28 July Barble’s house

Today we had breakfast and Hans made our children very happy with a ukulele each and me with a Mini sopranino!! And I gave the children nose flutes, which came in very handy when we went into Augsburg we couldn’t get lose each other this way! Augsburg is a beautiful town, and just like ‘s-Hertogenbosch it has water running through it the Lech.It flows a lot faster and is much less deep ánd colder!

We wandered around and when we got back to the house Hans rode in front of us on his motorbike through some lovely flat countryside with different kinds of wheats and Grains, lovely. a short drive and we arrived at Barble’s house. I find everybody here is very friendly, they liked our show, we played with our carpet on their carpet! we had a funny improvisation inspired by Hans and his motorbike!
The dog Balou watched ever so calmly, and our children watched a movie upstairs!
Barble plays ukulele herself also and has a very nice collection!!!
Here a picture of the first performance of the uku nose boys: very funny! ofcourse
one can’t play noseflute when laughing!!!and here’s our audience

Thanks for having us, even if your windows are so clean that our little Ea runs into them, we enjoyed staying here!

29th July in Kurbi and Evi’s garden

on our way to Lenggries we stopped somewhere by the side of the road it looked like the set of the sound of music, beautifull and very relaxed! we wanted to go to Muchen but very happy that we didn’t go there!
Munchen will have to wait!
We arrived in the garden of Kurbi and Evi at arround 18.00 the kids saw the river and ran there!
despite a feverish child Evi prepared us a tasty lasagne and of course we had one more of those Bavarian beers!!
We played at 20.30 for 20-30 people, who really enjoyed our show!

after our show we asked the people to prepare us a song which they did it was very nice!

Sepp sang quite a few other songs! we went to sleep very late! and got up very early to drive to Vienna!

Wien 31 July

Well well Viienna has been very very eventfull! 2.7 km before we arrived in the night, Vincent shouted ‘it doesn’t work no more’  The Gearbox  broke!!! help!! but we stayed amazingly calm! the next morning I woke up with the emergency in my head!  (after waking up 10 times!) We called the mondial repair service, and Superman arrived in a big truck with a big smile on his face when he saw our beautiful old beast, It was a piece of cake for him he went under the car and said in ununderstandible German I need a big nail, we went running and he fixed it. We were soooo releaved! I wanted to dance in the street!
All day we visited Vienna in the sun with Gabriël (14)
and we got back to the house and people started arriving at 7, Giordana and Christophe had cooked beautiful food.
We started playing and everything went really well until…. the doorbel rang, we went to open the door, and there were  our boys, a little white around the nose and: Polizei! What???
We had to come out! half way through our show! We were not allowed to sleep in the street!
Austria, such a hospitable country!  but we were unstoppable!
Some pictires: (we didn’t  take any pictures of the police…..)

And some of our audience:
and afterwards Luna presented all of us in turns!

And now to Hungary!

3 August at Julia’s house in Budapest

Budapest, Beautiful but very hot hot hot!  We arrived here and we took a bus into town, and walked up to the citadel from where we had a beautiful view over this magnificent city.
We got back to the house of Julia at 8 and Julia’s grandmother ,also Julia, had cooked some very nice food and cakes, we got ready to play after that for all these ladies (4 sisters, their mother and grandmother, one best friend and only one boyfriend and a friend from Belgium)

I think it was our best performance so far! Julia said afterwards that the Hungarian humor is very similar to ours! And it’s true they laughed a lot! And they really enjoyed all our little physical jokes and it is such a big pleasure to play for such a captive audience!!!
And then the parents and sons had a Jam!! Jyoti

9 August

So where to start ? It’s the 10th of August and we are in Romania in Timisoara but we haven’t the certainty of a place to play in this Romanian city,
please Daniel react! you won’t regret it…And we didn’t have to right passport to play in Serbia so we spent a few days driving! to go round! and we coudn’t play in Belgrade! what a pity! I should have realised that Serbia is not part of Europe you need different passports Id card is not enough!! I thought I had checked……….
Well that’s what they mean by Adventure…
At the Watermill in Orfu was fun though! At 11 in the morning! It was raining but it stopped just in time!
we played under a wallnut tree and there were about 30 people Hungarian and Dutch :

So that was Hungaria and we went thruogh Croatia And now Rumania! Exciting! hopefully it will work!


