Copenhagen to Leuven, Belgium, then York England to Sclam Park

Location: Copenhagen to Leuven, Belgium, then York England to Sclam Park
Venue: BBC York


Copenhagen, Denmark to Leuven, Belgium then on to York, England is a hop, skip and a jump, translation? A 1600km drive, train and a ferry ride to boot. It begins with an early start, crossing Denmark again on its great bridges. Due to the massive city traffic, I am timing my drive to pass through Hamburg at night, late. Next stop Leuven, Belgium.
Leuven, Belgium is the capital of Flemish Brabant, but more importantly it is the home of Anheuser-Bush/InBev the world’s largest brewer. Buddy can I get a beer? Downtown is a large pedestrian street which goes for blocks. There lies café bar after café bar. They refer to it as the longest bar in the world. Europe’s oldest Catholic College is there also. Things just seem to go hand in hand.
breadmanLeuven train and hotelThere is a statue of a guy carrying a tray of bread. He seems busy, Leuven is a busy place. Time to play, unfortunately I am sliding in just in time to play a small café, hit the hotel, get up early then make many connections on my way to England. The Ibis Hotel Leuven is right next to the train station. Their rate is less than half of the hotel next door. Nice people, nice place to stay.

pack light

You can’t get there from here

The trip from Copenhagen to York involves several modes of transportation. I return my car in Brussels and once again travel by train, this time to the Zeebrugge, Belgium P&O Ferry docks. Trains are great, if you are travelling light and have a short way to go, there is no conductor strike, no trains break down, no medical emergencies on the train and all the electronic signs work. So, sometimes it can be hard over long distances and some of the smaller towns don’t have working schedule displays to allow you to fake it through without language skills.

Most conductors speak English or know the one who does. Most people will help you if they can, but often transferring trains, time is tight. One upside, in Belgium the larger train stations have chocolate shops. Yes, Belgium chocolates, and like Danish in Denmark, it’s the best you will ever have.

It takes most of the day to get from Leuven to Zeebrugge, but the ferry is great. By sailing from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Hull, England I can use their wireless Internet to catch up on work and sleep on the ferry overnight. If you are looking to get to Northern England from Europe, this is a good way to go.

Slide 1

York, Selby and Sclam Park, Wild West Days

I arrive in Hull, England the next morning. They raise the Ferry in a lock to compensate the tide. A quick bus ride into downtown Hull, then catch a train to Selby. Carol Lamb has been dispatched to Selby to take me to Sclam Park for their Wild West Days. Sclam Park is located just outside of York, England. I will be performing at the 10th Charity Fun Day Festival raising money and awareness for transplant charities. The entire Lamb family puts on this great event. Ten years earlier, Sid Lamb received the ultimate gift, a heart transplant. Now he and his family pay it forward by hosting a fund raiser for Transplant Charities. It involves more fun things to do than you can shake a stick at. Golf, bounce house, raffle, auction, bull rides, costume contests, driving range and music. I am coming from Copenhagen, Denmark to make this show, so I am coming in a few days early. The Lambs welcome me with open arms.

Elly at York BBCCarol Lamb

BBC York

It always helps to get the word out. With everyone at the Sclam Park working full speed, I put in a call to BBC York. Elly Fiorentini is on the air and takes my call. “With an accent like that I have to talk to you. How fast can you get to the station?” Carol Lamb gives me a ride into York, and an education on the history and architecture of this fine city. We arrive at the BBC Radio station and go live with Elly. We have a lively discussion of the festival and Country Music. After a couple of songs, Carol and I take a brief tour of York and have a spot of tea. Then we head back to Sclam Park.

Slide 1

The festival begins in the morning and goes into the wee hours of the night.

A great time is had by all. It is determined I am the least biased person (only American) there so I am selected as the judge of many contests. The commitment to a “western” look is remarkable. The kids are adorable and the adults enthusiastic. This event is a labor of love from the Lamb family and their friends. It is wonderful to see such unity of purpose and hard work. They treated me like family. I wanted to leave them with something, Sid said he really liked my shirt, so I gave it to him.
Now I am heading back to Europe, the Netherlands is next then Germany.

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