Monday August 5th
Ready for busking! ANOTHER BEST BUSKING SPOT OF EUROPE AWARD GOES TO ::: HAMBURG! Armed with new knowledge about this city from our weekend hanging with friends, we head down to the Sternschanze subway stop and give a kick ass show. It doesn’t hurt that the tunnel amplifies every pluck of the guitar and pling of the saw. Good times!
Tuesday August 6th
Here’s another tip for busking Hamburg: Altona has a wee-little downtown with lots of traffic…of course, it’s not exactly legal to play music there, but, you know, you might have a chance before you deal with that whole legality thing…and the people in Altona are super friendly.
Wednesday August 7th
By the end of the day, we’ve got laptop money! We bounce from Sternschanze to Altona to Sternschanze to Altona. We’re selling CDs like diamonds and having a fun time. Plus, we finally figured out a good way to get rid of our backpacks: um, put them in the train station lockers. Yup, shoulda done that a long time ago.
Thursday August 8th
The last few weeks we’ve hit peak. But the end is in sight: do we risk overstaying our visa to keep on in this busker paradise, or do we be good int’l travelers and high tail it back to England to avoid any consequences?
Laptop in hand to help us research, we opt for the later. AND we buy tickets from France to London, because we can’t have the English thinking we’re broke! So our next goal is to get down to Lille, France…
Friday August 9th
….which means a full day of hitchhiking! That’s autostop to you, Euro speakers. From Hamburg all the way down to Brussels in a quick tap of the tambourine. And Brussels: well as one Germany said, it’s like France but dirtier. But, oh heaven that Belgian beer. Brussel-ites know what a good thing they have and don’t hesitate to get us hopped up on 11% Trappist tastiness as we make our music on the crazy party streets.
Saturday August 10th
A bit on busking Brussels: the main area is all permit-only, and since we’ve arrived on a Saturday there’s no hope of getting one and the cops do take notice. So we’re stuck on the loud main drags with (luckily) a mild amount of success. And at night…um, oops, don’t ever leave your baggage in the train station overnight. Apparently they shut down after midnight! We end up snoozing in a park until the tran station opens and we can grab our gear (once again, thank god for Belgian beer!)
Sunday August 11th
Two days before our bus leaves: must get to Lille. Lille is: quiet. The most ghetto French Mcdo’s I’ve ever seen, and a bunch of gypsy competition. What do we think? Other than that, it’s an anything-goes kind of busking city, there don’t seem to be any laws and we don’t have trouble with the local businesses. But it’s also France, which means less tips than Germany. An English guy stops us to orate on the benefits of France vs. England, but he doesn’t tip. A sign of the future?