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Hello, December.

Hello, December

Dear December,

Please be awesome.

Yours sincerely,
Klemen

Yes, I guess it’s that magical time of the year again. For most of the people, December is most likely the month of holidays, the month of happiness, and of course, what goes best hand in hand with holidays and brings us happiness? Food. And lots of it. Anybody who visits their grandparents for holidays, most likely knows damn well what I’m talking about right here. My guess is, you are probably eating while you are reading this right now. Bon apetit, dear! Therefore, if I’d have to label every month with an attribute, like I did with December, I’d probably say that January must be the month of diet,  just because of all of the food you throw in yourself in the previous month. It’s also the time of the year, when we usually recieve our first package of real snow, which unlike the November one, this time actually stays on the floor for longer than just one afternoon, and I think that’s exactly the way it should be, ’cause hey, if it feels like Mother Russia, why not look as Russia as well. :)

The clouds filled with snow finally found our tiny little chicken shapped country a few days ago, and this time it was even more special, because it was Oscars first snow. Yeah, I forgot to mention that some things changed since I’ve last wrote a post here. Oscar is  a super cute Jack Russell Terier. A dog, yes. And if you’re wondering what was his first interaction with snow looked like, just imagine a hyperactive rabbit on LSD, just running and jumping and jumping and some more running. :D

I remember myself saying that the old city centre won’t be seeing me for at least a week or more after the Christmas lights are turned on, not because I hate Christmas, ‘cmon, I’m not the Grinch, but because it’s usually filled with so many people you can’t even walk in the direction you are willing to, but rather just go where everybody else is going (probably towards the hot wine?) However, due to extreme weather conditions (very cold and a blizzard), I figured there aren’t going to be as many tourists, so Maja and I decided to go anyways. With Nikon in my backpack, and mulled hot wine in hers and all that combined with a bunch of sweaters, coats, jackets and gloves on us, we were set and ready for a walk in the Alaska. Ah sorry, I meant to say Ljubljana. Also, apparently we weren’t so much ready, since it was still cold and wet quite soon, but who cares. ;) I didn’t take as many photos as I initally thought I will, again, due to the weather, but the pictures you see are the ones from that day.

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Usually, people decide what they want to change in their life on the New Years Eve, but I guess it’s different this year, since people are already taking things in their hands and making the changes themselves – Protests in Ljubljana, way to go. (:

Anyways, I have a great feeling about how December is going to turn out this year….. WAIT! Isn’t the world supposed to end on December 21st?
Ah, who cares, The Hobbit will be released on December 13th anyways. :D

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Krvavec Mountain Wake Jam 2012

Wakeboarding on 2000m? Yeah, only in Slovenia! :)

Krvavec, one of the bigger ski centers in Slovenia held a wakeboarding contest on top of its highest slope called Zvoh (1971m to be precise). It was probably the first time something like this happened, because I’m pretty sure, wakeboarding session on a mountain really isn’t a thing you see everyday.
At first, there were some technical dificulties with the winch, but it was shortly replaced by a jet ski, that later on pulled riders over the lake. Yes, I know, a jet ski on a mountain. Thanks to it, there was an epic kicker contest and besides that, people could also try the new raising sport SUP (stand up paddle) and indo boards.
We didn’t even have to walk up the hill, we drove up to the top in awesome SUV’s (see pictures below).
To sum up, it was a great, sunny day.
Here are some photos of it. :)

Ljubljana, the capital of… Ireland?

Tuesday, June 5th. The day I’ve been waiting for ever since I heard that THEY are coming to Ljubljana for the first time. Who is coming? Well, Dropkick Murphys, of course, ddddd! :P For those who haven’t heard of them, the Dropkicks are an Irish-American folk punk rock band from Boston, who have been around for long and successful 16 years. They consist of 6 active members, of which only Ken Casey, the bass guitarist and vocalist, is an original member of the crew that formed the band back in ’96. But you can look all of the info up on the Wikipedia, I’m going to focus more on the concert itself.

