As the avid readers of Charlotte’s VVeb will know, I visited Serbia for the first time last year and was blown away by its beauty, culture, food and drink – everything this website is about! If you aren’t so sure then perhaps consider taking an organised tour and I don’t mean a bus tour… There is a lot more to touring these days than coach trips! For example, Travel the Unknown organise incredible hiking and cycling tours through Serbia’s valleys and gorges. On such a tour you can discover the ghoulish skull tower of Niš, visit a 200 year old water mill, and stop off to rejuvenate your muscles in a Turkish bath.
Plus, you’ll have the chance to experience the cosmopolitan café culture of modern Belgrade and hike through remote regions of Serbia, sampling local wines, brandies, breads, meats and cheeses along the way. While overnight you will stay in small lodges (pensions) and discover true hospitality in a traditional rural homestay.
There are currently two dates set for these tours (22 to 29 April; and, 16 to 23 September); however, if these don’t suit you, contact the company and they will organise a trip to suit your individual needs. And if Serbia doesn’t take your fancy, Travel the Unknown offers lots of other touring experiences!
For those already thinking of their summer plans, one destination and event is particular is right up there: The Garden Festival in Croatia. Set in a stunning 900-year old fishing village on the Dalmatian Coast, it is an area of true beauty, one which festival goers explore to indulge in fine food, adventure and fun, all framed by the festival itself, which again takes place across the first and second weekends of July from 2nd-11th July.
The lineup is indeed taking shape to be the most inspiring yet in the Garden’s esteemed history, with everything from NYC deep disco from Metro Area jousting with the sublime sounds of Floating Points, one of the most talked about acts of 2009 for a string of revered releases and remixes, through to Leeds’ finest deck devil, Dave Beer. One of Scotland’s finest, The Revenge, is set to unleash his fine disco cuts, and since his Resident Advisor podcast his stock has risen even further. Two of the north of the border’s other favourite sons, Subclub’s Harri and Domenic, make their inaugural trips to Petrcane. London’s Horse Meat Disco also star, themselves enjoying their most fruitful year yet, and two late night specialists, Sebo K and Seth Troxler, bring a tech-noir edge to nocturnal proceedings. Of course it’s not just all about the new boys; some already legendary Garden guests also return, including Greg Wilson, Henrik Schwarz, Kelvin Brown, Terry Farley, No’ Fakin and a great deal more also star.
Croatia itself has enjoyed a bumper year as a travel destination, offering everything from secluded coves and deserted stretches of pristine beach to historic and vibrant cities, succulent seafood and an enriching culture of old and new. Many of those who attended one or more of the weekends this year also took time out to explore some of this inspiring and seductive country too. Visit gb.croatia.hr/Home for more info.
What’s what at The Garden festival 2010: the story so far 2020 Soundsystem • Bonobo • Crazy P • Henrik Schwarz • Killer Whale (The Arthur Russell Project) • Tensnake • Trojan Sound System DJ SETS: Adam Regan • Adam Shelton • Ame • Andy Blake • Basement Boogaloo • Ben Terry • Bobby Beige • Borja • Christophe (Redux) • Daddy G • Dave Beer • Dave Jarvis • Deano Ferrino • Discomendments • Dixon • Dolan Bergin • Dom Chung • Ed Cotton • El Diablos • El Harvo • Electric Minds • Emma Chibuku • Faze Action • Faith • Felix Dickinson • Filthy Dukes • Floating Points • Florian Keller • Futureboogie DJ’s • Geddes • Greg Wilson • Hang The Dj • Harri and Domenic • Horse Meat Disco • Ichisan & Nakova • James Hillard • James Holroyd • Jamie Jones • James Hillard • Jimpster • Joe 90 • Karen P • Kelvin Brown • Kid Bongo • Matty J • Metro Area (Darshan Jesrani) • Nick Shaw • No Fakin DJ’s • Ole Smokey • PBR Streetgang • Pete Herbert • Phat Phil Cooper • Qool DJ Marv • Red Rackem • Rub n Tug • Sam Redmore • Sean Brosnan • Sebo K • Seth Troxler • Shur-i-kan • Smith and Mudd • Soul Jazz Sound System • Ste Hodge • Stu Patterson • Subb-An • Terry Farley • The Revenge • Tirk • Tristan Da Cuhna •Yam Who?
