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ZURICH LOOPFEST: travelling cheaply in Europe

Dear Michael,

You inquired about strategies for getting to and from Europe cheaply.

I learned this the very hard way on my European trip two summers ago:

Do everything by train.      Inner European airplane trips and renting 
are hideously expensive, not to mention
the fact that the cheapest air fares on the continent have very, very low 
baggage weight limits.

As an example:  it cost me $45 to fly from Stockholm to Glascow as an 
example but they charged me $600 excess baggage for
a 40 minutes flight.     Finding that the next leg of that flight (I was 
trying to make a BBC on air performance in Belfast),
another $45/40 minute flight would cost me an additional $600 for baggage 
made Chris, my wife and I jump ship, so to
speak, and we took a ferry there that costs us 29$ each.    We never took 
another airplane flight until we returned home from
Belfast to Roma.

 Anyway,   If you know you'd like to spend two weeks in Europe,  I would 
highly recommend that you
1) by round trip tickets to Frankfurt;
2) take trains to both Berlin  to visit and perhaps gig with    Andreas 
Willers,Leander Reininghaus, MIchael Schiefel and to Koln to visit and 
perhaps play with Michael Peters.
3) Then take the train to Zurich.

For the $550 you will save by not flying to Zurich,  you will be able to 
a lot of territory by train.
It's really easy to get around on a trane.  I'd even highly recommend that 
you buy yourself a 6 space rack Gator luggage styled
rack cases to put your gear into and another rolling styled piece of 
for your clothes and sling your guitar with a small
backpack styled carrying case over your shoulder for flights.    You 
basically want to be able to get up stairs easily as most stations
in Europe do not have elevators or handicap access.      Make your guitar 
bag and shoulder bag both be black and sling them
over one shoulder.  I was able to get two bags on board in every flight 
way even though technically you are only allowed one
carry on bag.

The only other thing is this and it is vitally crucial:

Never put your luggage where you cannot see it on a train.  There are 
thieves.    I did a tour where the tour manager/sound engineer
was sick and put his laptop carrying 2 B&K microphones in the luggage 
compartment and sat 5 seats away from it.  As we entered Paris,  two 
grabbed it and ran off the very crowded train as we watched them unable to 
physically get to them or get off the train in time.        Also be very 
careful of groups of women gypsies who will swarm you  as you are getting 
off and steal you blind as a theft gang bang.    Keep your valuables on 
person and constantly make eye contact with these peeps.  Also stay 
physically between your baggage and them until you get off the train. 
They'll know you know and they won't go near you.........it happened 
times to us.     LOL,  be careful ,  they send in the youngest most 
beautiful ones to distract you and chat you up.............

Good luck,  I hope I can make it too.

yours,   Rick