Kickin' it in Germany !!!

Hello friends, Happy New Year !!! I hope that your 2017 is filled with many blessings, accomplished dreams, good health, happiness, and many things to look forward to !!!

On Jan. 8, John Cunningham [ my husband and awesome bass player ] and I will start our journey to Germany. We look so forward to a 21 date tour schedule with shows throughout Germany as well, a date or 2 in Belgium & The Netherlands. If you are interested in seeing where we go, who we meet, and hearing about our travels I will be writing in The BARSI BLOG every Monday, once a week, starting Jan. 16.
Thanks for your interest and checking out our German tour story.

Be Blessed and talk to you in a couple of weeks !!!
Eli

For Starters this is where we will be performing ..... Jan. 13 - UnterRock - BERLIN, GERMANY
Jan. 15 -BuSHuchting, - BREMEN, GERMANY
Jan. 16 - Falstaff - BREMEN, GERMANY
Jan. 17 - Radio Wesser TV show - DELMENHORST, GERMANY
Jan. 17 - Shakespear's Theatre - WEYHE, GERMANY
Jan. 19 - Spatz & Wahl - UNNA, GERMANY
Jan. 20 - Zennegat 13 - MECHELEN, BELGIUM
Jan. 21 - Cafe Merleyn - DOETIMCHEN, NETHERLANDS
Jan. 21 - Wims Muziekkelder - DOETICHEM, NETHERLANDS
Jan. 23 - 25 Music - HANNOVER, GERMANY
Jan. 23 - KulturPalast Linden - HANNOVER, GERMANY
Jan. 24 - Immanuel Gemeinde - BREMEN, GERMANY
Jan. 26 - Tillmann Hahn's Gasthaus - KUHLUNGSBORN, GERMANY
Jan. 27 - Grammatikoff - DUISBURG, GERMANY
Jan. 29 - Katakomben - ACHIM, GERMANY
Jan. 30 - Litfab Oldenburg - OLDENBURG, GERMANY
Jan.30 - Oldenburg Eins - OLDENBURG, GERMANY
Feb.2 - Dohm-Eck - BASSSN [ OYTEN ], GERMANY
Feb.3 - Franky's - ZEVEN, GERMANY
Feb.4 - Jnaja's - CUXHAVEN, GERMANY
Feb.5 - Club Moments - BREMEN, GERMANY

Greetings from Bremen - WEEK 1

Hallo friends, Welcome to my first blog of our German tour. All is well and it's a warm sunny -1 in Bremen today !!    We [ John and I ] have been in Germany for 6 days with 23 more to go, 2 shows performed so far with 21 left.

Our arrival to Germany was a little rough as our first stop was Frankfurt in the middle of a snowstorm. We were to fly out to our first destination of Bremen about an hr after landing..... however due to the storm there many cancelled flights and delays. We found ourselves wandering around the airport from 10:45 am to 9:40 pm when we were finally able to fly out. A little bit stressful as we had a rental car waiting on us at the other end, as well as our greeters..... no sleep for over 30 hrs didn't help the stress levels.... However we soon caught up and got over the jet lag and could start enjoying our time here. T

The first show was in Berlin, Club UnterRock, in a kitschy arts district.....lots of fun and met some great people. Our other show was in Bremen Germany, the city that we are primarily based out of for most of the tour. A completely different kind of venue from the first show, a community center, in the heart of a residential area that reminded us very much of a town hall back in Saskatchewan. We loved this venue and had another chance to meet some great folks, and also share the stage with our flat roommate from Ireland, Richie Ross. Our food experience so far has been top shelf.

The restaurants are so diverse that we've enjoyed many different cultures thus far and have yet to eat a real ' German ' meal. Lots of time for this, and we look forward to reporting back on that. We also love the grocery stores, good prices, very fresh & tasty produce, and a large selection of any item.... Highlights, for one, are the oranges, which are very robust, strong and flavorful.... we really haven't had an orange like these ones. Also a person can get a really good cup of coffee anywhere. We love our coffee, so we have not been disappointed. The list goes on for great selection with flavour and choices in cheese, wine, yogurts, incredible breads and desserts. Our sightseeing will be limited this trip as it is mainly a work tour, however we aim to hit a few popular spots in each city that we perform in.

So far we visited the Berlin Wall, saw remnants of, and a small reconstructed area. This of course was interesting and moving. We also visited Charlottenburg Palace, the largest palace in Berlin ,constructed in the late 17th century. This palace was extraordinary, the summer home to King Friedrich the l. ll & lll. The market square in downtown Bremen is also a neat place, but yet to revisit as we only saw a bit of it late one night.

We are loving our little car an Opel Adam which is made by GM. It's so tiny, it's been a challenge to pack the sound system, guitars, suitcases and people..... We're making it work, great on gas. Starting today we have 6 shows this week, 3 in Germany, 1 in Belgium and 2 in The Netherlands..... So we will have lots to talk about in the next BARSI BLOG, 01/23/17.

I have some high expectations of seeing a large fairy-tale type castle, Dutch windmills, a museum or 2 as well as some art galleries this week.....