Also, Argonaughty Boat Crews are confirmed! Ahoy there me hearties! There will be 20 voyages over the ‘Double Whammy’ period so get your cutlass polished ready, as mutiny, booty and plunder are not far from these here distant shores.
Weekend 1 Argonaughty Buccaneers: Tirk* Sub Club* Asylum/Hang The DJ* Mulletover* Crazy P* Faith* Below*Futureboogie Crews to include Greg Wilson* Harri & Domenic* Junior* Telford* PBR Strretgang* Geddes* Crazy P Soundsystem* Terry Farley* Stu Patterson* Dave Jarvis* Joe 90* El Harvo* Kid Bongo
Weekend 2 Argonaughty Bucaneers: Trojan/Andy Blake* Resident Advisor* Leftoot* Innervisions Crews to include Trojan Sounsystem* Andy Blake* Sebo K* Seth Troxler* Adam Regan* Bobby Beige* Daddy G* Ame* Dixon* Henrik Schwarz
Barbarellas After Parties Confirmed to Date: As per usual there will be some top club nights and hosts planned for next year’s after parties in Barbarellas Discotheque; the opening party will be on the 1st July and is the official start of the 2010 season. Barbarellas will be open from 23.00hrs until sunrise throughout the ‘Double Whammy’ event in 2010 – expect some very, very special guests.
Weekend 1 Club Hosts: Sub Club* Mulletover* Horse Meat Disco
Weekend 2 Club Hosts: Futureboogie* Resident Advisor presents* Freerange
Croatia on Tour: If you want a taste of Croatia in your home country, think about heading to one of the The Garden Festival European Tour Dates starting this February:
Saturday 6th Feb London UK, The Star Of Bethnal Green
Friday 12th Feb Ljubljana Slovenia, K4 with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Friday 12th Feb Brighton UK, Life (tbc) with Horse Meat Disco
Saturday 13th Feb Zagreb Croatia, A secret location with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Saturday 20th Feb Sofia Bulgaria, venue tbc with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie
Friday 26th Feb Birmingham UK, The Hare And Hounds with Crazy P Soundsystem and Futureboogie & after party with the Revenge
Saturday 27th Feb Nottingham, The Maze with The Revenge
Saturday 6th March, The Deaf Institute with El Diablos Social Club and The Revenge
All gigs will feature Garden friends and family, spreading the good word across the continent in anticipation of what is going to be a fantastic summer… Keep checking The Garden Festival for updated information www.thegardenfestival.eu
Greenbee was launched by John Lewis to provide insurance for your home, car, holidays, weddings and even your pets. However, the website www.greenbee.com offers much more than just insurance and offers a specialist travel service including group tours to Russia. From just £1630, Greenbee will whisk you off on an 8-day, flying to Moscow from London Heathrow with British Airways.
The tour group then stays at the Marriott Tverskaya Hotel for three nights. During the first full day in Moscow, the tour group visits Red Square, Moscow State University, Novodevichy Convent, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and St Basil’s Cathedral. If you want some time off in the afternoon there is the option of personal leisure time or a visit to Tretyakov Gallery.
On the third day, the tour visits Sergiev Posad, built around the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius, one of Russia’s most important religious and historical landmarks. The final day in Moscow is spent at the Kremlin, Russia’s apex of political power. Here you visit the Patriarch’s Palace, Cathedral Square and the Armoury Museum which contains the greatest collection of British silver in the world, in addition to treasures accumulated by the Russian state and church.
A four hour train journey takes you to St. Petersburg where the tour group stays at the Ambassador Hotel for four nights. The following day, a tour visiting sights such as Nevsky Prospekt, Vasilevsky island, Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood and the Peter and Paul Fortress, is provided. During the afternoon, the tour goes to the Yusupov Palace and attends a canal boat cruise.
The sixth day of the tour is dedicated to one of the largest museums in the world, the Hermitage, which contains a vast collection of European masterpieces. The penultimate day in Russia is spent at Catherine’s Palace at Pushkin, followed by an afternoon visit to Peter the Great’s Summer Palace and gardens. Finally, before jetting back to London’s Heathrow, a brief visit to St Issac’s Cathedral is made.
During the trip, should any of the tour desire to see an opera or ballet performance in either Moscow or St. Petersburg, tickets can be pre-booked through Greenbee Specialist Travel.