Blog

Ending up in a Portuguese hospital...

In a Portuguese hospital Over 3000 km in two weeks were behind us, sitting in the caravan in same position and nearly no breaks to relax. In consequence, Ivan had so much back pains that he couldn't move anymore!! We had to find a hospital and headed to the next city, which was Braga! It was luck in bad luck finding out that in Braga was the best hospital in whole Portugal! Great building, the floor was clean, the doctors handsome, well dressed and friendly, but the treatment wasn't so exceptional... After three hours of waiting with a crowd of patients of all ages, Ivan hobbled to the doctor's room. The elderly doctor only spoke Portuguese, so the communication was a bit limited and Ivan ob

The day that destroyed us...

It still takes courage and strength to write about what happened on our worst day of the whole trip when we something incredible happened to us in the very center of Lisbon! A normal day? It started like a normal day. Since three days, we had parked our caravan on a parking with video surveillance in Lisbon center. We payed for the parking and it was worth it because with the cameras, our home, the precious equipment for filming and especially the instruments were safe! This wednesday started too good! We had rehearsal in Cascais and worked with the composer Eurico Carrapatoso which was highly inspiring! Afterwards, we played in a school for underpriviledged children that are supported to le

Playing for children in Lisbon!

I would like to write about a remarquable project that has impressed and inspired us and that is worth to spread the word about! Future through music... Similar than the famous Venezuela children orchestra, this project initiated by the Portugal government makes it possible for under privileged children to learn an instrument and play in an orchestra from the first lesson on! These children have a difficult background, some of them don't have parents, some of them are hidden from their (sometimes criminal) parents and raised in children's homes and wouldn't normally have fair conditions in education compared to children of the same age. But music makes it possible for them to have a better l

IMAGINE - Recording in Portugal

For our Portuguese part of Imagine, we didn't have a concrete plan, just the vage idea to integrate fado music as the traditional music of the country. And sometimes it is the best not to have plans, then it will come to you. Maybe that's why Fado means "fate" in English, it just happens what should happen... We asked our quartet partner Marija about suggestions and as she has great ideas, great contacts and studies doctorate together with people from various fields, she immediately said: "you have to meet Mucio!". And we met Mucio. In Alfama, the historical district and the birthplace of fado, in a bar named Alfama Muralha, he was waiting for us. A man of Brasilian origin with wild curly

European String Quartet

It is part of our project to connect with other musicians from each country and we were lucky to have great experiences in Lisbon playing two string quartet concerts! With Marija and Tamila, two fantastic violinst, teaching both of them students in conservatories in Lisbon and Cascais, we built the first quartet, Ivan switching to the viola. For the second concert, Jean, portuguese- armenian musician took over the viola part and Ivan played the first violin. We rehearsed in the Serbian embassy near Torre de Belém and near the famous nata place "pastéis de Belém", a very inspiring place to play... On the program were pieces from different European countries, like always in our concerts. Nex

Lisbon - Dream or Nightmare...

LISBOA!! A dream comes true (?) Did you ever have the experience that something that you were too much looking forward turned out to be a deception? In our case, it was Lisbon... For months, I was looking forward to visit this amazing city, to finally live the dream and get to know the fairy tale stories that so many people told me about this place... It wasn't the fault neither of the people neither of Lisbon itself, but we had just too much bad luck in these 10 days than we can support... But let's start with the positive things that we lived in these ten days that we will remember and that will in a certain time cover the bad things: we met wonderful people in Lisbon, we played quartet

Porto

With our clean and shiny caravan that we had just washed, we continued our road heading to Porto where Ivan's sister and a friend would join us to travel with us to Lisbon. It was a great and relaxed driving that I enjoyed very much because the roads were in great condition and nearly empty! By the way, in these cases, it is my turn to take over the driving, I would say that I'm the expert in going straight on the right lane in a constant speed of 100km/h. Each of us has its qualities and Ivan's qualities are in some other fields of the caravan- driving- science...: serpentine roads, tiny alleys in city center, parking between two cars and turning around the whole caravan in a dead end. I th

