Monday, 1 February 2010

Exwide, Pisa IT

Pisa is bright and sunny! A shock after the snow of yesterday. Only a few hours through the mountains and it's all changed. A touch of sun and it feels much more like Italy. Straight to the tower first for the obligatory photo. Otherwise the same routine > check in at the hotel > sound check > eat a curry > play > sleep.

The other acts last night were Italian dadaist (punk-folk meets gypsy-rock). All painted clothes and body paint. Not for the purists, but lots of singalong parts and the locals lapped it up.

Pisa is very medieval. Narrow streets and back alleys. Cool in the summer but dark in the winter. I think I'd have a much stronger sense of being in Italy if the weather was warmer. As it is it doesn't have that zing in the air. The people are subdued.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tonight I play back near Reggio Emilia where I just came from - back into the snow - then tomorrow I'm back where I am today, near Pisa. Really yoyoing. The last show came in late so it's an add-on. I don't mind too much, because I sleep on the train and I have a eurorail ticket so it doesn't cost anything. If I was driving it would be a different story.

Train travel is definitely the future for me. I wish I'd thought of this before I planned my 16 week /20,000km US roadtrip. I only now checked America's Amtrak and it's pretty well-covered (see map). I couldn't play the smaller towns but that wouldn't matter. It's too late for this year because I have a lot of dates fixed already, but next year I will take more time and do the train.

The coming weeks
I've finalised my travel plans for the ipcoming weeks. I wasn't sure whether more Italian shows might come in but they haven't so I'm off to Madrid on Wednesday. I wanted to take the sleeper train from Milan to Barcelona and then the train down, but even with my eurorail ticket, it's still twice the price for just a bed in a sleeper carriage. (They should really change the tax system to reflect the true cost). Then in two weeks I will fly from Barcelona to Paris rather than the train, as it's 1 hour instead of 10 (min.) and only €60 with easyjet. Ridiculous! So I have almost two weeks in Spain staying with friends, and only two shows. It will be nice to settle down a bit. It's been a hectic week buzzing around Italy.

On the whole, the language barrier was too much for the Italian audiences. It was fine in Austria and Switzerland. But will probably be worse in France and Spain.

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