Archive for the Australia 2016 Category

Epica @ The Studio, Auckland, New Zealand 16/3 -16

Posted in Australia 2016, Concerts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! Once I got back, I got myself ready for the show and headed off. At first, I had planned to take the bus, but then I realized that it was really only a 30 minute walk right up Queen’s Street, I decided to walk instead.

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Once at the venue, me and a few other Epica fans learned that entrance would be on the other side of the venue, so it was just to make your way around. First thing I did was to get myself a bottle water. Destroyed by the European standards, or Nordic perhaps, I was certain they’d check your bag so I didn’t bring my own waterbottle. Jokes on me, I guess.

Checked out the non-existing merchtable before placing myself on the middle of the floor. It’s a small venue – a club, more exactly. It’s weird – I saw Epica on the Mainstage at Graspop this summer, and now I’m seeing them in a half-full club. So odd.

Supporters for the evening where the Australian band Voyager, out of Perth, to be more exact. They started right on time at 19.30 as they were supposed to, and I really liked their band I must say! They delievered a really good set, though the audience was a wee bit lame, but I guess that happens!

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In between the sets, I decided to make my way by the merchandise and pick up one of Voyagers albums. I might have to pick up the other one in Brisbane, I really liked their stuff!

Right on time, “Originem” started with the band going on stage, opening the set with “The Second Stone”. The crowd was recieving well and the band was, despite jetlag, on top! They continued on with “The Essance of Silence” and then “Sensorium”.

The crowd was good. It’s not the European crowds, I must admit, not too much action going on, but I guess it’s different. And if you’ve been waiting for 15 years to see this band, it might take you a bit by surprise.

“Unleashed” follow, which made the crowd very pleased, and they followed that one up with “Martyr of the Free Word”. This was followed by “Cry For The Moon” with a drumsolo on top of that! They held up really good energy and delivered flawlessly.

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“Storm The Sorrow” was next in line, followed by “The Obsessive Devotion”. For this song, the guys specifically asked for headbanging and circle pits, and much to my dismay… nothing happened. There were a few cool guys who actually did shit where I stood, but not a lot. I almost started to wonder if New Zealanders know how to do a proper circle pit.

Next in line, “Victims of Contingency” followed by my personal favorite “Unchain Utopia” and seriously. This song is so fucking massive live, I’m almost dying from the awesomeness of it.

Simone started talking about following your dreams before they wrapped up the set with “Design Your Universe”. The band left the stage, only to come back moments later and ripping off two encores – “Sancta Terra” and then “Consign to Oblivion”.

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I must just say something here. Somewhere around “Unchain Utopia” I started feeling really ill. I wasn’t sure why and how, and at first I thought it was simply bad food… until I realized that once I stopped to listen to the bandmembers talking, that I got better, but as soon as I started moving my head, I fell ill again. What I am saying, is that I have reached the point where headbanging makes me motion ill. Good riddance on me, I need to start taking motion illness pills before metal shows now.

But, all that aside, I was really happy, in “Consign”, to see that these people do in fact know how to do a proper Wall of Death, as well as a circle pit. Good on you guys, good on your for proving me wrong. With all of this, the band thanked for the night and left the stage for good.

It was a really good show. Like, REALLY. I enjoyed it so much, despite the illness. After the show, I met up with the two guys who gave this show a go – Jhonethon and Dan, from Christchurch to be more exact. It was really good to meet new Epica fans, and making some friends down underx2! It was nice meeting you guys, can’t wait to see you again!

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After this, I went back to the hotel, picking up some McDonalds on my way and then I crashed in bed after an amazing night.

Thank you, Epica for this night, I’m looking more forward to Brisbane than ever!

// Sara

Ex’s and Oh’s

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 15, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today, let me tell you, we got into our little Jucy car, got on the road and took the high and motorways down from Aukland towards Rotorua, or more exactly, Matamata. Why for?

Today was the day, we’d finally see the Hobbiton Movie Set.

We originally planned to go already at 10, but since things never seem to work out the hours we want them to, we headed off at 11.3o more like it, so we were on a tight schedule you could say. But then again.. when riding on highways, the driving is pretty smooth, so there were really no worries for us at all.