Country of olive trees

After a two- days- drive beginning in Toulouse and crossing whole Spain, we finally arrived in Portugal, one of my favorite countries although I had never been there... I just felt something fascinating about this country at the very border of Europe and what I read and saw on pictures until now gave me the impression that life and people in Portugal are special and I was curious to discover this feeling in real... About olive trees and natas... After we crossed the boarder, the streets were empty and we didn't meet any car for about one hour. The landscape was beautiful, olive trees until the horizon growing in a brown and hilly landscape. But no cars and it felt like olive trees are the on

First destination TOULOUSE!

And finally THE day had came and it was time to start our adventure! Mixed feelings full of joy, suspense, adrenaline and a little fear overwhelmed us when we headed towards the border of our home town Kaiserslautern. Eight months of unknown surprises, good ones, maybe bad ones, were ahead of us, like a huge number of Christmas packages that will be unpacked one after another... We already have some experience to live in caravan and traveled three months last summer to start our project in Northern Europe. We aren't beginners any more and learned lots of things about life in caravan. But eight months is something else, 50.000 km ahead of us and around 20 countries to visit is still hard to i

Preparations for the big trip after the winter break!

After our winter break of four months, THE day had come and we were ready to start our project "Music Connects Europe" again! The last weeks were full of preparations in every imaginable field, writing arrangements, recording the music for our videos for Spain, Portugal and Italy, playing concerts and renovating our caravan! These two different fields of "handwork" were interesting to combine. We parked three entire days in front of the DIY store, visited it about 25 times, (everyone knew us by name at the end) to buy all equipment to create new floor, new white walls, a high-tech wooden table to make our new home perfect! Cutting, glueing, measuring with our poor musician hands and even cut

BikesBikesBikes

In my whole life, I didn't see so many bikes in one day than in Copenhagen City Center! Bikers are the leading the traffic and cars have to go with the biker's flow... The dimension of bike and car roads are somehow exchanged, the biker is the king! In the city, you can find an incredible density of bike shops, bike cafes, bike hotels, bike fashion stores and rental bikes for tourists. On the street, you can see a great variety of every possible bike version you can imagine: very colorful, shiny exemplars with creative accessories like bells in form of animals, wooden baskets decorated with huge plastic flowers and even big and very professional rear mirrors to observe the traffic in every d

On the street in Copenhagen...

To make up the money that we didn't earn on the concert and that we lost for crossing the expensive bridge, we had to find it somewhere else... As we had made great experience playing spontaneously on the street in Stockholm after our video shooting, we decided to do the same in Copenhagen! In Stockholm, after a short while, a big crowd standing and listening to us, interested in our playing and project, even people living in the old town's houses looked at us from their windows throwing down money and letters... In Copenhagen, it was very different. Although we played with the same energy and enthusiasm than in a real concert, nobody was interested in us, a few people rushed by, had a short

Toilet concert...

We had a concert in LUNA BAR Copenhagen, what a nice name, you can imagine a very romantic spot chilling and drinking cocktails! Their event manager had invited us for a concert and we were looking forward to play for the first time in beautiful Copenhagen that we had heard being one of the most wonderful capitals in Europe! Looking forward sharing our music and project with a big Danish public, getting to know Danish culture and people! Arriving at LUNA bar, we didn't feel any connection to luna which means "moon", it was a very dark and dirty place in the basement of a building we entered from outside by stairs. The floor was sticky and the "artist room" was next to the toilet which didn't

Thank you SWEDEN!

The moment came to leave Sweden. Happy and sad on the same time, we say good-bye to the first country of our trip! Thanks to offer us an incredible time, thanks for the real nature, the very friendly people we met, without you it wouldn't have be the same! Before our arriving in this country, we didn't know ANYONE - now we made great friends, had awesome experiences, our minds are full of impressions and colors: we will for sure come back and enjoy more of the beauty Sweden has to offer! Also, going on Sweden's very North will be one of our future projects. In our Sweden video you can find a part of these impressions, combined with traditional music, historical places and wild nature, we wil

It's the best plan not to have a plan...

