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Thankfully my passport with renewed visa came back in time (3 more years, expires Dec 2012).
I bought tickets for Rammstein 6 months ago in Katowice. I was cycling through their tour dates, picking interesting cities. I didn't realise until after I booked it that Kataowice was an industrial town with no direct flights. Oh well.
So off we go, 5 hour trip, changing in Frankfurt on the way there, Dusseldorf on the way back.
30 minute trip from the airport to the hotel. We get there around midnight on thursday.
Wander around a bit on Friday. Pretty much, see all there is to see. Town is fairly small. No really great architecture. Nice shopping mall though. Try to book some tours. There's nothing in winter. Oh well.
So we've been wandering around the town, and I've yet to see another brown face. Or asian. Or anything non-white. Which then to the amusement of Lana, proceeds to be my goal for the rest of the trip. And nope, never found another. Did find a half asian woman though.
Now on to Rammstein. Tickets said it opened at 6. So we got there then. We were rather confused as to which queue to get in, so just picked the shortest one.
Now our tickets said we were sitting in H section. But there was a word next to the H. "Sektor czerwony". There were 3 H sections. Red, Black and Blue. Within a day Lana had managed to pick up bits and pieces of polish. Prob due to her being able to speak Ukraine and Russian, she was muddling her way through. So we worked out it was red.
Get to seats, great seats. Standing is in front of us. Wheelchairs in front of us, but perfect view.
2 hours later the support act plays. Good, but not great. Lead singer wasn't loud enough.
1 hour after that, Rammstein plays. And yep, they were good. And loud. Mix of new stuff, and old classics (Du Hast and ending with Engel). Pyrotechnics were great. All in all, great fun.
But I am damn thankfully I'm old and sensible enough now to both not go into the mosh, and wear earplugs
The crowd was interesting. Nothing too freaky. Also surprising, there was an almost complete lack of police presence. And no trouble from what I could see (apart from ppl smoking in the toilets).
Next day we got up fairly late, wandered around the city. Everything was shut apart from one art museum, which was fairly average.
Did find a place that sold 1 litre beers. And that was pretty good.
Onto the flight back. Tiny plane leaving Katawice. Couldn't take any carryon luggage on, too small.
But getting through customs on the way back was a pain in the balls. For some reason the bloke in Frankfurt hadn't stamped our passports. So the guy in dusseldorf didn't want to let us out. But he called his supervisor who was cool, saw we'd been in the UK for 3 years, with a new visa for 3 more, and told us it's a minor problem. But to make sure we get it stamped next time.
The onto Heathrow customes. I've been through customs now at Heathrow maybed 20-30 times. Everytime they have been cool, even when there has been problems. This bloke was a dick. First tells me off for writing "indefinte" for time intending to spend in the UK, because our Visa expires in 3 years. Even though Tier 1 is a migrant track and is only intended for those who want to spend indefinite time in the UK i.e. migrate.
Lana's RF-ID chip ain't working. So he had a big question and answer about where she kept the passport. Then he stamped mine, sent me on the way, and kept Lana behind for further questions.
It wasn't his questions, just his attitude. Lana had a similar problem with her passport before where it didn't scan correctly. That guy was fine, friendly, courteous, got it triple checked. Didn't seperate us or do any power games like this guy was doing. I should have written down his name and complained after, but oh well. 1 out 20 can't complain.
In the end told Lana to get another passport. Which ain't really an option, since new visa is in this one, which will cost a hefty chunk for new passport and transferring visa.
Oh, and btw, one thing I absolutely love about getting off the plane in Sydney. You walk up to the customs desk and you hear the twang of the Aussie accent, and you know you're back in Oz. And even though I've been searched a couple of times by Aussie customs, those guys have never been dicks about anything either.
Lana's got pics, so those will be up on facebook shortly.
All in all, going to Katowice was not worth it for the city, but Rammstein was great.
Debating doing a christmas markets run to Prague for the weekend in December.
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