What about the ukulele?


Just thought people might be wondering why I brought it and what it’s been doing all this time.

Well, travelling with a ukulele is a no-regrets option. It’s small, light, easy to carry in a dry sac and, if lost or stolen, it’s not as tragic as losing a Stradivarius. My hope was to find opportunities to play with others and find ukulele clubs and bands. There seemed to be reasonable prospects in Paris and Zurich where such groups exist, but ukulele comrades in these cities did not reply to my messages. Well, it is holiday time here and even ukulele players are allowed to head out of town to the beach or the mountains or wherever they like to go.

Beyond Zurich, Europe appears to be a ukelear-free zone. My instrument has been regarded with disinterest on several occasions when it has emerged from its case. What about ukulele photography? This has not been a big theme in the photostream, mainly because I haven’t enough energy to spare for it. Many photos are taken from the bicycle while riding. Others are taken during a quick stop. On completion of a day’s riding priorities are food, drink, rest and preparation for the next day. So – no regrets but few uke comrades and greater claims on energy by other priorities.

Ukulele and Dracula's castle

Yesterday while descending from the Fagaras mountains we briefly met a French couple with loaded bikes, cycling uphill. The woman had her violin strapped on top of her bags and intended to play it along the way. It was their first day on the road. I knew what lay ahead of them (long uphill slog, heavy traffic, hot day, roadside rubbish, no proper camping facilities) and, from my more seasoned perspective, doubted that there would be a lot of violin playing happening. I hope I am wrong. Our travels are not yet over anyway, and maybe ukulele universe lies ahead. If not, I know of a nice ukulele planet in South Australia and I look forward to returning there in October.

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