Leaving the car graveyard, we saw among the old timers from the time of second world war: a historical caravan! Before we could make our mind, how this piece from old times could get here, one "historical" couple looked out of the window and smiled at us very friendly. They must have approximately the same birth year than the car, I thought... In fact, they were visitors from the Netherlands touring through Sweden with their charming RV. They invited us to have a look inside their home, it was filled with decoration, plants, plastic animals, handmade curtains, christmas- like- lamp accessories, souvenirs from all over the world, every millimeter showed some surprise, I felt like in a museum

When it’s too perfect, don’t trust it…

The highlight of our “to-do-list” was a very unusual graveyard on the Norwegian border! Stephanie had told us that this would be the number one of all abandoned places and she was right! We were excited and couldn’t wait to see the place! The last hour, we drove on a very bad road in small curves through the dense woods. The road was so small that we hoped that there would be no contraflow so that we need to evade in this muddy terrain with our caravan. But there was no danger. Nobody was driving here… And after the last curve: there it was! Hundreds of American and German old-timers from the 40s, 50s, 60s were spread out in the area, Chevrolets, Cadillacs, VW Beetle, like in movies! Some of

Eagle versus drone…

The drone recordings on Njupeskär waterfall were quite an adventure! Down at the waterfall, Ivan recorded me with the drone without any GPS signal. In “normal” condition, you have connection with GPS which helps piloting and compensating the drone even with strong winds. Near the waterfall, we had the possibly most disadvantageous conditions: situated in a canyon between huge rocks, wind, no GPS and water in the air, which basically means rain - the worst enemy of the drone… Nevertheless, we wanted to accomplish the waterfall mission and after the boat landing in the National Park, this wouldn’t crazier! I didn’t realize much of the challenge, as I was concentrated on playing and not dying

Recording under Sweden’s biggest waterfall!

Njupeskär is the name of the biggest waterfall in whole Sweden and of course we chose this one to be in our video! This was the next destination and we had quite a long and slow drive on tiny “reindeer-roads” to finally arrive in Särna in the late night, where the hike trail to the waterfall starts. There were already lots of cars and caravans waiting for the morning to hike to this famous attraction. As we avoid people being in our nature recordings, there was only one option: getting up at 4 o’clock (same unpleasant procedure). Of course, we were the first early birds, half in trance, we did our morning exercise, a few hours hike and we reached – still in the early morning – THE waterfall

Waiting for the sun…

Ramundberget, a valley in the middle of the Swedish mountains, is a ski resort in the winter and a hiking paradise in spring and early summer! In late summer, it was different… Google Maps said that we were surrounded by mountains, but we didn’t see any! The whole valley was covered by dense fog, you barely could see your own hand! And it stayed like this for three days!! Exactly these three days that we had great plans to film in the Swedish mountains! What could we do?! (this time it was unfortunately not an option to evade in the French mountains…). We waited and waited, praying for good weather or at least for seeing some mountain appearing in front of us! And in the meantime, we passed

…and there he was!!!

Of course, we couldn’t go to the very North of Sweden with the RV, the distances are too far to see whole Sweden in only one month. But after the evening in “Lille Björnen”, we didn’t regret so much anymore, as the “only” thing to film what is new would be bears (too dangerous) and snow and ice (too cold, and we had done already “ice recordings” in ICEBAR Stockholm…). But of course, we wanted to see and film in Swedish mountains! For three reasons! First: I LOVE mountains! Second: This part representing a huge part of Sweden had to be part of our Sweden video! Third: This time I would make it to the Swedish mountains! Why? …the “Kungsleden” is a very famous hiking trail in the Northern Part

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