Have a great week [ Hab eine grossartige Woche ] and see you back here next Monday !!!

Enjoy a few pictures and next week we hope to add a bit of video from one of our shows.

Many Blessings,

Eli

The Netherlands & Belgium - WEEK 2

Good morning from Doetinchem Netherlands,

We had great week, good weather, and a busy time with 7 performances in 5 places including Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Our venues consisted of 2 Shakespearean Theatres in Bremen & Weyhe Germany, an Irish club in Unna Germany, a very cool historic former Viking residence along the ancient canals in Mechelen Belgium, Wims Musiekkelder [ record store ] in the town centre of Doetinchem Netherlands, and The Merelyn, also in the centre of Doetinchem. Our accommodations were at our flat in Bremen but also a few bed & breakfasts over the weekend and a neat hotel in Antwerpen Belgium. We unfortunately had a pretty tight schedule for the weekend and didn’t get a chance to do any shopping in The Netherlands & Belgium, but we did get some good pics. Wooden shoes are on the top of the list next trip.

We find that everyone speaks enough English that we can sort of carry on a conversation or at least communicate what we want to order at restaurants :)……. we learned a tiny bit of German but I’m sure we sound similar to somewhere between the Swedish Chef on the Muppet Show and when Joey [ on ‘ Friends ‘ ] was trying to learn French. :):) Just when we had a few words perfected in Germany we had to learn some Dutch words to great our audiences in Belgium ….. Again everyone was very patient with us and made us feel welcome in spite of the language barrier.

We are enjoying our visits with our flat mate Richie Ros from Ireland…. he’s a great singer / songwriter / musician, and a nice fellow on and off the stage. We both had the opportunity to be on German television - AM WESSER TV - Delmenhorst last Tuesday…. with individual performances and then interviews to follow. The gal that interviewed us was struggling with her English, so I’m not certain if some of my answers matched her questions ….. at one point I think she asked me something about Trump, I just said, ‘ nein ‘…..

I was very excited to see my first castle this week….. Our one day off was on Wednesday so we took a 2 hr drive to Schwerin to visit a beautiful castle on it’s own little island as well enjoyed the quaint town of Schwerin. Some of our people that we are working with and new acquaintances thought it was unusual to drive so far …… we on the other hand couldn’t believe how close we were to this castle and thought it was well worth the ‘ long ‘ drive…. Over the weekend we saw two more castles.:) :) A Knights Castle in Antwerpen Belgium & a small private castle complete with a moat [ Kasteel Slangenburger ] near Doetinchem Netherlands.

Seeing the windmills throughout The Netherlands was also a thrill for me….. most of them were out in the country in old farm yards but the biggest one we saw was in the town square near our show locations in Doetinchem. While perusing the Netherlands country side we really loved all of the farms with dairy cattle, many work horses, and tons of miniature ponies….. as well huge sheep herds and occasional lamas / alpaca’s. This was a great escape from where we are in Germany, although lovely, it’s highly populated and very urban.

The food continues to be at an all time high….. we are still trying new things and revisiting our favorite items…. We are again amazed how flavorful and fresh everything is and we’re taking advantage of the great supermarkets and some nice deals. The amazing bakeries that are ‘ everywhere ‘ are also constantly calling us over, so we frequent them a lot too.

This week will find us in the cities of Bremen, Hanover, Walsrode, Achim and Diusburg Germany and a show in a venue on the shores of the Baltic Sea. We will also be performing on Hanover radio and a private concert for Chef Tillmann Hahn as he serves a special dish of French Canadian Tortierre at his Gausthaus in Kuhlungsborn. It will also be a highlight to perform at 2 churches this week both in the Bremen area. We hope you enjoy the pictures !!! Take care until the next BARSI BLOG ~ 01.30.2017

Many Blessings,

Eli

See The Baltic Sea - WEEK 3

WOW !!! We can't believe how quickly this last week zoomed by..... I thought I just posted last weeks blog.....

It has been an amazing week with many events, gigs, great food, beverages, scenery, and travels. Our performances took us to Hanover [ birth place of our neighbor in Moosomin SK / Sylvia :) ], Bremen, Walsrode, Kulungsborn [ The Balitc Sea ] Duisburg and Achim Germany.

We have finally enjoyed some great traditional German food this week, including Schnitzel, Lamb Sausage, Lamb smoked ham, incredible potato salad, Red pepper soup, several varieties of fish, superb cheeses of all kinds and of course John's favorites - decadent desserts & bakery items [ too numerous to name them all ] AND local beers reislings, and more great kaffee to wash it all down...... Wish we could bring back a suitcase full of these great treats .....

