I arrived in Europe (Prague to be exact) on the 28th of June, after 26+ hours in transit from Australia.
The jet lag came and went, but the realisation that I had left my family for 7 months didn’t leave.
Prague was beautiful and the weather was great for the first few days I was there. I met some amazing people and shared some great moments with them, which I am sure each of us will hold dear for years to come.
The Jewish Cemetery was amongst my tourist stops and was chilling to read the names on the walls of all the Czech Jewish people that died during the war, each and every name hand written and in perfect script on the walls.
Pearl Jam in Prague was wonderful, the band and the fans were on fire and it made for a great first concert in Europe for myself. I am sure others will agree to that as well. Eddie Vedder gave me the wine bottle, after singing Crazy Mary and I will forever remember that moment.
We missed the train back to the centre of Prague and with a storm impending, it was a race to find enough taxis for everyone, luckily we had native Czech speakers with us. After posing for pictures with the bottle at the after-party bar, a small group of us made our way back to our hostel, where I promptly fell asleep for a meager 3 hours sleep.
We caught the early train to Berlin from Prague, where as much as I tried to watch the unfolding countryside pass, my eyes had other ideas and I slept much of the journey.
In Berlin, I stayed on a boat on the river next to the Berlin wall. There was a family of ducks living right outside my window, though I didn’t get to know them very well. I spent most of my time in Berlin, sitting in a line, in the hot sun with a whole bunch of PJ fans to be able to be as close to the front as possible. Apart from the showering and storing my luggage, my room was not used for what it was purchased for.
Both Berlin shows were the roughest of all the shows that I attended of the Pearl Jam Europe tour. Berlin 1, I was 2nd from the barrier in front of Stone and I used the barrier to brace myself, protecting the person in the front row in front of me. Berlin 2, I was in a similar position in front of Stone, but I was front row on the barrier, regardless of being able to protect myself on the barrier, this concert was by far the scariest. Eddie Vedder seemed upset and concerned the whole concert, with regards to the happenings in the pit. My suggestion is to always have a second barrier, where the numbers of people permitted to the front barrier area are controlled by security. It made for a safer pit area in Prague.
Berlin shows done and lack of sleep meant I didn’t wake up for my alarm the morning I was suppose to fly to Stockholm, luckily I have some amazing friends who caught a taxi to my hotel to pick me up instead. This meant I arrived at the airport with enough time, though without having had a shower. I slept most of the way to Stockholm, before arriving at my hotel to sleep some more.
I decided that I couldn’t handle another night sleeping on concrete so soon after the Berlin affair, so instead I chose to be a tourist and had a pleasant day walking around Stockholm, where I saw Stone Gossard coming out of his hotel.
I went and lined up in the afternoon and still secured a great spot to the left of Mike, in front of the speaker boxes in the second row. I was given Eddie Vedder’s wine bottle for a second time and I was happy with the level of respect everyone in the crowd had for each other’s space. I was able to dance easily and enjoyed the show immensely.
Stockholm to Oslo Magic Bus, was a whirlwind bus ride, filled with many happy PJ fans. I was again extremely tired and was beginning to get sick. The sickness, I am attributing to drinking out of the same wine bottle as Eddie Vedder and which I have aptly named “Crazy Mary Syndrome”. (Eddie let us know he was a little sick in Oslo, so it is legitimate.)
Arrived in Oslo and went promptly to the hotel, where I tried to sleep for about 30 minutes, before being woken up, as we need to get in line to be front and centre. The Oslo show was held on the 9th of July, which is my little brothers’ birthday. I wanted to be front and centre on the barrier, so Mr Vedder would see my sign. “Please sign my little brothers birthday postcard.” Instead, Ed signed a tambourine addressed to my brother, saying Happy Birthday! Sleeping on concrete was worth it in the end.
Oslo was rainy pretty much the entire time I was there and I wasn’t able to see much of the city.
Car road trip from Oslo to Copenhagen, saw four of us drive overnight, straight after the Oslo show. I slept awkwardly in the back, no one wants a crazy Australian girl driving on the wrong side of the road. We arrived at the Copenhagen venue at 7.30am and we were already listed in the 40’s.
We went and checked into our hotel and had a shower, before camping out at the Forum, on concrete again! Last show of the tour and we were front row again, in front of Stone. I enjoyed this last show, but I did not want it to end. I wanted to stay on tour forever, with the amazing friends that I had made.
Friends who: gave me food, bought me cough drops, fixed my train ticket, gave me hugs, woke me up, let me sleep, made me laugh, let me cry, understood me even when I couldn’t explain myself and a multitude of other great deeds.
It was sad to say goodbye to each and every one of you, but I will see you again. I will visit you and you will visit me. We will see each other in our minds, each time we sing a certain song. The memories will remain.
With sadness, but with so much love, I say goodbye… for now.