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Zagreb

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 | Balkans 2010 | 45°48' N, 15°58' E
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Zagreb

After seeing Rammstein in Berlin, I’d waited five years before getting a chance to see them again in Lisbon. The Lisbon gig was so awesome that as soon as I got back to London I started looking into what other places I might be able to catch them. Having seen the first night of the tour, it only seemed right, in the end, to see the last night as well, and so I bought tickets to see them in Belgrade. I’d loved the city when I’d been there before, so I thought it would be great to go back and see a gig there.

Later, it turned out this hadn’t been such a good idea. The gig turned out to be in the middle of the busiest and most stressful month of my professional career, as I tried to understand and interpret data from the Herschel Space Observatory, in time for a deadline for publishing the results of the end of March. Taking a Thursday and Friday off in the middle of this was not the wisest move. I considered not going, but in the end I decided I’d just have to live with working some even longer hours either side of the trip. I’d regret it too much if I didn’t go.

There were going to be four of us going, but two pulled out at the last minute, so it was just me and Sam who met up at Luton airport brutally early on the Thursday morning to fly to Zagreb. Our tastes in music are very different. They have just one overlap, and that is Rammstein. Sam hadn’t seen them before but he couldn’t have been looking forward to it any more than I was. We’d decided to go to Zagreb first as the flights were a bit cheaper and it would be nice to see another city.

I’d been here before, visiting a city in the grip of winter seven years ago. I’d only spent a day in Zagreb then, and I’d been horribly tired after getting a night train from Trieste. I was horribly tired again, but this time it was a fantastic warm sunny day. We explored the city a bit, buying some burek in a bakery, checking out an art gallery, buying our train tickets for the morning train to Belgrade, and generally enjoying the Croatian vibe. We walked up to the upper town, and took in the view from near the Lotrščak Tower. It felt like summer in the late evening sun.

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