So we arrived in Timisoara without the certainty where or when we would play because the person I’d contacted through couchsurfing hadn’t reacted and I hadn’t had internetacces for a few days so…. But we went to the Tourist Info and the lovely lady there suggested a few places we might try, and we found an outside restaurant bar where they said we could play the next evening. It wasn’t a livingroom but we were happy enough! Just before that we’d run into Hans and Miep two dutch people we’d met in Orfu Hungary, he was there at a get together of Panorama photography fanatics from all over Europe. It was such a surprise to run into them, He had made some beautiful pictures in Orfu!! (some of the best so far of the show!)

We found a guarded parking place where we stayed the night right in the middle of the centre. In the morning Hans knocked at our door to ask if we could play for his fellow photographers at 13.00. So there we were with two shows in one day!!!

The first one was very nice, and never was a show photographed &filmed so much!

The second one was rather difficult on a stage with microphones…. But it’s all part of the game

 and evening:

and our audience just before we got on stage!

Quite something!  We left Timisoara towards hunedoara at night and parked up on a trucksite, It was like the wildwest !! the road was full of bumps and a man came out of the dark night and asked us to pay! some lei, some more with a ticket… In the morning we saw a man that wrote everything in a big book so we weren’t being conned…

Salasu de sus 12-13 August

We arrived in our next place also a couchsurfing connection, a little village called Salasu de sus near Dewa in Hunedoara at 20.00 because on our way we saw a Roman site with an Amphitheatre and all sorts of remains so we parked! And spend a few hours  The place was called Sarmizegetusa  very very interesting place! (with lovely plums).

So when we finally arrived it was a bit late… Mihai himself wasn’t there he was in the mountains, but some other couchsurfers  Sebastien & Claire from France, assured us it was no problem to stay there and use his house as our own… So we did, we tried to arrange to play our show in the village but our Rumanian is soooo limited we didn’t succeed and when we found out that Rumania was playing against Hungary (football) we knew we didn’t stand a chance!

The next day we took our friends to the road so they could hitchhike to their next stop, and we went back to the house and found some more couchsurfers  this time from Poland, we took them up the mountain as far as we could get, so they could join Mihai in his mountain hut! We walked up hill for a bit and then Senne saw away to get to the river, We spend all day there, soo beautiful, icy cold water! We heard the cows in the hills with their bells!

We got back to the house to find yet another couple of couchsurfers with their baby, Rumanian and Estonian, He said he’d  help us find a place to play But …  The villagers didn’t really get the Idea and also it really was to late… so we walked around in our costumes We ended up playing a miniature show for just Rasdan & Irma by Candle light!!!!:

It was very special just to play for 2 people! While Dries slept on the bench next to us! And the little baby in the room!


Then after Salasu the sus, we drove all the way to Sigisoara, because  so many people told us it was worth the detour, It was, but for the kids it was a long long drive, it rained and our bus leaks on all sides!! So we got WET! We did get there in the end, to the Citadel in which people live. There was a festival of minorities . with traditional dance groups from Austria, Germany and  Gypsies from Rumania, and ending in a group of gypsies playing brass music!! Absolutely fantastic!

The next day Vincent and I got up very very early, to drive to Pitesti over Brasov, a very long trip again but ever so beautiful!!  Round every corner there was a new View, a lot of WOW and Amazing and Incredible, look here and there!!

We played at the house of Ovidius’s  Parents after relaxing a bit, just as we started to get ready it started to rain again!  So we played in the living room just as it was intended. What a brilliant audience! So much laughter, even though my singing was a bit affected by the warmth. Thanks Ovidiu for inviting us!

Christine Ovidius wife liked our show!:


The next day we slept a hole into the day as we say in dutch because we were inside, in a real bed! And we went to a rural museum about all the traditional building styles of all the different counties in Romania! Wonderful!


Then when we left for Bucharest it was of course much later than planned and very hot, so hot that about 15km out of Pitesti, BANG!!!! One of our tires gave up with a very loud bang!  Not too far from a petrol station, so carefully we continued there. We found some men to give us a hand and we changed the tire! Meanwhile I phoned Charlotte to keep her up to date, we ended up arriving at around 9 after a near robbery on the Ring which is called the ring but isn’t really, It is more like a collection of roads more or less around the city!  There was a car on the side and the men inside it started calling ‘problem problem’ pointing to the side we’d just had trouble with! When we stopped a bit further to see they also stopped, and pointed at the rear of the van ‘Problem problem’, Vincent ran out and I thought this isn’t right so I told the children to hide the camera  and to stay inside because I thought they were thugs, We were at the back when Senne saw a pair of brown arms reaching for the GPS and he cried Hey!!!  The guy got a fright and asked for a cigarette!

We continued our trip with our hearts beating very fast, that was a close shave!

