|At Preston Station|
Currently, I am making my way to Bulgaria. Might sound random, but I am going to see Devin Townsend play in a Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv. Not only that he is playing the entire Ocean Machine, as well as a “By Request” set list with an orchestra. Goddamn, the price was right. Fucking Devin Fucking Townsend. Playing the entire Ocean Machine. In Bulgaria. In a Roman Amphitheatre. Makes me wonder how much it would have cost if he had found a similar setting in the UK. Come to think of it, the Fountains Abbey and Kirkstall Abbey would have both provided excellent venues.
And I am going on my own. The last time I travelled to foreign lands on my own was in 2001, to the monolith… I mean the UK. Which incidentally was also the first time I had left the Icelandic shores since I was 5 years old. I did try and find someone to travel with. But the only people I considered couldn’t due to one reason or another. But nevermind. I am going to see Devin Townsend. With an Orchestra!
Maybe it’s because it is not the usual flying time. But Birmingham International Airport is nice. The security wasn’t stressful, there weren’t a lot of people milling around. It almost feels peaceful. Or maybe it’s because I am not accompanied by three teenagers and a 7-year-old.
The flight itself was relatively painless. I manage to sleep through pretty much all of it. There’s not a lot to see when everything is black outside anyway. The terminal I landed in Sofia is tiny. And I mean tiny, it feels almost like the airport in my hometown with its one flight strip. Whilst I am trying to get my bearings, a man approached me saying that he’s a taxi driver. Something about him just screamed predator, he looked like a man who’d be willing to sell children into servitude and his grandma to a Soylent Green factory. Took a long time to get rid of him, but when I did he just transferred his creepiness to other unsuspecting, tired travellers. So, yeah. I got my bearings, thanks to Google Maps. Thank god the EU has banned roaming charges. Find out that Terminal 2 is about 30-minute walk away and there’s a Metro Station there. So I start following G-Maps instructions…. And they want to take me through a restricted area, with armed patrol… Shit. Never mind, I do like a tourist and walk around it looking a little lost yet interested. Finally got to Terminal 2 which is huge! Massive! And very glossy. And there’s the Metro Station! Now I’m here, and now I need to not panic again. I need to find a way to get from the Metro station to the Central Station, I know I need to change somewhere. And I don’t understand the language or the alphabet, which by the way is very pretty. But makes no sense to my foreign, Latin alphabet leaning, eyes. So instead what I do is look out for other travellers, with luggage and I just decide to follow. Like a knock-off badly written police procedural. I finally get to the station and at 0655 I managed to get a ticket for the 0700 bus to Plovdiv. Get on, fully intending on looking around. But promptly fall asleep.
|Nebet Tepe ruins|
|Wall art in Plovdiv|
|Coffee, cake and relaxation.|
After a couple of hours wandering, I return to my hostel, now with Miles Davis in the background, and got to know some of my roommates. All of whom are here to see Devin Townsend. 3 guys flew from the UK. One medical student flew from Helsinki via Istanbul! And then there’s Dave who came from Chicago. Devin does seem to have extraordinarily dedicated fans. But it’s not only the people in the room, its everyone in the hostel whose going to see Devin! Three of us, me, not-Finnish medical student and Chicago Dave decide to walk together to the Roman Amphitheatre.
I bought a bottle of beer while waiting to get in, but before I get to finish it I have to leave it with security :'(.
|Devin Townsend Project|
Best. Concert. Ever.
Got back to the hostel, and fell very happily to sleep.