Me and Lea arrived at Kino Šiška about an hour early, nevertheless, the parking place in front and the bar were already crouded with fans wearing band shirts from the previous concerts, while some of the “hardcore” fans even took the look to a whole new level by wearing irish green kilts. Also, unlike the last jazz concert report that I wrote, where I told you that the people were mainly drinking wine, this time, all you could see everywhere around you were people drinking beer, specially Dublin’s well-known Guinness Draught. For a brief moment you could almost forget that you’re in Slovenia, not Ireland. ;)

Opening show was performed by the Parkington Sisters, a band of 5 sisters (this time performing only 4), who are touring with the Dropkicks in Europe for the first time and also play during their show later in the background as their melody in the back as well. They prepared the public for the main act really well and heated the atmosphere with folk/country sounds, playing their original songs as well as some known covers that public could sing along like “Dirty Old Town”, which is most known performed by The Dubliners. They finished off thoughtfully with a song that probably everybody knew… The Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. :) Just for an “intermezzo”, the guitarist Rose, who you can see on pictures below shaved her head for charity a week ago, when perfoming on the Rock AM Ring Festival in Germany to show her support for cancer.




Everything was ready and set for the Dropkick Murphys, and when they did come on stage, the public went wild. The set-list was quite long and it mostly consisted of their most famous songs like “Going out in Style”, “Irish Rover”, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya” and others. The lead vocalist Al Barr praised the public’s feedback after the first song with something like: “Can someone tell my why haven’t we played in Slovenia before? You guys are awesome!!”. The show kept on going strongly for the whole time, except for a few acoustic songs, just to let the people relax and breathe for a few moments and just enjoy the pure beauty of Irish folk songs, but not too long though, because right after that, it was punk rock to the fullest again. The band did not refuse fans from getting on the stage, Al even let a fan to sing along. Stage diving was not a rarity either, people kept on climbing on the stage and jumping off it, and just let themselves surf on the hands of public throughout the hall. If I had to judge by their facial expressions, I’d say the feeling was probably more than just great. Their serie of original songs ended with “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” which is most known for its appearance in the Martin Scorsese’s movie called “The Departed” that was awarded with 4 Oscars. (I did not even need to use google to know that, take that! :P). They played two more additional songs and dedicated the first one to the ladies and asked them to join them on stage. It didn’t even take 5 minutes and the stage was full with women joyfully singing along. The band didn’t want to let the men down either, so Al Barr asked everybody to climb on the stage for the last song and “test the quality of the stage” that Kino Šiška has to offer, and the song was “TNT” by AC/DC.

I can say that we all hope they’ll be back in Slovenia in the future, but until then, next stop… Flogging Molly in Ljubljana in September!
See you there!











Wakeboard Camp 2012, Pag

What’s up?
Wakeboard Camp on Ski Lift Pag. Yeah, that’s what’s up!!

Before I start with everything else, the first thing I want to say is that the joke is on you! Yes, you, because you weren’t one of the more than 20 unique individuals who were there with me on the camp this week, and believe me when I say it, it was pretty damn awesome. :)

I’m not going to describe every day by day, even though I initially wanted to, but that would take me to long, and it would take you quite a while to read it as well, so I’m just going to shortly sum up the best of it. :)

So yeah, I was spending the last week on a some sort of pre-season break on the Ski Lift Pag, where the 2012 Wakeboard Camp took place. I was pretty hyped a while ago when I first found out about the camp and needless to say, the affordable price and love for wakeboarding itself made me sign up for it immediately. The waiting for the camp afterwards was quite hard, because the camp was first time on the water for me this year, but it was worth it and the timing was just right. This time, I’m also really really glad that the meteorologists were wrong, since their predictions also included rainy days during the week, but the whole camp turned out to be sunny and warm the whole time, only a bit windy perhaps from time to time but no biggie.

We left Ljubljana towards the paradise in a camper on Saturday night in the early hours, so we would be on the island a few hours before the Ski Lift opens, but we weren’t even the first ones to be there. I slept pretty much the whole trip from the Slovenian border and woke up already boarding on the ferry. I tell you people, travelling horizontally is the best. :D
We started riding the same day and it was just great to be back on the water again. Slowly, the rest of the crew began arriving on the lift as well, and till the end of the day, we were all set and ready for the opening party that we threw in the apartment later on that evening. Perhaps, if you’re wondering right now, how can so many people have a party in an apartment, you just should’ve seen how big the apartments are. Or wait, I have a shot of it, but keep in mind that I would need a wide angle to really get the whole place on the picture.

Our riding skills were quite different, some have already been riding before while some of them signed up for the camp with zero wakeboarding experience, but till the end of the week, we all made a progress and that’s what the camp was all about.
According to the progress the riders made during the camp, the last day, the Ski Lift awarded 2 best riders, who learned the most through the week with a free 7 days ticket to be used at any time they want to, while I got a weekly ticket for helping in organization etc.