Once at Matamata, we checked in our booking and got tickets, and after a little bit of wait we got on the bus.

This was a guided tour with a couple of guides telling us all kind of trivia from the movies and recording as well as the scenery, but since there isn’t really.. much to say about it, I’ll just photobomb you all.

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At the end of the tour, we got to the Green Dragon were we all got a free drink of choice. I went for the apple cider, because I figured it was better to play it safe. It was a supercozy little tavern, that even had its own cat!

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During the break, we also befriended some cool UK guys. It’s cool to see some people from you know, our part of the world.

Sadly, this was the end of our tour, so we got back on the bus and went back the startpoint. Went through the shop, got out with a keyring, two pens and a postcard. We had one last ice cream before heading back home to Auckland.

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It’s been a real fun day, I must admit. Tomorrow: Epica!

// Sara

Ain’t No Good

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 14, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

First thing we did this morning, after sleeping in and some small issues, was to get our own set of New Zealand wheels. Our New Zealand wheels is a silver colored Hyundai called ELD, or, Fire, in English.

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After a late breakfast and some mishaps with the receptionclerk here at the hotel, we finally got on the road, heading down towards Piha, and firstly – Karekare.

And the road down to Karekare… was the fucking road from hell. Roads were narrow as fucking HELL, and not only was the roads super narrow, oh no, on the other side, the passenger side of the car, there was a fucking scarp / cliff, which probably was a a kilometer or two or three deep. Fucking hell. I had my heart up my troath the entire trip down and I even got nauseous thinking about how close death we were. Because, they do not, I repeat, THEY DO NOT have fences to protect your from falling… Every time we got a car from the other side.. Say your prayers…

But, it was all worth it once we got down. First we went to visit the black sand Karekare Beach, climbed a mountain and I ripped another wound on my leg. Seriously, this beach.. So beautiful. We got back to the car, looked at the map and walked the 250 metres up the road to reach the Karekare Falls.. And my lord what a sight. I’ve never before, believe it or not, ever seen a waterfall before in my life so this was sort of massive.

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Got myself a really nice cut while climbing. Always me.

After this, we headed down towards Piha Beach, but stopped a little bit before to embark on the Kitekite walk track, which would eventually lead us up to the Kitekite Falls. It was a long but rather nice track, we were probably a bit unprepared, but we had a view to die for when we stopped halfway to drink a bit.

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After drinkpause we continued up the hill and finally came to the amazing falls. Seriously, it was BREATHTAKING. We embarked on the Connection Track and made the way up on top of the waterfall. Seriously, I can’t tell you about the calmness and beauty that was to be found in this, but seriously…

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We went back on the Connection Track, found ourselves back to KiteKite and finished off the KiteKite track before we decided it was a good idea to head home… Not just yet! First, we were off to Piha beach to check another black sand beach.

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Lush Life

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 12, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

We started the day off with watching Melodifestivalen on SVT Play, because it doesn’t matter if you’re at the other side of the world – you do need to see the finale and see who wins. Frans will be representing us at the Eurovisions, congratulations! The girl I rooted for, Mimi Werner, wasn’t in the finale at all, so it really didn’t matter that much, though I must agree I’m a bit weak for Ace Wilder.

After this, we headed towards the central to first have breakfast at the cutest little café ever, and then continuing down to get our buscards, might as well get one, you know? We chased a beach bag without any luck for a while before getting on the bus towards Takapuna Beach.

At first we were a bit terrified that we had gotten off at the wrong stop, but it was solved really quickly when we found a sign towards the beach.

And what a view! The ocean! The beach! It was wonderful. And what was even more wonderful, was to take my first bath in a sea or ocean in 15 years. It was weird, but fuck I laughed most of the time, even when the salt came in my mouth and lungs. We tanned a bit on the beach, bathed again, sunbathed a bit more before we decided it would be good to pack up our stuff and talk a walk along the beach.

