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From Dubrovnik to Zagreb (via Split)

If you visit Croatia, there is a way to go across the country, from south to north (or the other way around), in less than two weeks and visiting its three most interesting cities:

Dubrovnik (south), Zagreb (north) y Split (in the middle).

Dubrovnik

To get downtown from the airport, take a taxi (30-40€) or the buses from ATLAS company which drive regularly through the 20 km. from the airport to the city centre.

In the old town, do not miss the wall, the Franciscan Monastery with a pharmacy from 14th century, Lovrijencac Fountaine, Onofrio Fountain or Luza Square, and its surroundings. If you need more information or maps, the nearest Tourism Office is on Brsalje Street.

From the city, go and visit the Korcula island, the National Park of Mjle island or the Elafit islansi. The city of Ston and its Chinese wall or the medieval city Cavtat are other destinations near Dubrovnik. You can get to all these islands and cities by ferries or bus.

To get to the next destination, Split, there are buses mostly every hour, doing 223km. between both cities.

Split

Walking around the old town or the Palace of Diocletian, UNESCO heritage, is the first thing you should do when you arrive to the city. After the palace, take a walk in the seafront by the Adriatic sea. From Split you can visit Brac islands, Hvar or Vis, accesible by ferry, sailboat or fast boats.

Roman ruins from old Salona (Solin nowadays) are only 10 km. away from Split and are one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. Trogir, 28 km north, is also UNESCO heritage. To get there, there are buses and boats from the seafront. Finally, by the end of Cetina river, you can find a pinturesque village, Omis, 24 km. south and connected by bus to the city.

Before the final destination, Zagreb, Sibenik is 88 km. away and you can get there by bus or train. Do not miss its streets and the Santiago Cathedral, a UNESCO heritage. The Plitvice National Park is also near and the most known in Croatia. 16 lakes connected by waterfalls, you can sped from 3 to 8 hors walking around the spot. In the park there are hotels and two camping areas. It’s convenient to book previously.

Zagreb

Just arrived to Zagreb, a city with more than 40 museums, including Broken relationships Museum, Mimara Museumor Naif Art Museum.

“Uptown” you can visit Ban Josip Jelacic Square, Dolac Market, Katarina square or the J.J. Strossmayer Avenue.”Downtown” there are squares dedicated to Nikola Subic Zrinski, to the king Tomislav, or to Mariscal Tito. Finally, in the city centre, there are Contemporary Art Museum, el Bundek park, Jarun lake, Mirogoj cementery or Maksimir Park.

To get to Zagreb airport, 17 km. from the city centre, take the bus for 4,10€ or taxi for 30-40€.

Photos by Stewart Morris, Elena and Delaina Haslam. Thanks to the Croatian Tourism Office for the information.

A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.

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The narrowest street in Europe

In the maze of streets in the downtown area of Split, there is the narrowest street that can be found in Europe, Pusti me da prodjem, in Croatian “Let me pass”.

The street is next to 1.700 year-old Jupiter’s Temple. In the other side, there is a residential building, with a pizza/cafe in the main ground, that was build as close as possible to the old temple, leading to this tight record. One of the weird attractions that can be found in Split’s city centre.

Image: lacroacia.es

Why not take a trip to Split? Have a look at our flights here!

 

 

 

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10 Titbits About the Oasis Concert at Knebworth

Knebworth is no more than a village in the north of Hertfordshire, just over a half an hour’s train ride from central London. The original village, known as Old Knebworth, grew up around Knebworth House, a large Tudor country house with a Neogothic facade and a priceless Jacobean banquet hall. The new Knebworth village sprang up in the 19th century one mile east of Old Knebworth, alongside the train station and A1 motorway. But, it was from the 1970s onwards that the village came into the limelight owing to the mass concerts held there. The first groups to draw tens of thousands of fans to the spot were Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones. And, in the 80s and 90s, the venue hosted events in the form of a festival, featuring such bands as Genesis, Dire Straits, Eric Clapton and Elton John.