As each week goes by we are adding more and more friends and fans to our contacts. What a blessing for us to meet some really great folks that have made us feel so welcome and have helped us adjust and settle in at all of our show venues. A few highlights this week start off with our trip to the Baltic Sea, so vast and blue even on a cold winter day. We traveled North East to Kulungsborn Germany on the Baltic shoreline to perform and renowned Chef, Tillman Hahns Gasthaus. WHAT A TREAT !!!! Not only did we perform in his beautiful seaside restaurant, we were also treated to a phenomenal meal cooked by Mr. Hahns himself. In addition, he autographed his first award winning cookbook for us and also made us a nice breakfast which we shared with his beautiful wife Pairat and family. We learned a lot from this visit, not only about German cuisine but the history and landmarks inside that former East German block. Tillmann's English was perfect !!! Check out TILLMAN HAHNS GASTHAUS

Another highlight was a surprise invitation to perform at Ev. St. Matthaus Church in Bremen on Sunday. We performed a few songs at each service and couldn't believe the amount of people that attended both of these services.... The first service was traditional and the 2nd was very modern and the most contemporary that we've ever seen. We loved being there and again, met so many wonderful people.....

On another note we performed at a different kind of church earlier in the week in our concert series and were surprised that this church served beer throughout the show..... :) :) German and local beer that is..... Speaking of churches, while in Duisburg we visited the extraordinary Evangelsche Salvatorkirche Church. Amazing structure and history to this building. This church goes back to starting as a wooden chapel of the royal court of Duisburg .... 9th century ...... throughout the many years pieces were added and the building of the church was completed in early 15th century. We sat in the pews for a while and took in the grandeur, silence and peace. I had the opportunity to light a candle in memory of my German relatives before we left. [ My Mom's side - Georgina Dorothy Diebold ]

As we make our way down the road we are still astounded by the speed on the German Autobahn....... YIKES !!!! There is NO speed limit and many drivers take full advantage of that. NO slight drifting into the left lane as you might [ I might ] on the trans Canada, as the consequences would be severe. Cars zoom by at what we think might be up to 200 KM / hr. or faster.... We merely put along at 120..... and are happy with that :)

Well we have 9 more days before we touch Canadian soil. Looking forward to getting back, however 6 more shows to go, and a couple of days off " in a row " to tour around. John wants to visit Hamburg especially to see some of the performance venues of the Beatles [ Reeperbahn ]. Myself, maybe another castle, I am castle crazy.... love them all. !!!!

Enjoy the pictures below and thanks for taking interest in the BARSI BLOG.

One more post to wrap up this tour on 02.06.17

Many Blessings,

Eli

It's a Wrap - WEEK 4

IT'S A WRAP - Final Blog for the European Tour 

Well we couldn't be more pleased & exhausted. This tour has been such a wonderful experience !!!!   We are finishing our packing, errands and meetings before we leave for Saskatchewan tomorrow morning.  Anxious to get back home, but at the same time we will miss this part of the world and the new daily rhythm we had while here.

We had a great last week in Germany and tried to fit in as much tourist time as possible in between our last performances.
The past few days have found us in Achim, Oldenburg, Hamburg, Bassen Oyten, Zeven, Cuxhaven, and back in Bremen for a finale concert with Richie Ros.

We had a couple of days off so one of them was sent in Hamburg, just north of Bremen about 54 miles.  A few points of interest there were the Beatles Platz, an area on the reeperbahn dedicated to the fame of the Beatles and some of their early success.  We also visited the Hamburg Harbor and docks including a night harbor tour which was awesome.  I found out afterwards from my cousin Ed, that the Hamburg port is where my Hungarian ancestors departed Europe for Canada in 1896. So great to think that we stood [ possibly ] on the same dock as they did ......

While in Cuxhaven we had a chance to visit the North Sea at the mouth of the Elbe River.   This was another highlight and we appreciated the beautiful weather and warm winter day while we walked the sea wall.

Cheers to all the venues on the entire tour for wanting to present our brand of Western Roots / Country music.... We loved & appreciated every opportunity !!!   To sum up an overall response to our shows, it was simply, " cheerful " & " lively ".... :) especially when it came to yodeling .....  Everywhere we went we found that very few people had ever heard yodeling before and especially in the context of a Western song..... So interesting when the yodel in North America was primarily introduced by our European immigrants. We are leaving here with many orders for " the CD's with your yodeling on them ", and some new fans wanting to learn how it's done.... :)   At the same time our Bluegrass Gospel and newer Country sounding material found it's fans as well.......Blessed, Thankful & Satisfied with our first European tour.

We have loaded up on the finale photo gallery, so you can see what we were up to this last week. We will add more performance photos later in the week, as we are waiting to upload pics from friends & fans.

You will notice that there are an excess of vintage cars in the photos.   The Bremen Classic Auto Show was our fun wrap up tourist event before our last performance yesterday !!   For those of you that know John, you can imagine how happy he was to be amongst some of the coolest cars on the planet..... I enjoyed it as well, having John as my guide.   He knew a lot about most of the cars that we saw,  including their backstories.... very fun !!!!

Thank you again for the interest in following out travels and taking the time to stop by the BARSI BLOG !!

Stay well, and keep visiting the website and my show calendar.  We could very well be in your part of the world sometime soon.

Many Blessings,

Eli










 
Tillmann Hahns Gasthaus und Feinkost-Bistro - Upcoming show venue for us on Jan. 26 !!!

Tillmann Hahns Gasthaus und Feinkost-Bistro - Upcoming show venue for us on Jan. 26 !!!