Archive for the Travels Category

Wacken Open Air: Thursday (Part 2)

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , on August 3, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Alrighty! Time for the first official day of the festival, at least for me anyway. It was in fact only one band on the billing I cared to see – which is Accept. So I spent most of the day exploring the area and in the camp. How exciting huh? And it actually was.

For the first time in a very long time, I had a good camp. A camp where you woke up with a smile on your face every day, and you know you’d be sore from all the laughing that was taken place. After all, to begin with, it’s me and Thomas together in one spot. And the rest of the crew – Jörgen, Jonathan, Johan, Mina, René, Anja, Martin, Nicolai, Maria and Sandra made it even better. Because that’s what camps are for, right?

Funny thing. Maria and I went to go shower and pick up food for her. The showers at Wacken are for free, and they are WARM. Unlike the pay-per-shower at Sweden Rock which is cold. Right after we got out, towels on our heads and everything, we felt a few drips come down so we decided to go inside the food tent in order to put on our ponchos.

And just as we got in, the rainstorm from hell broke lose. It was an absolute disaster, and despite standing long inside the food court, we still could feel some of it. We waited out the rain, got food for Maria and then headed back to the camp only to find that one of our partytents had given up and died. But apparently it had been quite the fight to keep it up.

It cleared up, gladly, so we could sit down and enjoy ourselves before we headed inside to catch a bit of Status Quo. After Status Quo, I went over to Accept to catch them.

Accept

As you know, Accept is a band I only very recently started to grow fond of, thanks to the Sabaton tour. I was really excited to see them, and the response from the audience was massive. I was actually far, far in the back because you know, PEOPLE! But it was amazing to see them nonetheless.

What I had missed out on though, was the use of the orchestra. I guess I should check these things out better in the future, but it was quite interesting to see them perform with an orchestra on stage, and “Princess of the Dawn” just became even better with the orchestra.

The show lasted for two hours, and it was two well enjoyable hours. Thank you Accept, for a great evening!

After Accept I headed off to the merchandise to pick up some rainboots. The mud had really done the work with my militaryboots, and I simply gave up. So I got myself a nice pair of Wacken rain boots. Handy, huh?

Got back to the camp and hung out for a little while before I crashed in bed. It had been an exhausting day, despite the little activity.

TO BE CONTINUED

// Sara

Wacken Open Air: The Journey (Part 1)

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on August 2, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So. Very, very last minute I did actually decide on Wacken after all – as you probably already knew. So, Tuesday evening it was time for to take the, well, train down to Gothenburg to jump on the Festivalbus, which was supposed to leave from my town but yeah, it’s the Festivalbus so it never does.

I was going to Wacken with a large group of people, well, in my eyes anyway, and Thomas and Maria being the primary people I knew, I had been set up to travel down with two friends of theirs – Sandra and Johan. Upon arrival I also met the secret guest of honor Jørgen who was set to travel with us as well.

Train arrived, it was one of those tiny and old school trains with a complaining steward, off to a great start ey? But that aside the trainride was amazing. Getting to know three new friends as we rolled toward Gothenburg, and it went by so fast! At one moment we were like “Wait, is it only like 30 minutes left?” Time goes by when you have fun, you know.

Once arrived, we met up with some other people also going on the bus, picked up some late night dinner and went off to where the bus was to leave. Sadly, and somewhat annoyingly, it wasn’t leaving from Nils Ericsson terminalen as it usually does, but oh well. We walked to Göteborgs Operan where we were met by a double deck bus that had already arrived, and we chose the second deck of course! In the back, like the cool kids we are. Or something.

The journey to Wacken isn’t very long. It’s two ferries, and a nine hour ride from Gothenburg, so sleep wasn’t… well, it wasn’t generous. Especially since we had an.. interesting tourguide who woke us up every hour to make sure we had beer. Well. Ok.

Once arrived… we started with collecting our luggage and walk toward the entrance. I saw Thomas and Maria coming to greet us, but they stopped flat and with surprise as they saw our mystery guest! They were soooo happy to see him! We teamed up with Jonathan from Graspop as well, collected our tickets and made our way through the enormous camping toward J, where we were staying. And despite the long walk, I think we got a real good spot.

I was introduced to the rest of the crew, we put up our tents and then sat down to enjoy a nice drink. We chatted, caught up with each other and just enjoyed finally arriving to Wacken – and this is how entire Wednesday went down for me. I went to look at the merch and discovering the food, checking out the place.

It was good to be here.

