Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

A Day at the Zoo (park, Herzberg, Germany) – Part 1 –

Back from my travels once again, folks, and a few photos to share, by way of this 2 part article. If you want to see the rest, I’ll be publishing them in a tandem article in The Musiquarium either today or tomorrow. But I start of course, with my cup of coffee, which i desperately needed after the two and a half hour drive to Alicante, to catch my plane to England. yes, that’s right, England. The German promoter saw fit to send me via “the old country”, thereby causing me to spend a night in the Days Inn, a hotel about four miles from the airport. It took some time to get a bus that went somewhere near it, mainly because it seems that all the English bus drivers are now Eastern European, and unlike our very own Danu, have no command of the English language whatsoever! In fact not one person with whom I dealt with that evening at the airport, the bus station , or the hotel, was English. I was a stranger in a strange land.

The following day, confident that I could get a ride into the airport for the Germany flight on the long stay carpark courtesy bus, and looking forward to a good mile or so walk to the longstay, i declined an offer from the other guys to be picked up from the hotel. Big mistake. I walked to the carpark, nice, sunny morning, lovely. As I entered, looking for the courtesy bus stop, I was pounced upon by a man in a security van. I won’t say he was big, but the car park company was called Pink elephant parking, and I’m pretty damn sure they named it after him. He addressed me in an officious manner.

“What are you doing here , sir?” “I’m getting the bus to the terminal.”                                 “where’s your car?”                                                                  “It’s in Spain.”                                                                            “I’ll have to call my supervisor”

(remember , this is a FREE bus that goes backwards and forwards to the airport, epmpty 90% of the time)

I could hear the equally officious guy on the other end of the walkie-talkie…..no car??? he shouldn’t even be in the carpark!!!

The guy wouldn’t let me get in an empty, free bus. He was quite happy to watch me walk three miles to the terminal. Before I left him to the first of no doubt many on the job snacks, I informed him that people like him, who’d had the milk of human kindness siphoned out of them were the reason I no longer lived in this sad excuse for a country. So, in the public interest, let me state clearly, and without prejudice:

DON’T USE PINK ELEPHANT PARKING, THEY ARE WITHOUT COMPASSION AND FULL OF JOBSWORTHS!!!

Some time later, having walked roads no human had set foot on for years, as evidenced by the tameness of the rabbits along the way, I arrived, dehydrated and exhausted, in the terminal, and the day proper began. The flight was an easy 1 hour and 20 minutes, landing in Altenburg, somewhere near Leipzig. Altenburg airport is hilarious, it opens for the just the few hours it takes for the Ryanair flight to arrive, unload, load up again, and leave. It’s the only flight of the day, and when its gone, it takes on the air of a ghost town. For those few happy hours though, the delighted residents of the obviously short on entertainment town of Altenburg, all come out to gormlessly wave at the plane and have a beer in the admittedly charming alfresco cafe by the side of the runway.

We were met by two people from the organisers of the concert, holding a sign with the name of the band on, so we wouldn’t forget who we were.

A two and a half hour drive through the East German countryside soon sapped the strength we’d saved on the brisk flight, as we crossed the River Elbe and passed through the town of Torgau.

The afternoon sun still had something to offer as we entered The Zoo park, which had a full blown funfair and market going on. Our driver skillfully nudged merrymakers and bargain hunters aside as he single-mindedly drove us to the backstage area, which was a conglomeration of tents, pagolas, and metal containers. We gathered our guitars along with our wits as we prepared for the soundcheck…..

Preparing to part the crowds in the Zoo Park

Backstage area; Tents and containers….

Tomorrow, soundchecking, room allocations, and dinner!

Kev Moore

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May 5, 2008 - Posted by | Art, coffee, Entertainment, Festivals of the World, humor, life, Music, nature, photography, random, travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. I don’t know Kev. I think I better take a nap before I follow you on another trip to a gig! I thought things were a bit more civil in “your” country.

    Comment by Susan | May 6, 2008

  2. 🙂 perhaps I need to make it more attractive, Susan! …and i know i should take a nap before a trip to a gig!!

    Comment by kevmoore | May 6, 2008

  3. I’m confused… which country is it, then? UK? Spain?

    Comment by iondanu | May 6, 2008

  4. Sorry, Kev! As a bizarrobaroque, I’ve started to read your funny post backwards and missed the beginning… Hope those drivers weren’t Romanians (usually my contrymen at least TRY to communicate, even though they don’t know the language… must have been Polish or other more severe East European….)

    Comment by iondanu | May 6, 2008

  5. I think they were Polish, Danu! I love your expression “more severe east european’!! 🙂

    Comment by kevmoore | May 7, 2008

  6. Kevin,

    Reading your post a second time, I think I know what happened here.

    Carparks themselves are NOT free! The people who park their cars in them PAY for leaving their car there. So the bus from the carpark is a service provided by the CARPARK owner (not the AIRPORT) for his OWN, PAYING clients. That is probably the reason the bus driver wouldn’t let you on.

    It sounds like an awful experience! And I could see how this could have happened.

    Best regards,
    Madame Monet

    Comment by Madame Monet | May 7, 2008

  7. Of course, MM, I know how the system works, vis a vis the car park company running the bus. have no doubt, however, that they charge exorbitant rates for parking on their particular patch of shoddy tarmac. My gripe is this: people are allowed to get away with such awful, socially acceptable crimes these days. the authorities just seem to turn a blind eye. but when it comes to trivialities like this, and the hope that someone might just be simply kind enough to see that I’ve walked a very long way, and they have an empty courtesy bus – well…is it too much to ask for a lift that puts them out NOT ONE IOTA? apparently, and sadly, it is too much to ask. if we all adopt this blinkered “it’s more than my job’s worth” rigidity, then world will be a sadder, and poorer place.

    Comment by kevmoore | May 7, 2008

  8. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar | September 10, 2009


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