When you travel for concert you experience a lot more than just the show. When I get the chance to I like to send a couple of days in the city where the concert is held and explore a bit. Most likely I’ll explore my surroundings on foot, at least as much as possible. In order to get the best experience it’s important for me to make a list of things I absolutely want to see and a couple of ‘maybes’. After making the lists I usually check which things are in the same area or possible to visit the same day, due to opening hours and so on.
And then there are the things that just happen and you can’t plan. So, here’s my best of 2017.
- Memorial and remembrance
In 2017 I was in London only twice, but both times tragedies struck before or while I was there.
The first one was the terror attack on the Borough Market. It happened a couple of hours before I flew in and by the time we left Heathrow Airport there were still police cars speeding through the city with sirens on. Police and military was everywhere and the atmosphere in the town is hard to describe. We visited a couple of churches and usual tourist spots, because I had brought my aunt along this time and was showing her London, since she hadn’t been there before. Basically everywhere we went were words spoken about not giving up, London remains open to everyone, prayers for the victims. Unknowingly we reached the Monument just when the Mayor placed flowers there, filmed by TV Crews and with lots of officials around. That’s where that picture was taken. It’s in my ‘Best of’ because I think it’s easy to forget how fragile the freedom is that we have. You can sing along and dance the night away during a concert, but that’s only possible because we’re save. I always try to remember that, especially when I get upset about the long wait because of security checks.
2. The Kew
the second Time I was in London was the day the Grenfell Tower burned down. I was there for over a week, so I get to witness the tragedy and the help, the media coverage and the rumours. It was so incredibly hot during this days and I remember that at least three people collapsed on the train commutes in the morning or afternoon. To get away for a bit I went to the Kew one afternoon and it was so incredibly peaceful there. Reality is never too far away though, and I get a notification on my phone while I was there, telling me that the song by the ‘Artists for Grenfell’ was available. I bought the song while I was there and then sat on this bench listening to ‘Bridge over troubled water’. Such a bittersweet moment. I don’t think I’ll forget it anytime soon.
When I took this picture in Stockholm I had no idea that what would happen here would dictate my life for the year to come. Actually it still does. While walking around Stockholm and it’s steep streets and many stairs I started to get a horrible pain in my right hip. Once I left it was so bad that I could barely walk. It didn’t get any better once I was back home and when I went to the doctor they send me straight to an MRI, then to a second one. I was put on strong painmeds and basically on bedrest, since I was not really able to walk anymore and was in constant pain. It took until he end of December until they figured out what was wrong with me. I had to make a choice between a huge surgery and months or rehab or the pain staying with me for a while longer and trying to work it out with physical therapy, with no guarantees that it would work. I’ll probably have to do physical therapy for the foreseeable future. I can’t say that I enjoy it and there are days when I simply don’t want to go, but the thought of being pain free is what makes me go on the end. However, every time I look at the picture of the stairs in Stockholm I remember the pain afterwards.
4. Christmas in Berlin
These pictures were taken in Berlin during a business/ show trip. I was barely able to walk back then and pretty high on painkillers. It was still a good trip though, simply because it got me out of my house for the first time in months. And I really enjoyed the cocktail bar at the hotel.