// Sara

Graspop Metal Meeting – The Journey

Posted in Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags on June 15, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

It’s been only a couple of days since Sweden Rock, but it’s like they say – go hard or go home right? Very last minute I decided to repack everything because it just wouldn’t fit in the backpack, after all. No harm done, though. I got on the train to Gothenburg, which was… Well, train is just very interesting to go on when you travel with festival luggage. There’s never any space to put it, so you simply have to improvise. Gladly, for once, we were only 15 minutes late! I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not.

Once in Gothenburg, I locked up my luggage and headed off to Forex to exchange some currency. Because why would I ever do anything in time? That’s not my groove, and you know that by now I’m certain. Once done with that, I got off to have some dinner and went over some shops – because why not when in Gothenburg?

After that, dinner and then I headed off to the spot where the bus was to leave. Some people were already waiting, which was reassuring for me. It’s been so long since I last traveled with the festivalbus, and that was only from my town on top of that.

So I got on – claimed a good spot. Right in front of the toilet. Very important, especially for this long busride. Eventually people started to drop in, and FINALLY I saw a familiar face in Elias. The bus got, well, somewhat, full and we began our journey towards Dessel. It was a fairly peaceful journey… until the sunken Norwegian passed out in the bathroom. After he you know, puked all over. The police actually came in Germany but we simply left… well, you know. Don’t want troubles!

We arrived safely and a little sore in Dessel, got off the bus and took our luggage. We meant to go together, all of us, but yeah, that didn’t happen. We were a group of people that got a bit lost and behind, and normally, what happened, is that we formed a group. Elias and I had pre-purchased tents that were already built, but the others camped together and we were invited to join. We spent a few hours waiting – some waiting, some carrying luggage to make it go somewhat fast and easy and smooth for us. It was very nice actually, bonding with each other. People that at one point were complete strangers were now helping each other out. And oh, I shared a Sabaton beer with Jonathan, which was nice.

The first thing, I will not deny, that I did was to take a long nice shower. Well, it wasn’t that long, but it was nice. But the thing is with Graspop Metal Meeting – it might be called grass, but it is really the sahara desert. So after walking 10 seconds I was already covered in dust. Again. Oh well.

In the evening I pretty much just chilled, listened to music and took it easy. Preparing for the next coming days.

// Sara

Lady Lightning

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on April 2, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

I fell asleep while trying to write, and then I got up and went to bed properly. After getting up for the second time, I was as tired as ever. Like, I shouldn’t be, because for once I get a good nights sleep, but I was. Perhaps that was the problem. Another first, was the fact that there was breakfast!

Then it was back to the room, sleep a little more, pack up the last things and then time to check out. It was the saddest thing ever, because quite honestly, I love this little hotel room.

Once checked out, I headed out to just look around a bit. I have never been here before, and I reckon it will take some time before I get back. I went shopping a wee bit – The Body Shop had their sale AND their limited edition Raspberry body butter on sale, and you just have to get them while you can.

After that, I headed down to the harbour, the seaside, and spent a good few hours there. It was magical sitting in those sheds of snow watching people walk across the lake as if it was nothing. A winter wonderland, if you like.

After this, it was time for me to catch my flight back to Stockholm, and then my train home to Karlstad.

And then… Home. Nothing like home, eh?

// Sara

Epica @ Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland 28/2 – 17

Posted in Concerts, Finland, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 28, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Well! It isn’t very long since I returned home from the last “tour” in the United States, but no rest for the wicked, right? Off I was on an early bus to catch a not-so-early-flight to Helsinki. It was weird, but also somewhat relaxing to for once this time be on a short haul flight after all these long hauls.

Once in Helsinki, I met up with a dear old friend that I hadn’t met in the longest of times – Argo. You remember him? The guy I used to travel everywhere with because of Lordi? Yeah that’s right. Turns out he was coming. As I took a somewhat late flight, the first thing we did was getting to the hotel and then getting out on the town for a quick look around before getting back and getting ready for the evening.

We headed over to Vapiano for dinner and then off we were to Tavastia. We were running a little late because of reasons, so we missed out on most of the supportband – however, the supportband for this evening was Crimson Sun, assumingly a finnish band and the little we heard sounded great!

Epica

So, exactly on time as scheduled – 22.00, “Eidola” started echoing through the speakers as the lights went down, and the band slowly entered the stage and later opened with “Edge of the Blade”. Much to my delighted eye, Simone was wearing the “Holographic” dress as I’d call it – the silver black one. I rarely comment on clothing on the musicians, but this time I just have to since I’ve been in love with this dress ever since it was presented.

