Half an hour in Winterthur sunshine before the direct connection I found to Thun. A slow drive across country over a thousand roundabouts getting beeped at by half a dozen impatient Swiss (?) drivers. A stop in Romanshorn for ice creams after a leisurely morning and a crazy good breakfast overlooking the Bodensee.
Where was I with this? Monday: St Gallen. Easy ride from Bern after a day of emails and some walks around the neighbourhood and across the bridge. I sat in the St Gallen cathedral grounds and then dragged the suitcase and guitar up to Sandro’s place for a house concert there that evening. He’s been to about 8 of my gigs all over the place so it seemed only fair that I play in his front room sometime.
We grabbed pizza from Mamma Assunta down the hill and then sat on his roof and watched the city with a beer. It’s times like this that help explain why I enjoy touring down here so much - the time there can be. The closeness of the towns provides ample hours between concerts. I appreciate the not having to rush every day.
But I saw images and film of Notre Dame burning apart just before I sat down to play and then sang songs with ‘I kept my calm as the chapel collapsed but left there as quick as I could’ and so on. It had put me in a low mood but I played all the songs and people seemed to sit and follow me along.
The next morning I walked up to the three lakes of course, took some clean air and then took a brilliant train route across the country.
I would be playing right near St Gallen the next day but for now I had a concert in Luzern at the lovely Phrontistery. This would be my fourth visit there and it’s always brilliant to sit with Neda and talk and laugh some. This evening Claude had asked if he could make some portraits with me so when he arrived we walked around to the Löwendenkmal and took photos there, whilst all around us a hundred Japanese tourists did the same. Seemed fitting.
I enjoyed the concert that night a lot. From where I sat there was a fun echo in the room so it was a pleasure to sing. I did a pretty straight set of songs, here’s the traditional ‘Pretty Peggy-O’ and I think the rest will follow.
So an early walk the next morning around the misty lake and then back east to St Gallen area for a concert at the Treichli restaurant. Martina picked me up in Winterthur in her giant german auto and we drove up the hills to most brilliant countryside. An afternoon of walking, talking, cat rubbing and generally just living the life of leisure before time for work. I was a little anxious about the restaurant concert to be honest as in my experience food and my songs don’t mix so good. I can’t really do the background music whilst people chat and eat but I think that was kind of the idea. In the end we compromised a bit and I played a few songs in-between courses but also got to eat some brilliant food and sleep in a super comfortable, tiny bungalow right next door. Obviously the view was nuts, we had a lovely visit and do go there for some fine food if you get the chance.
What is it now? Thursday and Thun and the train’s disappeared into a tunnel under Zürich airport and an hour and a half to go and that’s what it is.