Sleep Well Hostel – Brussels

Alright, 3 weeks ago (or something like this), I went to Brussels to see Apocalyptica and not being able to swim in money, I ended up searching for a nice hostel that is close to the centre and also close to the venue, ans thus stumbled over the “Sleep Well Hostel”, just 15 minutes away from the venue. Perfect match for me.

Price

I paid, for the room of 6 and including breakfast, 23,50€ – which is pretty much nothing looking at the small room size and the fact there is wifi, separate shower and toilet in your room and the breakfast. Renting a towel is 1€, which is also really a fair price, so all in all it was really not expensive at all. Makes sense for everyone who doesn´t want to spend a fortune on accomodation when mostly being outside anyways.

The room

6 beds, split up into 3 bunk beds. All wooden furniture, really nice and cozy done. Including light and power socket right at your bed, same for some little drawers for storing smaller things and a place where to hang at least a few of your clothes. The bed was really nice, not too soft nor too hard mattress, pillow was comfy but the blanket was like a woolen army blanket, where you needed to add your linen to. Not really my style, but alright.

The bathroom was split into two – one small toilet room (with not so amazing air condition) and a bathroom with two separate and cool and stylish looking shower cabins and a washbasin and a mirror. The mirror was attached to the wall in a stupid way, so basically just one person at a time was able to use it.

For me, the following thing was not really too bad as I was there just for sleeping – but it might have been annoying otherwise: due to construction works, one of the windows was kinda sealed with wood, so no real light coming through, and of course looking outside was also not possible. If I was staying there for longer, it would´ve been a pity, but like this, it was still fine for me.

Staff

I met two staff members at the reception, and to be fair, really not my cup of tea, even thugh they were rather polite. They seemed somehow distant and always stressed, and this is not something to really show to your customers. I personally felt even bad for asking them for some things, like a map or the towel or such things, because they seemed to be in a permanent rush.

Breakfast

The breakfast was good – several different kinds of bread and juices, you had marmelade, butter, margerine, you had the chance to have cereals and joghurt, but also cheese and sausage (though just, unfortunately, one of each kind) as well as some egg with bacon which was surprisingly well and was no artifical egg but real egg. Tea and coffee also was available, and you were able to eat as much as you wanted. So food-wise all perfekt. Just the breakfast room was a bit small, so that the rows of tables and chairs were really close together, which was pretty annoying when people had to walk through those rows.

Homepage

http://www.sleepwell.be

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Flashback: Back where I come from // Rückblick: Zurück dort, wo ich herkam

…and in this case I mean Cologne, where I grew up and lived for so many years. The two days after the concert I spent with my family but also walking around Longerich, the area in Cologne I grew up in.

And needless to say – it has not changed as much as I had expected it to change. And no, I did not get lost, I might be clumsy and really bad when it comes to orientation, but I made ist. Safely. I had planned to be walking around much more, but I really felt tired and worn out after the show – rocking out drains the energy^^ Also, my main focus was not on doing sightseeing in my own home town, but rather see my family again and spend time with them, because I haven´t seen most of them since Christmas – being far away from home has its good and bad sides, and this is one of the bad ones. Sucks that you just cannot walk over or hop onto a tram and quickly have a chat. People are not becoming younger, and then being rather far away sucks.

But now, enjoy some snapshots from my walk!

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…und in diesem Fall meine ich Köln, wo ich aufgewachsen bin und so für eeeeeiiiinige Jahre gewohnt habe. Die Tage nach dem Konzert habe ich mit meiner Familie verbracht, aber hatte auch was Zeit in Longerich herumzulaufen – und Longerich ist das Viertel, in dem ich aufgewachsen bin in Köln.

