Sunday, April 10, 2011

An alternative side of a regular European city

Who would have thought that this small city, nestled close to the Julian Alps, characterised as peaceful, laid-back, and may be even boringly nice (if only you knew!) would be defined by the word 'Alternative'. Ok, still not sure if ‘alternative’ captures it, but for sure alternative to the regular. From the girl we ran into the dead of the night, with multiple piercings and spiky hair, but yet speaking sweet, to Metalkova, to the Trn fest and the rap show in the park, Ljubljana totally surprised us!

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Metelkova is a neighbourhood of abandoned warehouses and barracks, which was claimed by squatters (people who take over abandoned buildings) and converted into a kind of “modern” art center. We heard it was being used as art studios and also hosted a lot of parties and jamming session (we could hear someone playing, but they didn’t invite us in!). You are just as likely to find ugly goblin headed structures just as you can find the most colourful spray painted walls and graffiti. The whole place was a cross between Noddy’s world(remember Noddy? )with its vivid colours, an art studio bordering on grotesque and a well worn ramshackle biker hang out. Set in a ground with untended greenery, with a moon glowing overhead, this place turned even more eerily exciting at night.

Metalkova has quite a bit of a controversial history as the supporter's fought to retain its individuality and today it is nearly a regular stop for travellers. Its s a great place to meet other fellow traveller's, you'll find information at all hostels. More on Metelkova’s history here...

At the entrance to Metelkova

Ain't these goblin heads pretty?

The bar...

Eerily interesting at night

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Behind Metelkova, is the Celica hostel... a prison converted into a hostel, the rooms are actually modelled on prison rooms. Who wants to be jailed for a night or two? This hostel is known for its party atmosphere, a filled event calender and as a great place to meet other backpacking travellers.

Both Metelkova and Celica lie on the other side of the old town, across the main bridge. This part of the city was relatively quiet with lesser thoroughfare, maybe more residential, hiding a few character-full bars and restaurants.

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Trn fest is one of the biggest yearly events in Ljubljana with dance/music/ theatre (? not sure) shows. It was nothing like I’ve seen before... the place was packed with people ‘just hanging’ as my friend likes to say. It was a total social event for people to meet friends and grab a couple of drinks and catch-up on the days events and not one seemed to be paying attention to the stage. Not blaming them, on stage was one of the weirdest, (oops!) extremely new-age dance performance I’ve seen till date... Couple of people clad in white seemed to be moving to noises, and sounds really, it was just a series of sounds like fans whizzing, wind blowing, then some sirens... ! I didn’t get it for sure. And the crowd was equally alternative – mostly hip-hopper/rapper types, and a good proportion of Goths... but we did meet a few ‘regular’ people who were also discovering this side of Ljubljana. We left past midnight, but it was still early in the night for Trn Fest!

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On the last night, in a park on the way to the train station was a Slovenian rap show... the last thing we experienced in Ljubjana.

People, just hanging

The show

Into Trn Fest

Cycles piled up at the entrance


Meena Venkataraman said...

Very very intresting...
Would love to hop into one of the art studios...
Hmmmm my wishlist keeps getting longer :)

Anil P said...

Left to their own devices, I suppose people and places will take on a charater of their own.

The colours are striking, whims and fancies finding expression can be delightful sometimes.

SovereignWatcher said...

You've got an interesting blog there. I never post on blogs but am compelled to do so citing my soft spot. Travel. I just returned from Tibet last week, and was looking forward to go to Sikkim when I found your blog. Wish I found it earlier! Its been incredibly informative and I find it pretty useful. If you want to see Tibet through pics just reply back and you'll bet you've never seen Earth the way it is seen from Tibet!

SovereignWatcher said...

My name is Naresh. How do I bring my name on my posts?

Unknown said...
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Ms.N said...

@SovereignWatcher...thanks for stopping by. and glad you liked my blog. yes, Tibet is a place i want to go to, sometime. too many places, too little time is my usual crib!

do let me know if u need more info on sikkim!