This is my travel log from the European Tour 2014. I will try to make it short, but we will see how it works...
FROM PERTH TO OSLO
I arrived home from Perth Australia Friday March 21. Eight weeks later, by mid May, I get solid information about rehearsals in London. With an extreme workload, I am not really keen on going to London now, and I cross my fingers they will arrive into Oslo soon. And yes, over the week-end they are here. I miss them on Monday, in my home town, but by Tuesday I know they are here. Then I am at the Jar rehearsals Wednesday and Thursday, and at Fornebu at the Telenor Arena rehearsals Friday and Saturday. The tour is on. In my home town!
Friends fly in from abroad. The weather is great. On show day Monday I have my family including my wife, children and even grandchildren at the show. And collegues, friends and of course, The Stones! Telenor Arena is so hot, but it is great to have the band and especially MICK in a great mood. Worried About You! Great show!
Long travel, but it was all worth it. Rock In Rio was such a friendly and relaxed festival, even if I had to stay up many hours past midnight. And I got my time in Alfama, at my favorite bar/restaurant, Lisbon my favorite city!
Another great city, walking distance to the venue, and for a change I could do some mountain running up to the nearby hill. That would be the only uphill running for weeks. The show? Just read the reports. Great!
Long travel with a stopover in Istanbul. Once there, my internet connection is useless, I have to change hotels next morning. No Internet is no hotel. I manage to walk over to Old Jaffa, that is all I get time for as a tourist, then it is work and show updates as usual. Very busy on show day, taxi to the site. Warm. In fact hot. They say +44 C or so. Large crowd and so friendy, I get to the front and enjoy the show as usual. Then back with another taxi, by midnight it is still +34 degrees C.
I fly out of Tel Aviv the day after the show as usual via Istanbul, arrival in Cologne Germany, then train via Aachen to Heerlen. Nice little place. Next day I get to do some running, in fact I do run a couple of times to Landgraaf to find the venue. Friends arriving, and then PINKPOP. The place is packed but the festival and the Stones - both great!
I have been home for a day and I even managed to do our local 40 km MTB cross-country bicycle race on Monday. With no biking practice in weeks it was torture but I finished with style. Then flying down to Berlin on show day. Scary, not my cup of tea, but the only way to get that bike race done. Berlin is so hot, and Waldbühne is so great, one of the best shows so far, and also great to meet so many friends. Then back home next day...
Finally, after five trips to Paris for rehearsals over the past two years or so, a real big open show for everybody. Great to see my friends from the Bondy rehearsals in the pit and in the venue. And I love the area I stay in Gare d'Est, close but not too close. Next day... Home...
Austrian Air bringing me safely to Vienna the day before the show. A direct flight and I notice the new trend on this tour. Many fans travel. There are at least 10 fans on this flight for one reason. Stones. May be more... The show? Great of course!
Flying in the day before the show. Old city. Altbier. Football all over the city. Great show, and finally my wife is arriving so that I can have some company and a bit of vacation for the next week.
I will stay four days in Rome. The eternal city. Going to all the tourist traps. Internet does not work that well so I am sitting on a street cafe updatig IORR and doing my most important work. But I will not replace my favorite hotel in Rome... Piazza Navona, Campo de Fiori, the Spanish Steps, but most of all Pizza Funghi, Italian food and drinks. And then the Stones at the Circo Maximus. Great venue. Great crowd. Great city.
We are stuck in the Vueling plane out of Rome for nearly three hours due to the strike among air control service in France. Finally we arrive in Madrid one hour past midnight. The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is so massive, large. I live two blocks away and walk there in 5 minutes. Perfect. Then the show. The best of the tour, such a crowd!
Staying in Brussels this time, because the hotels in Leuven was not available. So stupid. I spent so much time getting to and from the feestival site, but it was all worth it. Once the Stones are on stage you forget about the hazzle, and the day after you are happy about another great performance. But next time - no more Brussels/Werchter travel!
Flying in on show day with a plan B in case of trouble. I can drive to Stockholm from Oslo if needed, in less than 8 hours. Almost on home ground, it is great to be in Sweden with such a friendly crowd. And the Stones? Great show.
Arriving from Stockholm, this is the final travel and the final show in Europe. I end up in row one dead center at the show, such a young crowd, not really like Glastonbury, but still a great festival memory this show. Just love it! As usual I am up until 4am updating pictures and reports, and with just a few hours sleep I know it will be a while until I will see the Stones and friends in the crowd next time.
I have been at home for a few days now. First over-eating on strawberries, as the season is just a week or two away from getting finsished. I can do 1.5 kg on a day i.e. 3 boxes but my stomack is freaking out then. I never learn. Then just doing nothing at times. Then ramping up the weekly training rate from one hour per week into twelve hours as fast as possible. The first big mountain race Kvasshovden Opp is on July 19 and the first major bicycle race Grenserittet is on August 2 so I have to boost up my body a lot after 8 weeks of almost no running and no biking. But it looks promising.
I booked my Oslo - Adelaide - Auckland - Oslo ticket on May 5. So I am mentally prepared to return to the nine shows in Oct/Nov. After that I hope I can return to normal life, also before that travel. In the old days the tours lasted for months, often from May to September, or from August to December, now it is possible to do all of one tour leg in a month or so.
Thanks to everyone I met, talked to or did not get time to meet. So many fans and friends sent reports, pictures, comments, info, advices. Without the fans and friends a tour would be much harder! Now I will go into zombieland for a while, I need a rest, as travel, work, show, travel, work, show, repeat ... is great fun but still exhausting. Thanks!