“A Phantasmic Parade” was the next song on the set, followed by “Sensorium” and “Universal Death Squad” and I must admit… I was a little disappointed in the crowd. They were somewhat responsive, but not at all what I’d be used to when it comes to Epica. Gladly, it did pick up a little. The band delivered really well – last time I saw them Simone seemed to be a bit off, but today everything was going just fine.

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“The Essence of Silence” followed suit, and I think this is around the moment where Simone would drop her microphone. I’m pointing this out, not because it’s bad, but because this is probably the first time I see this band being anything but “perfect” as far as behavior goes. It was funny. And then, what seemed to be a big audience favorite in “Marty of the Free Word”. “The Obsessive Devotion” was the next song, and finally we start get some action in the crowd! I’m glad to see that something started to happen, so the band would have something to go on.

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“Ascension” was next on the list, followed by “Dancing in a Hurricane”, and I seriously love the vibe this song sets, especially live. My own personal favorite – “Unchain Utopia” was next on the list and I cannot describe my love for this song. I don’t know if it is that very special bond you have to the first song you discover a band with, or if it simply is that amazingly good, but every time Simone starts singing the first lines, it’s like something just awakens.

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“Once Upon a Nightmare” wrapped up the set for the night, and the band left the stage. They later returned, starting off with “Sancta Terra” which would become very interesting. Coen fooled around with Simone, leading her to have so much of a laughing attack that she had to leave the stage numerous of times throughout the set, missing out big parts of the song.

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“Beyond the Matrix”, my personal favorite off “The Holographic Principle” was next, and I was very happy to see all of Tavastia jumping with with the band. Again, this song live was just… Indescribable.

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The wrapped up the entire set with a Wall of Death and “Consign to Oblivion” before saying their good byes and leaving the stage.

This even was really good. Despite being sleepdeprived, as Mark claimed, they really delivered. I’m just thinking back to the London show and this was so many times better, I guess it helps it’s in the beginning of a tour. Thank you Epica, for this amazing night! I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow.

// Sara

 

Black Witch Blues

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized, United States of America 2017 on February 15, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, I woke up in the middle of the flight, or I guess it wasn’t actually the middle as we were approaching our destination. Got fed some real nice breakfast to enjoy, not as good as the Swedish one we had on our previous, but it did well!

breakfast

We landed around 16 in Sweden, and I was hoping I’d catch the bus at 16.55, but of course, the luggage decided to be late, and to really poke it in my eye, it decided to arrive no less than at 17.05. Just to make fun of me you know. So I found myself spending another two dead hours at Arlanda, the place I’ve already spent sooo many hours on in my life, but why not. Got some work done.

Got on my bus home, took the back single seat and I just love it you know… When you build your little temporary crib on the bus and then just lean back and relax, or in my case, work, for the next four hours… Looking out at the lights… Dreaming back at what once was.

bussy

This trip was beyond amazing. Thank you all of you involved – Firstly, my partner in crime Nathan – What would I do without you? Secondly Lordi – without you, Mr L, Hella, Amen, OX and Mana – we wouldn’t have done this in the first place. Thanks to the crew for keeping them on the road. Thanks to Warcorpse, Aeonic Impulse, Black Magic Beach Party, Towerguard and Dûrion for amazing support, Thanks to Danse dE Sade for two amazing evenings, I cannot describe the feelings I’m starting to get for you. Thank you to the people we met along the way – Buddy, Alex, Lizzy, Aly and Jeffery – Thanks to you, we have amazing memories.

Thank you, and till next time!

// Sara

XS Overdrive

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized, United States of America 2017 on February 14, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So the day was here. The very final day. We checked out the place we stayed in, and hit the roads. We walked down to the recordstore again to pick up some last minute things – a totebag for me. My original one from Sweden Rock have disappeared and the Lordi one is falling apart. So it had to be done. Then we walked down the Melrose Avenue again to check out a store again, because Lime Crime cosmetics. Then, we took an UBER to the busstation and said one last good bye to L.A. as we headed back toward the airport.

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Once at the airport we got checked in and then settled for KFC before heading to Nathan’s gate. It was actually the first time I had it, it was nice. After saying good bye to Nathan I started wandering about the airport looking at stuff before finally settling down to get some work done and then reading a bit. My travelreading right now is “Divergent”, as I don’t read it at home it’s kind of been left on it’s own.

After some wait, my plane arrived and I boarded. It wasn’t a superbusy plane, which was nice, so I wasn’t super crammed. Sadly the plane left a bit late, but it got made up with some delicious flight food!

flightfood

After dinner I fell asleep in the wait to come home to Sweden. I do love long haul flights. I don’t know what it is – if it is the feeling of that this will be your home for a while, or if it’s something else, I don’t know, but it’s just something about them.

// Sara