A 7am kick off from Menslage in Nieder-Saxon, a coffee, a massive game of Tetris getting the gear in the car (Ulf is Yoda) and we’re away. A smooth two and a half hour journey back to Bonn, smooth at least for everyone except Ulf, who’s driving, cos we’re generally sleeping. More coffee at Mel and Ulf’s place then we drop off the big guy at work, poor bugger he must be in bits after that weekend, he’s in such a rush I don’t even get the chance to give him a cheerio as he flies into the checkpoint at the Airbase where he works, means we’ll have to do a hello and two goodbyes soon enough though. Mel and Shane rush me off to the train station at Köln and packed with hurried goodbyes, sandwiches and sweets I’m away as well...sniff.
My first train to Frankfurt is delayed by five mins which was cool at the Köln end but now I’ve got precisely three minutes to catch my connecting train to Vienna in a station notorious for changing platforms on a whim, with much wobbly over-taking, sweating and panting I make the train by the skin of my teeth into the first wagon and then have to squeeze myself, my guitar and my holdall down 10 wagons until I can get to my reserved seat, which some cheeky bugger has taken cos they thought I wasn’t coming. To be fair he moved over fairly quickly, pretty polite these German fellas and now I’m set to make crumbs out of my lunch and snooze out the next eight hours home. Arrive safe and sound in Vienna-Meidling station and feeling decadent I grab a taxi home instead of the underground, thankfully I must be radiating knackered cos my taxi driver leaves me in peace to ease Vienna back into my head.
Home to my Elisa and a couple of chilled beers and stories on the balcony, the perfect return, a few lessons learned and truths tested. And that was Germany for now, I didn’t know what to expect up there but whatever I may have imagined it was just a fantastic trip with brilliant people great audiences and venues and reminded me again if I needed reminding that music purely and simply connects people. Thank you to all who made it happen, especially Mel & Ulf for their tireless humour and support...let's not be strangers and obviously to the man himself Shane Ó'Fearghail for letting me loose in Germany, if you've the time you'd be mental to miss his album-release show at the WUK on Thursday 9th June in Vienna...'They Might See Dolphins'... a beaut of a record if I may say so, ye bollocks ye.