Year Recap || 2018

A lot of things happened this year but contrary to every recap post I've made in the past, I decided that I won't go ranting about life lessons. They are always there, my road to self-awareness is bumpy at times but clear and, since I'm still working on last year's goals/realizations, the context is pretty the same. Furthermore, since I decided that I would do a #31daysofdecember type of thing on socials, posting one of my fav pictures I took this year every day of December, I won't do a "10 favorites of the year". But anyway, let's cut to the chase, shall we?
Photo by Panos Koffas

In 2017, and having sold my soul and bank account to the open road, I promised myself that I'd try to travel more and more every year. Considering that I have permanently installed the Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn apps on my phone, you probably wouldn't be surprised that I returned to Germany over and over throughout the year, exploring more areas as I went -and I can already hear people in the back asking how. You can read all about it plus tips and tricks here. This year I took a summer leave for the first time ever. The plan was to go to Summerblast festival in Trier in August and spend the next 3 days exploring the surrounding areas of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. Summerblast was a blast (still not tired of this pun) and a big reunion with some of my favorite bands and people. The day after, I rented a car and drove to the concentration camp in Hinzert and then to the Eltz castle. The sights were amazing but being basically sleepless, severely undercaffeinated and hiking under scorching sun, plus some construction work on the road, was exhausting. The following day I took the train and headed to Saarland (pro tip to explore: trains are the best and easiest way to see new places. Buy a regional day ticket. It allows you unlimited travel within a state and sometimes in neighboring regions for almost 24 hours). I stopped in Mettlach, intending to visit the Saarschleife. Unfortunately, I came to realize that it wouldn't be easily accessible without a car. I got an ice cream and took the train to the next destination; Saarburg. And lemme tell you, it is one of the MOST. AMAZING. PLACES. I've visited in Germany. I instantly fell in love with my surroundings and the picturesque waterfall. Skipping Saarlouis in order to spend more time in Saarburg, I headed towards my final stop, Saarbrücken, where I'd be spending the night. Oh how much I'd missed the city! My plan was to grab a beer and find a nice place near the river to rest and enjoy the sunset. Small problem; as I haven't been there in 5 years, the fact that I remembered a couple routes didn't mean that I was able to calculate the distances so I ended up in a lovely bar in St.-Johanner-Markt. 


Burg Eltz



After a last-minute trip modification, the following morning I took a train to Paris where I spent my final 36 hours of vacation. I will never regret missing Beartooth's show to be a tourist downtown, discovering new spots, finishing a roll of film in Passy and the crowded Trocadéro and enjoying a much-deserved glass of rosé after a lot of walking.

Speaking of rolls of film, and thanks to two dear friends who are into film photography lending me their gear to experiment, I got an idea for a project in 35mm combining two things I love; history and travelling. The project still has a long way to go before I can reveal anything further but discovering analog photography has opened a new creative dimension for me. Sure, I still struggle with it sometimes (see below) and have found a new way to spend more $$$ than I'd like to admit BUT ANYWAY! I got to see a whole new side of the cities I visited under that prism and learnt many new things about their recent history.

Multiple exposures on the same frame.

I took the second half of my annual leave in December, like I usually do. I had booked a trip to Sheffield to see HRH Vikings. Due to a last minute change of plans, I got to London a day early and found out that Terror's Total Retaliation Invasion tour would be rolling through the Underworld in Camden. It was one of the best things I've seen in my entire life, definitely my favorite show of the year. The next day I flew back home only to leave again, for Berlin this time, with my brother for less than 24 hours. The final trip of the year was Krampus fest in Herford, Germany a few days afterwards. That one was a real adventure/a disaster of a day and even now, I can't honestly say if I had a good time or not.

While we're at it though, I thought I'd share my 10 favorite shows of the year. Some tours/festivals will be included as a whole because I can't pick just a single band, while others will be broken down to separate performances. Here we go:

1. Total Retaliation Invasion tour - London
2. Obey The Brave - Impericon fest Oberhausen
3. Modern Life Is War - Paris
4. Anti-Flag - ANTIFest, Haarlem
5. Summerblast - Trier
6. Boysetsfire - Vainstream
7. HRH Vikings - Sheffield
8. Heaven Shall Burn - The Final March tour, Wiesbaden
9. Nightstalker - Technopolis, Athens
10. Comeback Kid - Thessaloniki

2018 was also the year that my work got included in Satanic Surfers' video for "The Usurper", the insert of My Turn's recent 7" and I was part of Varsity Media Group's list of "20 Female Photographers You Should Be Following" while I got to operate more closely with bands, some bigger ones but mainly in my local scene. I am always grateful for the trust and support I've been shown by the likes of Nightstalker, Suicidal Angels, Modern Life Is War and Skybinder, particularly Nightstalker for believing in me and letting me document their journey.
Metal Hammer's High Voltage Celebration/Piraeus Academy

Headlining show/Technopolis

Headlining show/Technopolis

For The Victims Of Fire benefit show/Skopeftirio

New Long fest/Nea Makri

For The Victims Of Fire benefit show/Skopeftirio

Promo 2018

Promo 2018

Promo 2018/BTS

All in all, 2018 was pretty exciting. I am looking forward to whatever 2019 will bring my way and I'm ready to embrace it. 

Happy new year, folks! Be kind to each other.

xo, Elnr.

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