If you’re here to read about buckets and full moon parties, you might be disappointed. This is a little love story between me and Koh Phangan.
You know how I feel about the festivals I love. There’s never enough and there’s always a coming back the year after. This is how I feel about Baloise Session. This is probably still the best indoor festival I was ever part to, because of the pretty visual aspect, the spot on organisation and a golden line up.
While preparing for my first trip ever to Portugal, I was roaming through a few infos about Lisbon, and quickly stumbled across the fact that this city may have one of the highest density in streetart all over Europe. Another bonus point was figuring out that the hostel where I was staying offered a streetart tour. It couldn’t get much sweeter than that so I didn’t hesitate one single minute to book it.
When I plan a trip all by myself, I usually start with a city. Obviously for practical reasons as well, trying to settle first after having seen just airports and airplanes, but also because I like to take some baby steps first in a new country. Being lost without the feeling of losing it completely (do I even make sense here?): getting to know a new culture, but still being able to explore, roam and eat easily, having everything accessible. I stopped in Lisbon twice, deciding to stay in two different districts because they could not have been more diverse from each other. The first stop of my solo trip to Portugal was in the Alfama.
I have to admit, I am a fan of traditions. They were never planned, but they slowly but surely snake in during my travel adventures the past ten years I guess. One of them for sure how I open up my very own festival season, it’s as easy as going out and buy a cup of coffee on my way out in the morning by now, it does not require any big planning or effort, clicking on various “Book Now” buttons is more than enough. This past May, as every other year, was my month and THE month – I mean, come on, the summer breeze overcomes most places already, my bags for Amsterdam are packed and my birthday is another sweet add on, can it get any better than that?
I play tourist here in my home country Switzerland quite often, it usually lead me to some breathtaking mountain sceneries and I took refreshing dips in different lakes, but I never thought about to be more centered into my base that is Zurich. You know how it is, you know your city, it’s mostly great, you have your habits and routines, however, you are more keen to escape it and share your travelling stories from elsewhere. Well, this time is quite different I guess: a lot of you out there know Zurich for its polished banks, the old town and a huge lake, but there is a lot more, especially for those who want to live a bit into the night, exploring restaurants, bars and clubs. I got you covered.
Sometimes everything gets tight. Situations, people, life events- the list could be endless. And when things turn out this way, people tend to cope with it differently. You know, going out getting smashed, locking up at home, writing a diary, taking a selfie with an inspirational quote they just googled and never heard about before, the usual stuff. I booked myself a solo trip to Portugal.
On my second night strolling around Basel, everything was buzzing a little more: the quiet of the week before was replaced by the Autumn’s Fair flashing lights and the horrendously loud remixes of pop songs turned into EDM nightmares. Sorry, had to add that. Fortunately for me, Basel embraced me for another reason: my second evening at Baloise Session. After a dance to electro swing and 80s synthie, now it was the case of long awaited Indie Sounds night, starring two completely different bands: BOY and Kaiser Chiefs.
Motels usually are defined as a place outside of urban centres, where motorists make their stops along the freeway for a night or two. Mostly famous for their L or U shape, low rise buildings and facing a wide parking lot, the first ones started to pop up in the US in the twenties, when traveling long distances became more popular and truckers were in need of a decent pit stop. Nothing really fancy here, the most luxurious thing would have been a pool at your front door or a little diner next to the registration office if you were lucky. Can you turn a motel into hip and fancy? Can you get hip with it? Yes. And this article here is the proof.
April is a buzzing month, because slowly but surely, I’m able to wake up from my brief festival hibernation of three months and stick my ears wherever I can in order to enjoy familiar tunes plus discover some surprising new ones. Gosh, how I missed that! And what’s the best thing to open this year’s festival season properly? Exactly, heading on top of the mountain, for the awaited Zermatt Unplugged.