Anyways, we did a whole lot of riding and tested out the objects on the water as well as we had the “dry training” and a rope tied to a fence for the enthusiasts who want something more than just the regular riding on the water. Later on we finished off every night differently, sometimes with a good old party, other times with a table tennis session downstairs or a poker night for icecream, or even a nice relaxing dinner with fish and coach Aljoša on the piano. We also had a private hairdresser with us, so in case your hair was too long, Iztok took care of that as well.
I think I can speak in the name of every single participant, that the camp was super fun and a very unique experience that nobody regrets, and so I’ll be just finishing with a few photos from the camp, so enjoy. :)

Oh and P.S.: An information from the inside says that there is probably going to another camp this September again, so this time, I’m expecting YOU to be there with us, regardless of your history with wakeboarding, because believe my words, you’ll love it.

See you there!

A field of dreams?

After I’ve seen a gazillion of daffodils on a picture that a friend of mine posted on facebook, I decided I need to see them in person as well. By the way, daffodils are flowers that are called narcise in Slovene. Oh and yes, I know gaziliion is not a real number, but it really sounds alot. :D

Traditionally, May is the month of daffodils in Jesenice or more precisely on Golica, which is a hill above it. The whole town lives in sign of the flowers for the whole month and you can see stickers and graffiti everywhere, they even select the Miss od Daffodils. :D The way I look at it, it’s a real contrast or even jin jang for a town like Jesenice, which are most known for being one of the biggest and most known iron sites in Slovenia and that gave them a sort of a “gray feeling”, so I think a month of flowers is a really positive thing. But don’t be mistaken, even though they call it “the month of daffodils”, in fact you can only see most of them just for a few days in the month, so when I saw the picture, I knew I had no more than two or three days until they’re gone. I was still a bit too late though, lots of them were dead already. Still, it was a nice day. :)

Oh, and a little reminder for all of you to remember,

I won’t translate it literally, because it wouldn’t sound as good, but it’s a wonderful warning to leave the flowers where they belong. In nature.

Latino Funky Jazz with (a) Soul

Last night, somewhere around 9pm, Alice Russell held a concert together with Quantic and his Combo Barbaro here in Ljubljana. Unless your taste in music is very specific, you probably have no idea who I’m talking about right now. Don’t worry, I had no clue who I am going to shoot yesterday either, but it turned out to be a pretty good concert actually.
So, first off, a little info about the musicians. Alice Russell is a British soul singer who worked together with many famous artists, Will Holland on the other hand, who is also known as Quantic currently lives in Columbia, where he started a funk/jazz group named The Quantic Soul Orchestra.

Even though I personally enjoy listening to jazz, specially late in the night when everybody else is asleep already, the primary reason I was there last night wasn’t to enjoy the concert (still, I really did :)), but to take some photos for a website that I usually work for. You can check my other galleries from various concerts on this website: http://www.studentarija.net/infoscena, but you’ll have to search for a bit, because I’m not their only photographer, which means all of the galleries aren’t mine.

Maja and I arrived about half an hour early, just so we could “take it easy” and slowly pick up our PRESS passes. Yes, it’s the thing that you wrap around you wrist and it suddenly lets you go to places a normal visitor isn’t allowed in, but most importantly, you’re there for free. It’s fascinating, how a just simple bracelet makes you feel so awesome that you almost want to wear sunglasses. Usually, I always drink an Erdinger Weissbier before a concert and it’s probably the only real tradition I’ve ever had, but you got to admit it, it’s a really tasty one. This time though, the bar outside was full. There were soul addicts dressed in vintage clothes everywhere around us and you could almost sense that late 60’s or early 70’s feeling somewhere in the air. Unlike me, their passion and desire wasn’t beer but rather red wine. Eventually, I accepted the fact that I’m going to have to enjoy my drink inside, so we moved upstairs. I also had to show the contents of my camera backpack to the security personel at the entrance, probably for drinks, because I’m pretty sure I don’t look like a terrorist. Or do I? :D

The concert started instrumentally without the vocalist Alice on the stage, but to be honest, the band itself is already good enough, so Alice was just an extra bonus, if I may call her that. Don’t get me wrong, I think her voice is more than great. The songs on the setlist we’re most likely written down in that order strategically, since they we’re progressing from the slower ones to more and more lively rhythms, that just make you wanna move your feet. On account of the fact that I forgot to ask the staff if there were any limitations for the photographers, I wasn’t aware that I only had first 3 songs to shoot (which is up to the band to decide) and since I’m usually allowed to shoot for the whole concert, I took things easy, thinking: “First few songs I’ll shoot some shots of Alice and the back vocalist and then I’ll slowly move to the members in the background”. By the time the security guy came to tell us our time was up, I had only about 20-30 pictures, and they very mostly images of the 2 persons in front. :D Still, we learn from our mistakes they say, so it’s a lesson well recieved and I’ll sure be asking for the restrictions the next time. :)
To sum everything up, the concert was great and here are a few photos from it:

Super Vingtar and Blejski Moon!

