(4.0) (4 Votes) |
June 27th, 2004
Pros: Great concert
Hey everyone. I've just flown up to Copenhagen, Denmark from down
in Split on the Dalmation Coast of Croatia.
I spent 6 nights in Dubrovnik, where I last wrote from - really
did little more than eat, drink, swim and sleep. The weather was
fantastic the whole time, and the water was perfect temperature
for swimming. Stayed at the YHA hostel for the first three nights
and met some great people, then some of us moved out due to a large
school group coming in and stealing all the beds. Didn't have to
move far, though - a couple of old ladies (that would be Nana and
Mama) have some prime territory next to the hostel and sit outside
hassling passing travellers to stay in their private rooms for a
cheaper price. Whilst in the youth hostel we also had the pleasure
of a local cat deciding to give birth to a litter of three kittens
in the common room while people were eating dinner, then going bezerk
and running around trying to jump on everyone with a nice coating
of blood and afterbirth on her hind legs.
When we moved out we stayed under the care of Nana, a fat old Croatian
woman with about 3.5 teeth and an annoying habit of explaining long
stories to us in Croatian while we sit their nodding our heads pretending
we had a clue what she was talking about.
Dubrovnik itself is a beautiful town, the old town section being
enclosed by enormous old walls, which you could walk around for
a panoramic view of the town and coast.
We eventually parted ways, and I went with one of the girls from
the Nana's House crew and three new English recruits over to the
island of Korcula, which is much like a scaled down version of Dubrovnik,
and scored an apartment with a balcony and an amazing view of the
water and mainland stretched out before us.
Stayed there for one night, then the others moved on to the island
of Hvar while I took the ferry back to the coast to the town of
Split. Split is a much bigger city than Dubrovnik and fairly ugly,
but I was only using it as a base to fly up to Copenhagen. There
are no youth hostels there so the cheapest option is taking up one
of the offers of a private room from the hordes of people hassling
you as you climb off the ferry.
A man was offering a taxi which I declined, then offered a room
for a cheap price and I agreed to go with him. He spoke very little
English, and drove me back to his house. We went inside, and he
went to his daughter's room, pulled the covers off the bed, told
me to sleep there and leave early in the morning. Obviously I was
pretty dissapointed, but it was cheap and I was just after a bed
for the night so I put my pack down and went to check out the town,
but then me and the homeowner had a total communication breakdown
with him trying to explain something important to me in Croatian,
and I decided I'd had enough, took my pack, told him I wasn't staying
and walked out the door. He also agreed that'd be a good idea.
As I was walking down the road adjoining the house wondering where
the hell I was going to spend the night I bumped into an Aussie
going the other way that I had met briefly at an ATM at the bus
station in Zagreb a week and a half before. Talk about coincidence.
He took me to where he was staying and I shacked up in a private
room there. We went out for dinner and a couple of drinks then hit
the hay as we were both fairly buggered.
Flew here to Copenhagen the next day, stayed last night at a youth
hostel and will do the same tonight, before heading to the Roskilde
music festival tomorrow.
Roskilde is the biggest outdoor music festival in Europe, it stretches
over 4 days and you camp there, although people turn up from 3-4
days before it starts to get the party started. At the ferry office
in Dubrovnik I met two Perth-bred Australians that were also booked
on my flight here to Copenhagen, they and a crew of other Perthies
are going to Roskilde and have even made themselves 'Team WA' shirts
and a flag. Anyone who wants to get more info on the festival can
check it out at http://www.roskilde-festival.dk.
Will update when it's over. Take care everyone.
Just returned from 7 nights at the Roskilde festival - what a crazy
week! After writing my last entry, I made my way back to the hostel,
but bumped into Stella & Craig (the other Australians I met
that were heading to Roskilde) and the rest of 'Team WA'. It's actually
made up of 4 people from Perth who now live in Sydney, an Englishman
they know from Sydney, an American girl, and a couple of Danish
friends they'd met in Australia before. Basically they all try and
meet up at some point every year for a party, and Roskilde was the
place this year.
I was then horded onto a bus and taken on a boat tour of Copenhagen,
then we all proceeded to a pub for the night. The next morning I
checked out of the hostel and went to Tue's apartment (one of the
Danish guys) to meet up with everyone before heading to the festival.
We were sitting around eating breakfast when it suddenly occured
to me that two of the people I was with, brother and sister, were
actually the cousins of the Davis family and we'd met eachother
before. Talk about a small world..
We were presented with our team t-shirts and we went to the train
station to head off to Roskilde, about 30km east of Copenhagen.
We arrived there, and the sheer size of the festival soon became
apparent. The music wasn't even due to start for another three days
and there was already tens of thousands of tents stretched over
enormous fields. The place has everything from a movie theatre and
a daily newspaper to internet cafes and hairdressing salons, all
in huge canvas tents. Luckily, Jacob, the other Dane, had arrived
at 6am the day earlier and set up our area with 2 pavilions and
12 tents or so - a whole bunch of his Danish friends were also sharing
the area with us.
Unfortunately, as I was a late addition to the group, and the surrounding
area was already jam packed full of tents, I had to pitch my tent
at what was probably the furthest point away from the centre of
the festival. I came back to it later to find that my Swedish neighbours
had decided to move my tent for me, as they had to make room for
their friends. They'd squeezed it between two other tents and there
wasn't enough room to pitch it properly, the outer covering sagged
down onto the inner and water would come in when it rained. Not
really impressed, but I would spend all day at the rest of the groups'
tents and the festival area, and return to my tent at night just
to sleep, so I wasn't too bothered.
Unfortunately we experienced what was said to be the worst Roskilde
weather they'd had in about 12 years. The rain quickly turned the
fields to mud, which, by the end of it, after a week of rain and
90 000 people treading over it, was like no other mud I've ever
experienced. It was like thick, viscous soup, and gumboots soon
became the standard fashion accessory. Quite a few areas got flooded
out, they had to bring in trucks to attempt to drain them.
Really though, everyone was in such good spirits that it was hard
for the weather to bring the mood down. My only problem was that
as my tent was so far away, each night I would have to plow through
field after field of sloppy mud in the dark, and the clothes I brought
quickly picked up a nice brown coating.
The bands started on Thursday, and continued through until Sunday.
There were heaps of bands and you can find a complete list here.
David Bowie pulled out a day or two before he was due to play, and
was replaced by Slipknot. Highlights for me would probably be the
Dropkick Murphies, The Hives, The Pixies and Raised Fist. Frequently
you'd be a bit reluctant to trek through the mudfields to go check
out the stages, when you're having such a good time sitting around
the tents drinking and talking.
To celebrate the arrival of Mark, the Englishman, on Friday, Simon
prepared us all 'showbags', including useless toys, textas and glitter
paint, and for the few hours we had a party, and I don't think anyone
in the immediate vicinity's faces were spared from the wrath of
the markers and paints. We also had several rounds of mud wrestling,
and 'beer jousting' - a unique sport where two contenders charge
eachother from a distance, and clash their open beer cans together
to see which man still holds his drink. All our neighbours were
extremely amused with the proceedings and we had quite an audience.
Anyway, after a fantastic week, it was time to head off and I packed
my tent this morning and returned to Tue's apartment, where I am
now. The aim is to try and clean the thick sheets of mud off my
clothing while I'm here, and I'm getting up early tomorrow morning
to take a bus to Stockholm, in Sweden. After a couple of nights
there I will head to Helsinki, Finland for a short stay, then begin
to make my way back to London for my flight home.