Sunday, 24 July 2011

Surreal trips abroad

Tolmin and Metalcamp from the 11th Century fort at Kozlov Rob
Earlier this week I got back from a trip to a hard rock festival called metalcamp in Slovenia.  Of course, I had a great time, but it was also somewhat surreal.  The festival describes itself as "Hell over Paradise".  I am not sure the Hell bit is appropriate, but you can see why they use the word paradise.

The idea of waking up in the morning, strolling to the nearby river, swimming, washing and relaxing whilst watching the eagles soar above the valley is not something normally associated with a festival.  Of course there was always the pleasure of a few beers and excellent music in the evenings and afternoons just to bring a bit of normality to proceedings.  I have been to many festivals, but this is the only one where I could honestly say that I would have willingly spent the entry fee just to camp there at any other time of the year.  Slovenia is a country with a very proud history and it is great to see the country using that, and its magnificent alpine environment to drive it forwards.

At least Slovenia's supermarkets can see the EU for what it is!
So why have I written this article in what is largely a political blog.  Well, it is also pretty clear that Slovenia is receiving a large amount of EU money.  Whilst expanding the EU outwards has created huge immigration issues, given the history of the Balkan states, moving closer towards them and helping them move forwards to prevent a repeat of what was seen a few decades ago has to be a good thing.  I say that as a Eurosceptic and  would add that I am sure there are probably more efficient, more cost effective ways of achieving the same objective without the monolithic monstrosity that is the EU, but at least in Slovenia you can see some benefit.

I also learned that the worst white knuckle rides are not found in theme parks, but in camper vans on winding roads in Alpine mountains.

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