Music

Tegan and Sara's European Tour Diary: Part IV

Tegan Quin

Frankfurt is the financial centre of Central Europe. Translation: there were really nice restaurants, incredible shopping and tons of very cute German families wearing matching angora sweaters everywhere. I was in heaven. Having never had a day off in Frankfurt before I took to Twitter to gather suggestions from T+S fans as to what we should do. The most popular suggestion by a long shot was "Drink beer". However, I don't drink beer so I skipped ahead to the next most popular suggestion, "Eat frankfurters." Done! Four blocks from our hotel was a beautiful outdoor cafe blasting the World Cup and conveniently enough, serving frankfurters (frankfurters are hot dogs by the way). We wandered the city centre and checked out a few parks near the hotel. The parks were filled with brown bunnies, strangely enough. After chasing down a few bunnies I headed back to the hotel for a rest (that's what she said).

After a cat nap at the hotel (I fell off the nap-wagon) a few of us hit up a traditional German bistro ("the nicest in Frankfurt" we were told later) for some traditional fare. It seems another tradition here in Frankfurt is to have Jagermeister shots after dinner (That's a tradition at my local watering hole in Vancouver too -- FYI).  The show the following night at Mouson was awesome. We were joined by Hesta Prynn, formally of Northern State. She slayed and Frankfurt proved to be the most enthusiastic crowd of the tour. Which is saying a lot since Ireland practically blew our eardrums. Sara is still talking too loudly if you ask me.

Next up was Antwerp, Belgium. I've spent countless days in Brussels on days off and playing over the years but this was our first time hitting up Antwerp. My jet lag is still sort of running its course so I was up early (7:04 am) and witnessed the very attractive people of Antwerp running away in horror as our double-decker bus inched its way into what our crew dubbed "The Enchanted Forest" where our venue for the night was located. I giggled a bit from my perch but felt some shame watching people run, point and veer off the paths as our bus drove by. The one family I saw were also wearing Angora strangely enough. Must be popular this time of year in Europe).

As I climbed the tree-lined paths to the backstage area I walked by members of the band swinging in hammocks, reading in the sun. The venue was Rivierenhof, an amphitheatre in a giant park just outside the city centre of Antwerp. There was an incredible staff (mainly made up of beautiful Belgium women) on hand all day to do our laundry and make our meals.  We desperately tried to marry Sara off to one of them but they were too polite to take our lead. Before hitting the stage we doused ourselves in mosquito spray. I watched in horror as Sara sprayed herself all over her face and hair. She basically poisoned herself (again) and tripped out the rest of the night. I managed to get away with no mosquito bites and slept in a real bed for the second time in three nights.

Today we were up early to check out Antwerp. Like Brussels the city is very multicultural and has some of the best food you'll find in Europe. The main part of the city is a giant square with clock towers and cathedrals like nothing you'd ever see in North America. The train station is breathtaking and a must-see if you ever come here. Our day started at the Antwerp zoo which opened in 1843 (over 20 years before Canada officially became a country). It's nestled right in the city centre and has some of the most beautiful and strange architecture found in a zoo you'll ever see. The animals actually seemed happy and, like Antwerp's citizens, were all wearing angora sweaters. Kidding. After stuffing our faces with incredible Belgium food, (waffles to die for and steak and frittes) I am now beached at the hotel. Pretty perfect few days I must say. Next up London and Glastonbury.

-Tegan

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