Marcin Konkel

#Balkans2015 here we go!

Sarajevo sunset (C) Copyright by Michał Huniewicz ( Photograph used under CC BY 2.0 licence.

Balkan Experience 2015 is starting in a few days and I am thrilled, counting the hours, to get on track and start exploring. First we fly Air Serbia to Belgrade and then go South-West to Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and then South-East to Montenegro, Albania. From Albania we go back to Belgrade via train from Podgorica. On the way we'll be using various transportation - autostop included. A backpacking journey lasting fourteen days through countries that encompass half of all Balkan nations. Crossing religions, beliefs, different versions of history and influences. We hope to meet new friends, explore cultures and taste some good cuisine.

Read more on our plans here. You can keep track of how are we doing by searching for #balkans2015 hashtag on InstagramFacebook and Twitter. See you in a fortnight!

Drive Thru

Balkans Experience 2015 is starting soon. For the time being see Antoine Lavenant's video from the trip that he did with his friends in 2014 visiting some of the places we have in our itinerary.

Colors of Kamchatka

You could read about one of the upcoming projects #kamchatka2016 in an earlier article. We already have a team of four in place and starting with more meticulous planning. Kamchatka is a pure land with environment being as clean and abundant in life as Alaska was 50 years ago and it's changing for the better year after year. "Colors of Kamchatka" is a movie by Pavel Karykhalin and folks from Stereotactic telling the story of Maxim Balakhovskiy. Maxim is living his life on the road on the peninsula discovering new places and hidden spots every year. Watch his story together with pictureque vistas - especially scenes from a helicopter. 

Zbig with Mitch & Mitch

WARSAW | Zbigniew Wodecki with Mitch & Mitch playing on Plac Defilad.

Zbigniew Wodecki (Zbig) in Polish music (and not only) is a extraordinary musician and singer. Together with Mitch & Mitch Orchestra and Choir they played a gig celebrating 60 years of Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN) in Warsaw. The project called "1976: A Space Odyssey" has given a new life to the album "Zbigniew Wodecki" from 1976 with all of the songs rearranged. The outcome was spectacular. Zbig's talent and personality mixed with the new wave of alternative music that Mitch & Mitch represent have created an experience beyond expectations.

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Faces of Nepal

A well known country for it's picturesque vistas and having the world's tallest mountains - Himalayas - on the north. More than 240 peaks over 6,096 m above sea level are located in Nepal. That being said, it is also inhabited by 27 million people, some of which struggle to make ends meet on daily basis. It's not a wealthy country with tourism being one of the main sources of income.

Jeremy Snell has visited Nepal and found the beauty not only in the mentioned vistas but also in the people. Having the ability to foster trust between himself and the person portrayed, he made a movie showing "the beauty of the Nepali people (...) through an array of video portraits. ". His short video let's you witness the history of men and women painted on their faces. Faces of Nepal.

Brithday Tetris

WARSAW | Palace of Culture and Science celebrates its 60 years with a game of tetris.

Palace of Culture and Science is celebrating it's 60th anniversary. Originally a gift from the Soviet Union as a symbol of friendship. Today, a symbol of Warsaw and it's city centre. There are many events happening that mark the occasion. One of them was the chance to play Tetris on its facade - probably being the biggest adaptation of the game in the world.

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From Sri Lanka with love

In the end of 2014, Sebastian Linda has quit all his jobs, got married with his girlfriend and left for Sri Lanka. A romantic story so to say. They travelled through the country visiting places such as ColomboMirissiaLittle´s Adams PeakTangalleMount LaviniaTemple of the Sacred ToothYala National Park and many more. Based on these experiences a movie has been made. Guided by the voice of Alan Watts from his "Time & the more it changes" speech the viewer experiences the beauty of this place in a bit of an unusual way. Why unusual? See for yourself in "Loving Lanka".

Flying over Dubai

Together with "The Jetsons" airing on ABC in 1962, jet-packs have entered the mass imagination.They were seen in Bond movies, military footage and on Discovery. They stopped being a dream in the 60s and entered the reality. The most common use of the jetpack has been in extra-vehicular activities for astronauts. Nowadays, the advancement in technology is huge but still we struggle with Earth forces to make the most of the invention. Nevertheless, there are daredevils who accept the challenge and inspire others.

As the authors of the below movie say:

"We mark a new milestone in the chapter of human flight. Join Jetman Yves Rossy and his protege, Jetman Vince Reffet as they explore the limits in the city of dreams."

A tribute to discomfort

Cory Richards by the age of 14 was dropped out of high school. In 2010 / 2011 he went to Pakistan to climb in the Himalayas in the winter doing the first ascent of Gasherbrum II - a trip changed his life forever. You could find link to Cory's website in the 'links' section on my website for some time now. He constantly inspires others by showing how people cope with being on the edge.

The definition of the edge changes depending on the place that he visits and circumstances he encounters. It's a moment in ones life when he or she experiences more. Something that is beyond them. As Richards describes it: "I think adventure is anything that puts us outside our comfort zone". Through intimacy he builds connection with his subjects. One of his main 'tools' to do so is to smile and make someone laugh he says.

Cory has experienced something that Ryszard Kapuściński (a Polish renown traveller) calls 'a contagion of travel': "I can't stop and sit. It's a constant engine that just keeps driving me towards things that are unknown to me" - Cory Richards.

Unité d'Habitation

Mr Le Corbusier (well actually Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris) was a man with great vision. Living in two centuries (1887 - 1965) he was working as an architect (apart from being an urbanist and the main representative of modern architecture). His projects were constructed throughout Europe, India, and America including the master plan for the planned city of Chandigarh in India.

'Pekin' seen from above. Copyright (C) Google Maps.

Few years after Le Corbusier has died a construction of a new building has begun. Designed by a couple of architects Oskar Hansen and his wife Zofia Garlińska-Hansen "Przyczółek Grochowski", or popular "Pekin" as people living there used to call it, has been something extraordinary. The works have ended in 1974 lasting five years. When last workers were leaving the site, the sight was impressive - 2330 flats for around 7000 tenants. All in one building stretching for 1,5 km, consisting of 22 units with a height varying from 3 to 7 floors. Today, it is still the longest building in Poland - not in a single line though but its broken several times under 90 degrees. 

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