiar way
 We played to the villagers of Aule, a place where no foreigner, no artist had ever set their foot before. We were surprised to find that here in Belgium people speak german - our show was in french! But luckily we're idiots and Don de Duende knew a little german.
Aule, Belgium

 Industrial heritage, somewhere along the way...

And the Vennbahn, another bit of industrial heritage. This is where the Germans invaded Belgium, or was it the Belgiums invading? It was once Belgium, then Germany and Belgium, Germany, Belgium again, and so on. The land and the people got very mixed up. Now it is Belgium. 

At the end of the Vennbahn lies the german city of Aachen and to the east of Aachen lies Holland.
We got tangled up in the Dreilaenderpunkt and stupidly cycled up the hill. Belgium, Holland, Germany? We didn't know where we were, we were at the top and we needed to be at the bottom, the flat bit, Holland. Turns out we cycled up the only hill in Holland, the Vaalserberg. Doh! 

A fork in the river, a fork in the cyclepath! What do we do?

The horrible, scary, naked giant doesn't know either. We climb the tower to consult the oracle.

We closed our eyes and went left and the road led us to a french pic-a-nic basket. Luckily it was outside a dutch shop de Houtduif.
We're definitelly in Holland. It's flat, there's canals, it's a bit like the Truman Show.
We kept going north to Groningen.
 Groningen, city of O.R.K.Z. we stayed a couple of nights, it was raining, we saw a good bicycle ballet scene at a busy junction, we played in a proper theater and did the washing up.
 And then, that was Holland.
We crossed the border into Ostfriesland, passed this rather delightful mosaic sofa...
... passed the derelict chinese restaurant...
...followed the signposts and found the mill in Jemgum.
 There the sheep introduced us to the high art of drinking Tee mit Kluntje. It spun us out!
And we crashed into a giant bicycle in the sky....


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Ups and downs in Luxembourg

We arrived in Luxembourg to find that Bernard the Mountaindog bag had been in touch with some lovely people in Luxembourg Ville, arranged a show and even found us somewhere to stay...


Thank you Bernard and more so thank you Kasia from Cycle Luxembourg,

and thank you Gossia from the Bicycle Art and Film Festival!

It was fun, if a little bit strange in Luxembourg City. Everybody was from lot's of different countries, we rode over the noisiest, bounciest temporary bridge in the world (that had been temporary for the past three years...) and some of the true Luxembourgoise people are a bit uptight. Thank god for all the foreigners!

Here's some lovely pictures from ur show on the Grund. Thank you Tristan Schmurr for the photos!




After the show we got back on our bikes to cross this little country south to north, heading for Belgium.
The countryside was very beautiful and green and very, very hilly! No one had told us that! But once we'd made it over Schlindermanderscheid, the Copacabana of Luxembourg it was all down hill and then really down hill to the camping and then we had to climb out again and up and down and again and again until we finally made it to the Vennbahn. Here we made an art instalation in a bus stop: We road our bicycles into the bus stop,  we hang up all our clothes to dry and sat there naked. and had lunch...