LUXEMBOURG: Kasematten and The Grund

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg, French: Grand-Duché de Luxembourg) has 602.000 habitants and is the last remaining Grand Duchy or Grand Princedom of formerly twelve existing ones in Europe. The state borders to Belgium, France and Germany and forms the Benelux or Low Countries with Belgium and the Netherlands. The mainly rural shaped region is marked by the compact forests and natural reserves of the Ardennes in the north, in the east there are the rocky gorges of the Müllerthal and in the southeast the Moselle Valley. A dream for all nature lovers and hiking fans. The capital is called Luxembourg as well and is famous for its medieval old town which is located on a hill.

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ISRAEL: Streetart Florentin

Florentin is actually a part of Tel Aviv, we wrote already about its street art. But Florentin deserves a special part about the graffiti and the particular surrounding. The walls are covered with nice artwork and the extraordinary mix with the industrial buildings is phenomenal. It is as well a very interesting place if you want to directly observe and study some kind of half-functioning but still developing gentrification. Some streets are in perfect hipster manner, there are chick bars and nice cafes, a lot of alternative and different styles. But just around the corner there is as well the factory quarter, between dirty roads and market streets all over. Its a fantastic mix. There the stylo cafes, on the other side is one car repair shop next to each other with a scrap head in front of the place. Just the architectural commingling is fantastic.

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SOUTH AFRICA: The Grind Radio & Jade Wood – Pretoria

If you are a journalist and you go into the jungle you can find the strangest things. For example other journalists. But sometimes these other journalists are more interesting than the jungle at the moment. Some kind of these meetings happened in Ciudad del Este in Paraguay near the Iguazu Waterfalls this spring. Coincidental at the same time when we stood there in a mansion there was as well the journalist, national-geographic writer and co-founder of The Grind Radio: Jade Wood from South Africa.

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ISRAEL: Streetart Tel Aviv

We sneaked away again during the cold months. Overwintering somewhere far more in the south, definitly very recommendable. Of course we brougth a nice collection of street art pictures and graffiti material from the place we went to: Israel. As well we went for an interview to the since 10 years existing Montana can shop in Tel Aviv. The country has a lot to offer and is worth an explorative visit.

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VIETNAM: Crazy House – Đà Lạt

The name significates very nicely that the building is kind of wired and crazy. But just only the description „crazy“ isn´t adequately sufficient for this wondrous place. There should be added the terms „fantasy“, „fairy tale“ or „other world“. But well, then the name would be too long. When you step into the Crazy House in the south of Vietnam you literally enter another world. A little magic land. We have a lot of great photographs and a walk around video.

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JAPAN: Osaka Junglists – Drum & Bass Japan

This year we could cheer to the start of the next as one of the firsts on the planet. New Year’s Eve in Japan, the country of the rising sun, Yeah! We celebrated in Osaka namely here:  大阪府大阪市住之江区北加賀屋名村造船跡地.That means Namura Zosenjo Atochi and it is an discarded and remodeled shipyard and the Osaka Creative Center, a very cool location and perfect for parties. We knew that there would be DJ-acts like Soichi Terade, Peter van Hoesen and several unfamiliar artists and groups, and we knew that there would be nice electronic music. But we didn´t know that there would be as well fantastic Drum & Bass on the second floor! Surprise! Incredible!

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LAOS: Toilet Streetart and Loo Graffiti – 4000 Islands

Actually I wanted to call it crapper-graffitis, the word is a bit too vulgar for the headline, but I just can´t get it out of my head and during the whole journey we really called this awesome artwork crapper graffitis all the time. In fact it was graffiti on crappers. Toilet graffiti sounded too western and too functioning, it were more some lavatory rooms far away from modern society on some islands without streets and with farmers, who rent some rooms to travelers and backpackers. Two-holer, outhouse or privy isn´t the right word as well, neither shithouse, because they all have some flush and lavation system. So let it be crapper. But in the end it isn´t important what you do at these places, much more what you can see on the outside walls…

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ALBANIA: Berat – Skotis Hostel

Do you need some nice advice for a short trip or long term holiday destination? We already wrote something about a roadtrip through Albania and presented you the country as a new secret hint (Let´s go to Albania). The New York Times voted the country in the newcomer list of soonly be in demand places of interest. Our trip was definitly classic, we learned a lot, had fun and it was (still) quite cheap. The whole country is paved with UNESCO heritages, one of the most impressive cities is certainly Berat. We stood there for a few days in Skotis Backpacker Hostel. The born Scot is an enthusiastic person, excited about travelling and get to know other countries and cultures. Here in Berat in Albania her realized his long wished dream about opening a hostel. When he came to Albania in 2008 there existed just one hostel in the capital Tirana. (We wrote as well something about that place with interviews with the owners). The city Berat is just a historical and as well an architectonical sight, where you should spend some days. The river Osum divides the city in a valley, the houses are built in hills and into the mountain. All the buildings are constructed and presented mostly in the same style and clustered into the hills and valley walls. But actually you don´t see a lot of any walls. There are just window. A lot of windows. That´s why Berat is called as well the „City of the thousand windows“.

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THAILAND: Phangan Rainbow Bungalows – Ko Pha Ngan

The times when we just did beach holidays in summer and skiing trips in winter are over since a long time. Meanwhile you can go very easily and cheap as well to a warm sunny beach on the one side of the planet, while it is freezing in your country, or you can travel during the totally hot mid-summer of your country to a snowy resort somewhere else on a summit in country where there is winter at that moment. We went to Thailand before Christmas, traveled around, had a good time on the sea and collected a lot of nice video and picture material. Our Thailand-Expert Praxinho V., who lived nearly half of his live in Southeast-Asia and who knows all around the islands by experience on exploring by scooter, on elephants, by foot or just crawling – that guy brought us to one of his “Special-secret-super-nice-places”. A lodge where he always goes, and where we all stood for some days and which we definitely can recommend: The Koh Phangan Rainbow Bungalows of Martin Hine and Noy Prante Limkul ….

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