And then when we arrived at Charlottes house our audience was waiting for us impatiently, we had something to drink, changed and played!!! It was amazing that we could play at all after so much excitement! 

We had a very nice stay in this safe haven! Koen who lives here too ordered an Angel from heaven, Gabi, who took our tyre and got it fixed and didn’t even want a bottle of wine for a thank you!
Thanks Gabi!!! and Koen!

Varna 21 August

So we are in Bulgary! Wow this again is a beautiful country! but one without any dates! because our date in Burgas diddn’t come through…  We went to the tourist information center and they said try it on the street! which we did, It went really well although we didn’t get a lot of money! we had a great time and our audience enjoyed themselves! They stayed a long way away and all around! It was fun!
The boys played with a toy they received from somebody, a tenis ball with a long tail and Ea had a go on a electrical car for kids ! thats the fun for kids here! she loved it!
Dries didn’t make a picture of the asudience but we had a Ukulele fan!!Vilen
The Black sea is defenitely very beautiful!! In Rumania and in Bulgaria!! and we haven’t yet needed a camping! In Varna we parked in the Port and now we are in Sozopol also at the side of the water, people are very friendly!

Sozopol 23 August

Sozopol,  still at the black sea coast of Bulgaria we went here after a tip of some people we met in Varna, we were supposed to go to Burgas but due to personal reasons the person at whose house we were invited  cancelled, So we went to Sozopol instead! First we went to a geological site 20km from Varna called the Stone Forrest. Geologist don’t agree on it’s origins,either it was coral or it was formed by gasses rising from the bottom of the sea, they do agree it must be 50 million years old! And to us it looked like the moon! :

Then we drove to Sozopol about 130 km drive, after visiting another village at the coast we arrived at around 7 when everything comes alive with people, market etc. Sozopol is a village that has 5000-7000 inhabitants in the wintertime but around 50-60 thousand in the summertime. We drove into the wrong street! Filled with cars and people narrow and uphill! It took us a while to get out again and find a parking space a bit further! We cooked and put the children in bed and then went downtown!

For the first time in ages just the 2 of us!

It was like a a mixture of Carnival, the fair and a Festival!  Food stands everywhere and restaurants with live music  and then beach stuff  Brilliant! We had a beer at one terrace and another one walking around in the old village, where  the houses were made of wood and beautiful.

The next day we went there with the children (after our swim of course) and we got talking to a young lady selling earrings who introduced us to her landlady who invited us to play in her yard at night.

Katia, Ilonka and Zarro Installed a tent and a light, we got ready and when we started there was nobody…. But the gates where wide open and we decided to start anyway!! Many tourists just wandered by taking pictures (funny people these tourists, they take one picture and they think they’ve seen it all!) But people started coming in to sit down too, and it was a good show after all!


Zarro took us for a beer afterwards and invited us to come and play in Sophia on our way back! In his theatre.  So if all goes well we will


Another bit

I’m sorry for all those who were waiting for our news, it’s taking me a lot longer to digest than I thought! and on the way back it was very basic, just drive eat and sleep and some play! but here I go: better late than never!:

Driving on those small roads that are called motorways we didn’t quite believe we would actually reach Turkey but we did! Getting in was another matter, The bus not being on our name and the green card nearly expired (there was a new one in the same folder, but we didn’t know that at the time!)  . we had to buy visa’s ( € 15 a piece!)And none of the machines recognized Vincent’s ID card

I was very Kafka  like, the very popular type and the ‘I shall not laugh’ and the ’ I must ask my boss first’  type were running from desk to desk until finally  they made up their minds to let  us in, gave us  the right stamps and we could continue into Turkey!

The Road in Turkey was beautiful, wide and well made! We slept somewhere at a not quite finished mouse pestered petrol station, and the next day


Istanbul! We arrived in Istanbul over a mega super motorway, straight into a Ants nest with a very particular  set of rules! Like one never indicates where one wants to go neither left nor right, And had it been only one…. Millions or cars, trucks, people, and Taxi’s .Everywhere!   not Indicating beeping their horns! Vincent actually exclaimed thank god we brought a GPS system! We actually found a camping!, really it was a neighborhood  football space where kids and Adults play football from morning till midnight!! Next to that there was a kartingtrack, same hours!! To go absolutely crazy! We could take showers in the changing spaces for the footballers! And he asked full price! We were in great need of a wash with all that blacksea salt in our hair so we stayed there 2 nights  then moved to a guarded parkup near the blue mosque. We did meet some lovely Italians and drank some beer and Rumanian Palinka/schnapps with them! We even wrote a song about the camping!! We will meet again!