Und ich muss sagen – es hat sich nicht viel verändert, und ich hätte durchaus mehr Veränderung erwartet. Und nein, ich habe mich nicht verlaufen, auch wenn ich wirklich verpeilt bin und keinen Orientierungssinn habe, aber ich habe es sicher wieder nach hause geschafft. Ich wollte viel mehr herumlaufen als ich es dann getan habe, aber ich war einfach wirklich müde und ausgelaugt nach dem Konzert – Rockshows brauchen viel Energie ^^. Auch war mein Hauptfocus nicht darauf, in meinem eigenen Viertel “Sehenswürdigkeiten” mir anzuschauen, eher darauf, meine Familie wieder zu sehen und mit ihnen Zeit zu verbringen, denn ich hatte einige von ihnen seit Weihnachten nicht mehr gesehen. Es hat Vor- und Nachteile so weit weg zu sein, und das ist eine der Nachteile. Es ist blöd, wenn man nicht einfach so rübergehen kann oder in die Bahn springen kann um mal zu quatschen oder so. Man wird nicht jünger, und wenn man dann weit weg ist, ist es blöd.

Aber jetzt genießt ein paar Schnappschüsse von meinem Spaziergang!

          

Do you remember me? the kid I used to be?

The amazing girls I met at the show

Do you remember me?
The kid I used to be?
Not the same as I used to be!
Oh, do you remember me?
[Apocalyptica – “I´m not Jesus”]

This song quote kind of shows what connects the band and me – they´ve seen me grow up over the past 10 years. And it´s a songline that makes me grin because of this, and I know I am not alone with this.

Where FlixBus dropped me off

The Bielefeld show (October 3rd) – man, what a stressful trip. I had gotten up early to catch my Flixbus bus from main station in the late morning, but well…that never happened, because the bus engine blew up even before it reached Hamburg, so everyone had to be rebooked onto a later bus, but fun fact: that later bus what not even that full, i just ended up having a delay of nearly 2 hours when arriving at the venue. But let´s talk about that later. So yeah, the bus trip was pretty relaxed, I mostly slept and was daydreaming to gain some power and strength before arriving somewhere in the fucking middle of nowhere – still Bielefeld, but far off the center. So I still had to take a train to the center, and then walked to the venue – at least the sun was shining. That was making it all really bearable, though the 2km walk was somehow annoying, even though I had stored much of stuff in a locker at the main station to have food and drinks later on.

One of the old trains in front of the venue

When arriving at Ringlokschuppen, I was positively surprised – a nice building, and also nice and old trains close to it. One old train was being moved there and it was pretty interesting to actually watch the whole specatcle, so time was passing by rather fast until a girl I had met on the internet showed up. Also before I teamed up with some fans that already were there, and one of those guys that came really early still had no ticket – and I had a spare one, so I gave it away for free. You might wonder why I give away 30 Euros just like this – I am grateful and really lucky to be able to work as press and even if not, I would have the chance on guestlist places. And because this is something not everyone has, I wanna do something good in such cases. And I think it´s nothing bad, right? I know we live in a selfish way, where such things hardly happen, and it´s why it was the right thing to do – and look into this totally amazed, stunned, speechles and extremely happy face of this person who couldn´t believe it and couldn´t stop thanking me.

Then on last second I actually went to do the interview with the support band, Tracer, in the backstage. Was a fun time, and I still need to type it all down for it being published. Afterwards I went to pick up my press pass, as I was working as a photographer and was really excited about it even though my neck and shoulders were giving a hell of a time because they were stiff and giving me pain.

Me & Franky Perez

The light were somehow not really making me happy, and I felt unsure if my photos were any good – to be honest, I think that those photos I took that are the best ones, are the ones of Apocalyptica singer Franky Perez – but I also really enjoy photographing him because he is so full of gestures and singing with soul and body…it is amazing to look at! Generally the guys are amazing to look at and the show is just mindblowing, but I am just struggling with handling the lights and many of the venues lack proper lights from the front – unless you wanna take shadow shots, which can also be pretty fancy, of course. But yeah, the show was really good once more, even though Franky´s voice sounded a bit weaker than the day before in Hamburg, and that made me a bit worried. But when waiting together with the girls I had met when waiting before the show, Franky came and ensured me he was doing good. I really hope it was true, and that he doesn´t get sick like me – as I

Old tower close to the venue

already knew when standing outside in the cold, that something was aproaching.