But, pride of place goes to Oasis, who in two nights drew a crowd of no fewer than a quarter of a million people. Britain or, indeed, the whole world, had been bitten by the Oasis bug. There had been nothing like it since the advent of The Beatles. The group’s managers realised they were on to a good thing and decided to expose their proteges to as large an audience as possible. And where better to hold the festival than grounds well connected to the City? Thus, in the evening of 10 August 1996, the members of Oasis landed in their helicopter with a flabbergasted look on their faces. We recommend you see the documentary, “Supersonic”, by Mat Whitecross, which recently premiered in Spain during the last edition of In-Edit. The film tells the story of the band as seen through the eyes of its lead members, Liam and Noel Gallagher, covering the period running from their beginnings until the moment these two macro-concerts were held. But, apart from breaking all records, what else took place during those 48 hours? Here are 10 curious titbits that you were probably unaware of.

1. Two and a half million people applied for tickets

Over four per cent of the population of England applied for tickets to see Oasis at Knebworth, the largest ever demand for concert tickets in British history. Some 250,000 fans actually saw the band on those two nights – another record – but, incredibly, Oasis could have sold another 18 shows at Knebworth.

2. 7,000 people are thought to have been on the guest list

This figure has proved impossible to verify, although it is known to run into the thousands. But, what is really striking are the eye-witness accounts, which paint a picture of unimaginable indulgence backstage. A huge marquee was apparently full of bars, with well stocked bar counters. Drinks were on the house for both days and there were also free sweets and ice-creams. Additionally, a number of magicians and caricaturists were brought in to liven up the pre-concert wait.

3. 3,000 pro technicians were needed to organise the concert

No wonder, though, as the equipment included 11 loudspeaker towers set up increasingly further afield to make sure everyone would be able to hear Noel’s chords and Liam’s growling equally intensely.

4. The concerts had their own radio station for the occasion

Radio Supernova broadcast on 106.6 FM for a range of 20 miles. For the days it was on air, it blared out the Oasis signature tunes non-stop, followed by songs by the support bands. The station also broadcast information about the concert, accesses and transport to the grounds.

5. John Squire had the flu when guest player of “Champagne Supernova”

For many, a highlight of the night was when fellow Mancunian John Squire appeared on stage. The guitarist had split off from The Stone Roses just a couple of months before that and he showed up to sprinkle a touch of magic over the performances of “Champagne Supernova” and “I Am The Walrus”. A few days later, Noel Gallagher revealed to NME that he had been performing while under the effects of a severe bout of flu.

6. Oasis brand binoculars were handed out to all VIPs

A touch of irony, as the VIP area was the only vantage point from where the concert could be clearly seen without binoculars. But, to top it all, the Manchester boys had the visual aid of the largest video wall on earth at the time. Oh, well – who hasn’t been given some superfluous gift at some time in their lives? The Gallagher guests were not to be outdone.

7. The Charlatans supported Oasis just three weeks after the death of their keyboardist, Rob Collins

For The Charlatans, Knebworth was a bittersweet event. On the one hand, it acted as a launching pad for a band which was a standard-bearer of the early-nineties Madchester scene. But, on the other, they had to perform without their charismatic Rob Collins, who had died in a car crash three weeks earlier. An endearing moment came when Liam Gallagher dedicated the song “Cast No Shadow” to the fallen Charlatan.

8. Only 10 arrests were made during those two days

Which is quite surprising, given the huge number of festival-goers. How did they manage it? While it may seem unlikely to some, the fact is that Oasis fans are mostly law-abiding citizens.

9. Noel remembers nothing

As the saying went at the time, “If you can't remember anything about Britpop, it means you weren’t there”. And Noel’s recollection of that period is very sketchy. On occasion, he has even remarked that “even now, if I close my eyes, I can’t remember the moment I was on stage”.

10. One Oasis member thinks they should have split up immediately afterwards

“I always thought we should have retired after the second night at Knebworth”, said the guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs to The Guardian in 2009. In hindsight, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that Oasis would never better what they had achieved at Knebworth. But, who’s the brave guy that dares leave the group when it’s riding the crest of the wave? Bonehead finally quit in 1999 and became an ordinary person again.

Now you know a bit more about the legendary concert performed by Britain’s last great band. All that’s left is to discover the area where it all took place. Well, then, get “supersonic” and check out our flights here.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by Wikipedia Commons

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Berlin in 9 Albums

From David Bowie or Iggy Pop, to U2 or R.E.M, Berlin has long been a source of inspiration for the most famed ambassadors of pop and rock (their impact on club culture deserves a separate article). With the iconic Hansa Tonstudio recording studios as the hub of experimentation and creation, the German capital stands out as the inextricable backdrop for beacons of musical genesis over the last few decades.