We wondered around  a lot and saw the grand bazaar! Lots of colours , and tourists. We ended up near the aya Sophia and the blue mosque where the Ramadan was very visible! Lots of stands that sell food of all sorts, tea trinkets and ice cream which gets served with a show, very funny!

And lots and lots of people that all get together to break the fast. With live music and dervishes.

The atmosphere was very nice and festive, without any aggression like we know here at gatherings of that many.(we reckoned it was mainly because there’s no alcohol and everyone behaves).

And this was every evening of the Ramadan!


We saw a lot and visited the blue mosque/with a man who had been Imam a few years in Austria  ‘s Senne thought him a very friendly man that showed us around! Until he asked us some lira, Senne’s trust in humanity was lost! It took us a lot of energy to convince him that we had known from the start .

 The Aya Sophia was also really worth  our while! Incredible the size and the mix of religions and time. Beautiful !!! the mosaics of Mary Jesus next to the Loge of the Sultan and that kind of introductions

Ea said people really like me here, don’t they?! she got a lot of attention! with her innocent eyes, her blond hair and her straw hat.
more soon! Jyoti

28 august

So It’s  22th September more than two weeks that we are back and three weeks after we played in Taxim in Istanbul in a beautiful restaurant for the monthly get-together of dutch speaking Istanbulites.

And I worry about Istanbul now, with all the flooding, I hope it turns out for the best… It feels weird being safely in Holland.

It was a fun night! The night before I had partied with a bunch of people from the check republic which involved Ukuleles and a lot of Vodka!

And on the 28th itself we had a hospital adventure with Dries! Senne and Dries were racing and running on the rocks next to the water when Dries fell into a hole and cut his foot badly, We tried to get a taxi but to no avail in the end some very friendly young men took us there and he got 5 stiches!
So no Hamam! but a scar for Dries!
In the Evening we got ready in the Bus, put on our costumes and characters,

after which we took a cab to Taxim onthe other side of town with a cab driver who didn’t know his way around! (or pretended to so to have more income) Anyway we had to walk a few streets with carpet and high heels suitcases children, and locals / tourists taking pictures. We must have looked very odd!
We arrived just in time and played for a group of 25 people, the kitchen and the waiters! Thank you Marc for Inviting us!! ( And Dirk who contacted me and forwarded the mail, Kris for writing Charlotte who asked her sister who contacted Dirk, And the whole of our tour was like this!!  So wonderful).

Photo’s by Slawomira Kozieniec
It was a difficult show for us because it wasn’t in a livingroom! With music playing in the beginning and a lot of things going on at the same time, concentrating was hard but a good time was had by all!

Marc and Slawomira took us for a tour on the Asian side the next day which was wonderful!
Thanks again

hebeli-ada the show pics

Here with pictures of Nathalie RITZMANN  She managed to capture the spirit of the evening very well: check her blog in french :http://dubretzelausimit.over-blog.com/article-35529336.html

and ofcourse the Audience, we met some lovely people again!

Thanks Again Sophie and Hakan & everybody that helped us on our way to Istanbul!
This has been such a Magic experience! For all of us! It wasn’t always easy but definitely worth it!!

31 of August Istanbul

The 31 of August on our way back! 

We met a Turkish musician I said music and showed him my uke, Had a little say goodbye to Istanbul Jam we were taken home in quite a few camera’s! www.youtube.com/watch

We got back to the parking place quite late, we put the kids into bed and tried to leave Istanbul, thanks for saving us strangers! (who told us to follow them!)

Drove a bit, got up at 6 and continued, The kids rehearsed in the bus all day! On their show!!  imagine, we rehearsed in the living room they did in the bus!

We stopped for a few hours  to play by the side of a stream

And around 5 we arrived in Sofia:

Zaro who had invited us had promised us a full theatre and it turned out to be a charming Café/shop thing with 10 ! people  after a lot of phoning!! but both us and them had a good time!

We got changed in the bus:



De Kwalletie Band

And the Bee song by the kwalleties on Uke and noseflute! rehearsed in the bus:

Which is impossible to play when laughing!

Zaro thank you so much for your flamboyant personality and for inviting us!
we’ll see about Christmas…


We didn’t do much more than drive drive drive I told you about that.

And now we are back! Been back for three weeks, still haven’t quite landed yet. And at the same time a lot of new plans are bubbling again.

Senne and Dries are back to school and Ea too!

Although Easier not easy!

I’ll write about new plans soon!