We hate getting up at 6.30am, but we don’t want a repeat of day one (see Strawberry Moon blog post) so we just do it. Tali and I have managed to get a little shut eye unlike Wolf whose only roommate in his dorm was an old man who sat on his bed and rocked back and forth repeating the words, ‘Oh Madonna’, to himself throughout the night. Wolf arrives bleary eyed, we drink the sludge posing as coffee that comes out of the lone machine in the grubby foyer, and get Dusty on the road.
It feels strange not to be describing any kind of car or traffic drama in today’s entry, but the truth of the matter is, the drive is completely stress free and really enjoyable. Something of which I was previously unaware is that trucks aren’t allowed to drive on European highways on Sundays. For this very reason, we hit no traffic. Additionally the weather has softened, so the searing heat is no longer our constant companion and the drive is comfortable and of course picturesque.
Vagney is a very small village in eastern France, close to the borders of Germany and Switzerland. We pass back through Luzern on the way there. No car dramas, at all. We’re making excellent time. We get off the highway and wind through the mountain roads again. For a guy from the flat lands who’s never really driven on mountain roads, Wolf is impressing us with his skills in taking the corners. He’s enjoying himself now and the drive through the very green hills is peaceful and calming.
We eventually make it to Vagney, a small village nestled in the hills, kilometres from any main road. We find the venue easily and are delighted to find it packed full of people. For a second we think they are there for us, that these foreign women and their sultry voices have lured the town inhabitants out to the local bar to be wooed by the music of the antipodes. We bask in this fantasy until such time as we realise that France is playing Ireland in the European Football Championships. The game will start in a few minutes and we will play after it’s over.
The French are welcoming and friendly, they also feed us well and are very polite. The owner of the bar, Rudi, is a pretty eccentric guy. He’s even got a picture of himself with a smoking gun as the logo of the bar. It seems everyone in town knows him, he walks around waving and smiling and shaking hands with everyone. He shows us to our accommodation, a smoky room above the bar with beds and mattresses strewn around. It’s very rock n roll.
There is a badass bakery next door and we stuff our faces with blueberry pie before enjoying the barbecue later on. The gig is awesome, thankfully the French win the football against Ireland so everyone is in a good mood and they really enjoy our sets.
For the first time on the tour, Wolf jumps up spontaneously on the stage and plays harmonica during ‘Sunday in July’. It’s super fun and awesome and a great way to end the tour. I think how cool it is to have our roadie finally up on the stage with us!
After the show we share beers with the French. Both Tali and Wolf are pretty good at French! I am super impressed with their language skills.
Earlier in the evening I had walked up to the bar, only to discover I wasn’t able to order a glass of wine, or even say the word wine, in French. I just couldn’t do it. I walked up to the bar thinking I could do it, and then I was all like… ummm… je voudrais… ah… Vino? Ahhh… Wein? … shit what is wine…. It’s not vino? Ummm…
The whole thing was kinda embarrassing, and of course the French bartender had pretended not to understand what ‘vino’ or ‘wine’ meant. So although by this stage a few hours later I have learned to pronounce ‘vin’, my French still sucks.
Luckily, Matthieu, the promoter who booked us, not only speaks great English but is also learning German. He and Wolf enjoy a sort of language tandem for a few minutes, helping each other learn. They soon abandon this in favour of getting drunk, the tour is over now and it’s time to celebrate! Matthieu is a super cool and friendly guy and we hang out for the rest of the night and talk shit and take selfies. Eventually it’s time to hit the hay, we say our goodbyes and make our way upstairs to bed.
In the morning we get one last chance to hit the bakery, we get some fresh croissants and black coffee, and start Dusty back along the mountain roads toward the highway.
I guess it’s pretty much time to wrap it up then, there isn’t much more to tell. We make it safely back to Berlin, exhausted but happy about our travels. We’ve traversed thousands of kilometres and have eventually made it back to where we started. Time for a nice long sleep 🙂