“Heroes” (David Bowie, 1977)

David Bowie took refuge in Berlin in search of inspiration in the late seventies. His German sojourn ended up spawning the Berlin Trilogy,a triptych of albums that began with Low (1977) and ended with Lodger (1978), although epitomised by the second album, Heroes.Recorded in the legendary Hansa Tonstudio (or Hansa Studio by the Wall), the title track recounts the story of two lovers who hide their idyll in the shadows of the Berlin Wall.

“Lust For Life” (Iggy Pop, 1977)

Following in the footsteps of his friend, David Bowie, Iggy Pop headed for Berlin to develop his career as a solo artist. The first chapter in that new venture was The Idiot (1977). A bigger hit still was Lust for Life, released that same year. With the Hansa Studio by the Wall again becoming his centre of operations, Iggy Pop took just eight days to breathe life into such essential titles in his repertory as Lust for Life, The Passenger and Tonight.

“Kollaps” (Einstürzende Neubauten, 1981)

Few albums has captured so well the essence of Berlin in the early eighties as Kollaps, Einstürzende Neubauten’s debut. A landmark industrial and experimental band, the calling card of this group led by Blixa Bargeld was a collection of pieces which even today, three decades on, still resound as searing, psychotic and oppressive – an exquisite torture on the ears.

“Night Time” (Killing Joke, 1985)

The quasi-metal, industrial band, Killing Joke, achieved one of their major hits with Night Time, a work suggestive of an interlude between their strident beginnings and the calmer stretches they would subsequently experiment with, albeit fruitlessly. And, while you’re at it – listen to Eighties, the last track on the album, and then do the same with Come as You Are, by Nirvana. Influence, coincidence or plagiarism?

“Black Celebration” (Depeche Mode, 1986)

Depeche Mode went to Berlin to record their fifth studio album, with Martin Gore then consolidating as the band’s creative engine. As the title suggests,Black Celebrationstresses the darkening sound passages that the Britons had been flirting with in their previous works, Construction Time Again (1983) and Some Great Reward (1984). Definitely one of the most influential records of the eighties.

“Your Funeral… My Trial” (Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, 1986)

Nick Cave has stated on more than one occasion that Your Funeral… My Trial is the best album in their career. Indeed, his long fourth track harbours some of the most hair-raising cuts by the Australian, like its counterpart, Your Funeral, My Trial, Stranger Than Kindness or The Carny which Cave and The Bad Seeds would play a year later in the Wim Wenders film, Wings of Desire.

“Bossanova” (Pixies, 1990)

Engendered in Berlin, this third album of the Pixies is undoubtedly one of the great works of independent rock. The hideout of simply irresistible tracks like Velouria, Dig for Fire or Allison, their customary dedication to sure-fire tunes entangled with distorted guitar rasps,Bossanovareveals borrowings from surf and space rock. While not a conceptual work, many of the themes bear references to aliens, UFOs and the remaining extraterrestrial paraphernalia that so obsessed its leader, Black Francis.

“Achtung Baby” (U2, 1991)

Having scoured the roots of American music with Rattle and Hum (1988), U2’s next release marked a radical departure in sound. Having moved to Berlin to allow the winds of change blowing across the city to rub off on them, the Irishmen caught the world unawares with a work grounded in the essences of the burgeoning genres, including independent rock and electronic music. Achtung Baby is one of those definitive records in the history of rock.

“Collapse Into Now” (R.E.M., 2011)

R.E.M. was one of the most popular bands in the last few decades, with the added advantage that they managed to keep their integrity and artistic credibility intact. They split up in September 2011, a few months before the release of their last album, Collapse Into Now. Recorded in the Hansa Tonstudio, this is a standout farewell bordering on the sublime, as in Discover, Mine Smell Like Honey and Überlin.

Berlin Musictours offers an extensive, more than interesting gamut of tours to the hotspots of Berlin’s ever effervescent musical activity. Among the various itineraries to choose from, notable routes include the Bowie Berlin Tour, U2 Berlin Tour, Depeche Mode Berlin Tour and Hansa Studio Tour. Why wait to discover an à la carte musical Berlin? Check our flights here.

 

Text by Oriol Rodríguez for ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

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