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It’s a big beach I’ll tell you, and… Well. There was this stone, with a rope, and I assume this is so you can climb the stone, so I figured I’d give it a try. Of course, what I do, is that I slip and rip wounds up on my legs. Both of them. Good on me, right?

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We kept walking along the beach and the amazing rocks you could climb, and once we decided to go back, the tide had gone so high that we LITERALLY had to climb the rocks to get back. The stone I tried to climb was almost covered in water. That’s how high it was.

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We wrapped the night up at The Burger Bach where we had each a delicious burger before going home, planning tomorrows adventures.

// Sara

Out of Control

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 12, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So today was the day. We got up at like, what, 4.30, packing our only suitcase into the taxi and said good bye to Curt and Chiara for now and headed towards the airport. Funnily enough, the taxi driver drove the wrong way, and THEN asked our destination. Made me pissed.

Once there, we checked in our bags, got stuff in the duty free and boarded the plane. And seriously, I’m gonna do what Luisa Omelian says – upgrade bitches, upgrade. We went with Emirates and I was happy to watch ”Hunger Games: Mocking Jay part 2” all the way from Brisbane to Auckland, again with a tasty breakfast. I need to upgrade to these kind of airlines.

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Once landed we went through two hours of waiting. Seriously, I never realized how ”blessed” I’ve been to have a European Union passport holder until now. Going into the ”long” rows seriously… it took us two hours. TWO HOURS from when we got off the plane until we were actually IN New Zealand and free to go.

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We found the bus rather quickly, got on it and discovered they have the cutest seats ever. Didn’t see much, since the bus had big printings on the window where we sat, but oh well. Got off at the right place and then took the WALK FROM HELL up to our hotel. I mean, I thought Hotel Micro in Stockholm was bad, but holy shit. Jucy Snooz beat them.

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And Jucy Snooz… so you know how I chose the hotel based on the colors on the hotel right? Seriously, this is soooo our hotel. The humor is just so US. Damn. I need to go to New Zealand more often.

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So, we changed clohtes and then hit the town. The first thing we did was to collect as many maps as we possibly could to start plan our days, and then went through a few touristshops planning what to get and then began the endless lookout for food. We decided we didn’t want to have fastfood, but rather real food to treat ourselves. We found an italian restaurant and had a blast.

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Afterwards we headed over to a place called Rock Bar, which is just as the name suggests, a night club with rock music. So, with music videos from the heroes, a glass of wine and beer and maps and guidebooks, we found ourselves planning out what we wanted to do.

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More locals came into this club which is also a karaoke bar, and once the karaoke was on the party was on. New Zealanders know how to party! Had a blast, thanks all involved. We headed home quite early, and now we lie here in bed listening to Battle Beast and planning out or days. New Zealand will be good.

// Sara

I Want The World

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 11, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today was quite interesting. It started out with us rescheduling New Zealand, as we had originally thought about going today, but decided against it. So I started the day out with packing and cleaning up after us, going for my walk…which became more dramatic than it should.

First and foremost, since I didn’t plan to do a big walk, I decided to bring neither my camera nor my phone, because I thought, what would I ever need or get to photograph?

Jokes on me, because when getting up from my safe place, I found myself looking into a pair of black eyes, belonging to the cutest cow I’ve seen in a long time. And she had company by three more. I know where they’re from – they’re from a far nearby. I talked to a local about the escaped cows and then continued on like nothing. When walking a bit further, I came across one of those dragon lizards and a bunch of tiny geckos. I guess jokes on me when I said I wouldn’t see anything exciting.

Later in the night I headed down to World Science Festival which was held on the Southbank, and started the evening out with watching ”Wall-E” on an outdoor cinema by the river. After the movies was done, I strolled down the marketplace and checked out the dress I’ve found myself checking out a lot. Really need to get it.

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Spent the rest of the evening resting by the river, walking around Southbank to photograph it for my mother and then got home later than I thought I would. Perfect last evening in Australia for now.

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// Sara

Amen & Attack

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 10, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, behind where Curt and Chiara lives there’s a big park. A park that I was told goes on and on and on and on and on for a very long period of time. Naturally, this intrigued me, so I packed my bag, made some food and went. The furthest I had gone before was the 3 kilometers to the workout equipment, but this day I figured I’d go even further.