And just when you thought I already gave up with my blogging project, here I am. :P

Last week, me and my friend Sara decided we should take a road trip and go see one of our country’s diamonds, the Blejski Vintgar. Perhaps you’ve already heard of it, specially if you’re from Slovenia but for those who haven’t, a vintgar is some sort of a smaller canyon and obviously Blejski Vintgar is located somewhere near Bled.

Most of the times, when me and my friends decide to take a road trip somewhere it takes for ages just “talking about it” and planning the whole situation and honestly, it mostly doesn’t even end up with actually doing it. Yes, it is partly my fault, because I don’t have my own car. Okay yes, I don’t even have my drivers licence yet. But I’ll have it, someday. I will.
Anyways, this time me and Sara made it happen, damn right we did. We decided to put our deadline on last friday and we took of early in the morning. Hmmm, now that I think back once again, it wasn’t that early really. Sara, who lives on the seaside of Slovenia, which is about an hour from Ljubljana, was supposed to be at my place at nine, but she was still sleeping at that time because “her phone wasn’t working” she said. Well, I won’t go on and criticize her anymore, cause she’s really dear and she’s the one that made it happen, I couldn’t really get there without her.
So yeah, she’s great. :P

Back to our trip. When we arrived at the parking place, first thing I noticed was how colder it was there, and that my summer outfit really wasn’t the best idea. :D We bought our tickets and slowly started discovering the canyon. I’d rather not describe what the vintgar looks like, because a good picture is worth more than a 1000 words… Or at least so they say. ;)

I also had the GPS with me, and because you people read my blog all the time, you now already know why I had it with me. Riiiiight? :P
If your answer was: “so we wouldn’t get lost”, you’re not that far from the truth actually, because honestly I did check the situation from a time to time, but of course the primary reason was to search for geocaches. As any other beautiful place in the world, the vintgar has its 2 caches as well, and as much as I’d love to say we found them both, unfortunately I can’t. We didn’t find any of them actually. :D And before you start judging me, I really tried and I even had some help a bit later from an older Polish woman that was just watching me at first (which was kind of awkward and creepy) but later on asked me: “Did you find it? Because I didn’t!” I was relieved that I’m not the only retard that can’t find a cache whose complexity is rated 1,5 out of 5, but when she told me she was still a beginner, I wasn’t that relieved anymore. :D We gave up pretty soon and tried our luck at the second cache that was located behind the ticket house. Nope, didn’t find that one either. Sara did find a way how to get inside the vintgar without buying a ticket though. Pretty awesome, huh? :D This time we paid, but next time we’re totally going in for free! :P

The next was the “Super Moon” day. I don’t exactly know why and how, all I know is that the moon was about 50.000 kilometers closer to the earth than usual, which resulted in a visually 14% bigger moon. It’s a situation that happens every 30 years I think. Okay.. Is it just me, or is it really every single year, that we happen to witness a phenomenon that is supposed happen every half a century? We must really be lucky, huh? :P
Nevertheless, I like these kinds of situations, because it goes hand in hand together with one of my hobbies, photography. You can already know when you hear of a appearance like this, that there are going to be photographers everywhere waiting for the moon to rise and try to get the best photo they can. And so was I. I was waiting at the Ljubljansko Barje pricesly at 19:47, the time that all the websites claimed the moon was supposed to rise in Slovenia. Funny thing that I realised when I started unpacking my gear was, that I really had no idea where the moon rises. I still don’t. :D With my Nikon and everything set and ready to rock, I waited and waited, but by the time it was like 20:30 or something like that, I still haven’t seen even a single glance of the moon, because the sky was full of dark grey clouds. That sucked and I was really pissed. I packed my gear and went home sort of disapointed, but there was nothing I could have really done. However, I finaly got lucky later at home when I had my few epic seconds of “clean space” between two clouds and the moon just happened to be there, so I took just one shot of it and ladies and gentlemen, here it is.

I’m leaving you with a simple advice tonight,
Always aim for the moon. If you miss it, you may hit a star. ;)