Waiting was worth it, it was a nice time again and afterwards I hopped onto a cab with the girl I had met via the inetrnet, as she offered me a warm and dry place to stay at until my train was leaving at 6am in the morning. She had a hotel room close to the train station and there we went, chatting, laughing, shariny stories…it was a sweet time, and time really passed by quickly. Then I hopped onto the train to Hannover, and there I had a 40min delay of my train to Hamburg – it was terrible, even though I had grabbed some breakfast. I was feeling totally exhausted, dead tired, was shaking and dizziness was taking over. In the end I had been up and running without sleep for around 30 hours I think, and then when home, I just dropped into bed and slep until the afternoon. When waking up I already felt a tad sick, hoping it would not get any worse…

Flashback – Judas Priest, twice a week // Rückblick: Judas Priest, zweimal die Woche

I know it´s been a month since those concerts actually happened, but so much was going on in between that I kept on postponing it – but now I have time and the will to quickly report a bit about those shows.

08.06.2015 – Hamburg

At times it can be stressful to go to concerts straight after work – this time I literally rushed out of work and to the venue, without a break or changing clothing or anything. I arrived at the venue at 6.20pm, the doors should have opened at 6pm already but opened even after I arrived. And the queue was not long so I ended up in the second row in front of Richie Faulkner, as I always want to stand there as he is so much fun to watch and loves interacting with the audience so much.

Downside of the venue was that it was a huge venue, too big, too big photo pit, too far away from stage…Anyways, the support band “Five Finger Death Punch” were pretty cool, I was surprised – I had known their name but not their music, and their stage performance really made me enthusiastic.

Then it was time for Judas Priest, and I was all happy and able to turn off the mind for a while which was just what I needed on the day which was stressful at the office. I was singing along aloud, was headbanging and also caught a guitar pick from Richie Faulkner. It is always funny to see how people beat the hell out of each other to catch something, and I again managed to catch one. Nothing that I really need in that sense, but it is of course really cool to have a little something as a souvenir.

After the shows I totally sweated started my way home as I had to work the day after, and felt really tired and like getting sick…

14.06.2015 – Utrecht

Travelling for shows is nothing new for me, but since I moved to Hamburg it has become rare as it seems that all shows are either in Hamburg itself or are far off – I mean, even travelling to Utrecht took me around 5 hours and 2 train changes. Back in the days when living in Cologne it was pretty handy to travel to shows in the Netherlands, it is something that I clearly miss as I think Dutch fans are just so much more fun during shows than German ones.

I was in Utrecht far too early, but lucky enough I had time to spend time with a friend whom I hadn´t seen for quite a while, so it was fun times. Then another friend of mine who also attended the show, arrived and it was a nice time there waiting.

Doors open was a freaking mess and I got really angry, so angry that I just started running without having my ticket even checked. Stairs up, on that floor running a bit, another stairs up, and then stairs down. Frontrow, in front of Richie Faulkner. Strike, I got where I wanted to be. So it was all good except for being unable to breathe, but my asthma spray helped me out there.

The venue was really small, the photo pit really tiny so you had the band up close and in front of your face. So amazing, it is s much better than those huge venues where you´re miles away. The show rocked so badly, I was all sweated, without a voice and fully exhausted afterwards. Had planned to be buying a shirt but their tour shirts didn´t look nice at all and were pretty expensive, so I was like “no thanks, I invest the money rather into something else”.

After the gig I still had the hope to be running into the band, which was also the reason why I had come to the venue so early – but nothing. No chance. I gave up the hope, it is a waste of time to keep hoping.

I spent several hours at the trainstation, where everything was closed and it was cold and windy – but fun when someone really talented started playing the public piano and another group started singing. I was joining in and I had a load of fun there but still was happy to somewhen hop onto the train and after many hours again, I was so happy to be home in the morning hours.

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Ich weiß, ich weiß, es ist schon ein Monat her, dass diese Konzerte auch wirklich stattgefunden haben, aber ich der Zwischenzeit ist so viel passiert, dass ich es immer weiter verschoben hatte – aber jetzt habe ich Zeit und Wille ein bisschen darüber zu berichten.

08.06.2015 – Hamburg

Manchmal kann es wirklich stressig sein, direkt nach der Arbeit zum Konzert zu fahren – dieses Mal bin ich wirklich von der Arbeit zur Halle gehetzt, ohne eine Pause oder die chance andere Kleidung anzuziehen. Ich bin um 18.20 Uhr an der Halle angekommen, Einlass hätte um 18 Uhr beginnen sollen aber dieser begann erst nachdem ich da war. Und da die Schlange nicht so lang war, war ich dann auf einmal in der zweiten Reihe vor Richie Faulkner, wo ich immer stehen will da es einfach so viel Spaß macht ihm beim Spielen zuzuschauen, und er so viel Spaß dabei hat mit dem Publikum zu interagieren.