So I went. There isn’t much to say about me going – the walk differed from being in parks to being among neighbourhoods, and the only really exciting thing must be the warning signs for magpies which freaked me out for a moment, but it was all good. I got all the way down to Virginia Golf Club where the road came to an abrupt end and I found myself walking back home.

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After this I went downtown to meet up with Curt and he showed me some swords he’s been looking at, as well as some recordstores similar to Knastret. I really enjoyed being down there, you know, like coming home?

We went groceryshopping so I could cook them a meal, but… Well. The meal turned out fine, however, being unused to Australian goods, I managed to pick up the spiciest of spicy chilisauces, so our mouths BURNED. And it’s not even supposed to be spicy in the first place. We watched “Ghostbusters” while having dinner, Chiara came home later and we all went to bed. Slow, but nice day.

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// Sara

Touch In The Night

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 9, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today I headed off early to town in order to catch one of many artgalleries they had. I went to the Modern Art Gallery, located close to Southbank, and I enjoyed it so much, and my favorites were the Aborgine art. Seriously, it’s absolutely stunning. This is the sort of art I’d have at home. I fell in love with the Asian pieces as well. I guess it’s just soothing. That reminds me. Once I move away from home, I need to set up a speaker that constantly plays the soundtrack from “Atlantis: The Lost Tales” every day.

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After this, I did some quick shopping at the touristshops. Picked up a few gems, and also some candy before I headed down to one of the many pools at Southbank waiting for Curt. Seriously, I’m not sure if you guys ever been to Southbank, but it’s probably the best place on Earth.

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Around 6-7 something-ish, Curt met me up at Southbank to have some one on one time, and we hit up this Burgerplace called “Grill’d”. I had a superspicy burger, which almost made me cry, but it was SOOOOO good. Seriously, REAL burgerplaces is the fucking shit. I need to have two or ten more of those before I leave this country. So fucking tasty.

We spent the evening talking about everything and nothing, spotting Elmohelmets on bikers and just enjoying ourselves and a drink and a burger.

We walked around a bit on Southbank, walking through the rain forest and the Japanese temple before we decided to head home. It was a really nice night and day, I couldn’t have enjoyed it more!

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// Sara

 

Stand By You

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 8, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today we went for a walk, Michelle and I. It wasn’t very long, but the weather was amazing, and thus, we go. We packed our backpacks with food and off we went. At first we found ourselves going a bit in circles, but we eventually found a route.

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We found ourselves ending up at the 7th Brigade Park, a remembrance park if you like for fallen soldiers.

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We found ourselves a nice picnic table where we could sit down and enjoy the meal we brought, and we were accompanied by the cutest caterpillar ever. I poured him so water, and he actually drank. Amazing.

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When the sunset started, we decided to head home. Once home, I recieved the best news I could possibly get, so we made ourselves ghostpancakes to celebrate. This was a fun, yet calm day.

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// Sara

After Ever After

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 7, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

For the first time in a while I got down to Brisbane center for some shopping, or well you know, trying to shop anyway. I wish I was better at shopping than I am, but you know, what can you do?

I walked around the center for a while, checking out a lot of store and wound up in this one store called Valleygirl, where I instantly found a belt that I had to have, so obviously I got it. They played good music (read: Payphone – Maroon 5) so I found myself walking around a bit and found a couple of really cute tops, sadly, they were a bit too small and seeing their were sale items, they didn’t have the other size. What a shame really, but the belt is a killer.

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I also wound up in a store called Paper Scissors, where I found quite a few items that I decided to try on. Ironically, the one top I didn’t think I’d get is the one I wound up getting. It’s funny how it works sometimes, isn’t it?

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After everything was said and done, I went gorceryshopping to treat my hosts with a mushroom-ham sauce with tagliatelle, and on my way home from the city I cam across some very interesting statues.

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Got home, cooked dinner and we had a pretty good time eating good cuisine and watching “Monsterman”, the Lordi documentary talking about, yeah, Lordi. Haha, what else?

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// Sara