Ashby Abroad, part 3

Ashby FrankOnce again, Special C mandolinist Ashby Frank will be sharing his impressions of the band’s European tour with the readers of Bluegrass Today. They will be on the continent through October 25, with shows in Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Czech Republic. You can find the tour details on the band’s web site.

After our train ride to Copenhagen we rode the long road to the Netherlands, had two shows there and had a good time. Even though we were pretty tired from all the riding and moving around to get there, it was a really nice place to visit. Nice hospitable folks there… but beware! Our hosts introduced us to these waffle and caramel cookies called Stroopwafles, and now we’re all addicted to them! I’m going to have to go on a serious diet when I get home.

Anyway, we made the long van ride from Holland here to Switzerland yesterday and got here just in time to eat dinner and play a little show in Lausen (right outside of Basil) and then we got a good night’s sleep. In attendance at our gig last night was a professional classical guitarist that grew up just about 15 or 20 miles away from where I grew up in North Carolina, and has lived in Europe for 40 years since he graduated from the School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. I guess there’s Tarheels everywhere! Small world!

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but for this trip we’re in a decent sized van that’s a little larger than the ones we have rented on previous trips. Still it’s pretty cramped for all of these 5-8 hour trips. Vehicles are much smaller on average here in Europe, so I guess we’re lucky that we’re in something that we can all fit in.

Ashby Frank spies a mini-car on teh road in SwitzerlandAt least we’re not in this…

Now we’re spending the afternoon before our show at a friend of the band’s house. This is the first time we’ve had Wifi in a few days, so we’ve turned her dining room into a computer lab.

After our show in Feuerthalen, Switzerland tonight, we’ll be back in Germany for a show in Bochum, then our last show will be in the Czech Republic. Never been there before, so I’m looking forward to it!

I’m having a great time here, but after 8 days I’m starting to look forward to going home and being in my own bed, not having to travel hours and hours every other day, and not trying to figure out what kind of money I’ve got and how much I’m spending! We’ve been on four currencies so far, and one more to go!

Regardless, it’s nice to be here reporting to you from Switzerland! Maybe I’ll get one more update in before I go home.