Der Nachteil dieser Halle war aber leider, dass sie so groß ist, zu groß, ein zu großer Fotograben, zu weit weg von der Bühne…Aber na ja, die Supportband “Five Finger Death Punch” waren echt cool, ich war überrascht – ich kannte ihren Namen aber nicht ihre Musik, und der Auftritt hat mich wirklich mitgerissen.

Und dann war die Zeit für Judas Priest gekommen, und ich war wirklich froh meinen Kopf für eine Weile ausschalten zu können nach einem wirklich stressigen Tag auf der Arbeit. Ich habe laut mitgesungen, habe geheadbangt und ein Gitarren Plektrum von Richie Faulkner gefangen. Es ist immer lustig zu sehen wie sich alle um Souvenirs prügeln, und ich hab einmal mehr etwas gefangen. Nichts was ich wirklich brauche, aber klar ist es wirklich toll etwas schönes als Souvenir zu haben.

Nach der Show habe ich mich, total verschwitzt, auf den Heimweg gemacht da ich am nächsten Tag arbeiten musste und jetzt schon total müde und kränkelnd fühlte.

14.06.2015 – Utrecht

Für Konzerte zu reisen ist ja nichts Neues für mich, aber seitdem ich nach Hamburg gezogen bin ist es weniger geworden, da alle Shows entweder in Hamburg selbst sind oder einfach zu weit weg – ich meine, selbst nach Utrecht zu kommen hat mich um die 5 Stunden gekostet und ich musste zweimal umsteigen. Damals, als ich in Köln gelebt habe war es echt einfach in die Niederlande zu reisen, und das ist etwas was ich echt vermisse weil ich finde, dass die niederländischen Fans einfach cooler drauf sind als die Deutschen.

Ich war dann viel zu früh in Utrecht, zum Glück hatte ich die Chance etwas Zeit mit einer Freundin, die ich lange nicht mal gesehen hatte, zu verbringen und das war echt toll. Dann kam ein Kumpel von mir auch vorbei, weil er zum Konzert wollte und es war eine nette Wartezeit.

Der Einlass war pures Chaos und ich war echt sauer, so sauer dass ich einfach losgerannt bin ohne dass mein Ticket geprüft wurde. Treppe hoch, auf dem Level weiterlaufen, wieder Treppen hoch, und dann die Treppe runter. Erste Reihe, wieder vor Richie Faulkner. Perfekt, ich bin dorthin gekommen wo ich hinwollte. Daher war alles gut, aber ich konnte nicht mehr atmen, aber dafür gibt es ja ein Asthmaspray.

Die Halle war wirklich klein, der Fotograben schön schmal sodass man die Band direkt vor sich hatte- So toll, es ist einfach viel besser als wenn die Band Meilen entfernt ist in solchen großen Hallen. Die Show hat gerockt, ich war total durchgeschwitzt, ohne Stimme und total erschöpft. Ich hatte geplant mir ein Tshirt zu kaufen, aber die sahen nicht so toll aus und waren alle recht teuer, daher dachte ich mir „nein danke, das Geld investiere ich lieber in etwas anderes“.

Nach dem Konzert hatte ich noch die Hoffnung die Band zu treffen, und das war auch der Grund gewesen wieso ich so früh vor der Halle war – aber nichts. Keine Chance. Ich habe die Hoffnung aufgegeben, es ist eine Verschwendung von Zeit da noch zu hoffen.

Ich habe einige Stunden am Bahnhof verbracht, wo alles geschlossen war und es kalt und windig ist – aber es war lustig als jemand anfing, wirklich talentiert auf dem öffentlichen Klavier zu spielen und eine andere Gruppe auf einmal anfing zu singen. Ich habe mit eingestimmt und hatte viel Spaß, aber ich war dennoch froh dann irgendwann im Zug zu sitzen und nach einigen Stunden dann am Morgen auch zuhause zu sein.