Fragment, one of the most popular central European bluegrass bands ever, is celebrating their 30th anniversary by doing a reunion tour. Bass player and vocalist Jana Mougin is chronicling their tour for us at Bluegrass Today.
Day 3, November 25, Ulm, Germany
We woke up to a chilly morning in Neudrossenfeld. After a nice European breakfast (whole grain rolls, cheese, cold cut meats, fruit and vegetables) and lots of coffee, we were ready for our trip to Ulm. Even though Fragment has played many times in this part of Germany, we’ve never had a chance to visit this beautiful city, situated on the Danube River. Ulm was founded around 850 and is primarily known for the tallest church in the world. The construction of “Ulmer Minster” (with the steeple measuring 530 ft) started in 1377 and was completed in 1890.
At this time of the year, many European cities have Christmas Markets where people can find lovely hand crafted gifts, regional culinary delicacies, baked goods, hand made candy, and of course, traditional Gluhwein (mulled wine) or Christmas punch.
The Market is a great place to go with your friends or family to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. Ulmer Christmas Market was “the real deal” with a train ride, glassblowing shop and a Nativity scene with live animals.
Around 6pm we met with our long-time friend Eberhard Finke, the editor of Bluegrass Buhne magazine. Eberhard took us to a nice dinner at a local restaurant downtown. He brought a few old pictures from various festivals we played with Fragment in Germany, Slovakia and Czech Republic almost twenty years ago. Time goes by fast with a good meal, tasty beer and a lots of memories. Our host Friedrich Hog (vice president of Country & Western Friends Kotz Association 1982 e.V., chairman of the German Bluegrass Association) was awaiting us at 8pm in the Radio Free FM studio, located in a historical building near the restaurant. Over an hour of talking and playing flew by quickly, and before we realized, it was time to close up the show. We were not ready to say good-bye, so we ended up in a bar nearby, where we enjoyed some extra smooth dark beer with both our hosts Eberhard and Friedrich.
The late night walk to the car, conveniently parked close by in an underground garage, was refreshing. The first snowflakes of the season were flying in the air.