Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Breath of Polish music summer!

           As soon as June begins, the air above Poland gets filled with thrill and excitement, the collective counting down days and hours, piling up savings on train tickets to Gdynia, Katowice, Plock or Krakow. The reason? Music craze! Indeed, along with the Orange Warsaw Festival and preceding Krakow’s Selector, the festivals’ summer kicks off. Young people in masses leave their hometowns in order to settle for a few days on campsites and a little bit more sophisticated accommodations: dormitories or couch-surfing lodgings. Poland is recently emerging out of the cultural-entertainment shadow and meeting the needs of fans yearning for good gigs. The music festivals are not only better organized but their line-ups are getting comparable with  those of most famous Western ones. To justify those statement let’s take a glance at the most important annual Polish music events that should not be missed:

1. Heineken Open’er Festival – taking place on the North coast of Poland, in Gdynia, usually in the beginning of July, is the biggest and most attended music celebration in the country. This year’s line-up included: Coldplay, Prince, Caribou, The National, Pulp, Foals, The Strokes, The Wombats, M.I.A and Two Door Cinema Club and loads of other less or more renowned artist from all over the world. 

   2.    Tauron Nowa Muzyka – in case you are a fan of contemporary jazz, electronics and dance genres, without hesitation you should reserve the last weekend of August and head towards Katowice. This year’s mind-blowing line-up included: Amon Tobin, Modeselektor, Emika, When Saints Go Machine, Little Dragon, Apparat, Darkstar, Teebs and Superpitcher. The festival was crowned with  Jamie Woon’s closing down concert at picturesque evangelical church.   

3.    Audioriver  - an international upfront, quality electronic and techno music festival, held on the beach at the Vistula River in Plock. 2011’s headliners include: Trentmoller, Paul Kalkbrenner, Vitalic, Pretty Lights, We Love, Ernesto Ferreyra and a vast amount of top-ranked djs.  

4.    Selector Festival –  focused mainly on electronic, innovative sounds, but with plenty of space for big  rock names as well. The location of the festival seems to be perfect - Krakow, said to be the most beautiful Polish city! It is worth to mention a part of 2011’s rich line-up:  La Roux, Klaxons, Crystal Castles, Hercules and Love Affair, Ladytron, Katy B, Does It Offend You, Yeah? 

5.    Warsaw Orange Festival – another annual mass music event, held in the very heart of the Polish capital in a month of June. Artists that performed in 2011 were eg.: My Chemical Romance, Skunk Anansie, Moby, Plan B and Jamiraquoi.  

6.    Off Festival – last but not least! Usually held in August, an ultimate mecca for fans of alternative tunes. The line-up is created each year by the artistic director Artur Rojek, the lead singer of Polish rock group Myslovitz. That is why the festival initially took place in his hometown – Myslowice. Two years ago the “headquarter” moved to Katowice. In a nutshell, among this year’s artists we may point out:  Mogwai, Blonde Readhead, Junior Boys, Ariel’s Pink Haunted Graffiti, Warpaint, Twin Shadow and Matthew Dear. 

Now, when music summer 2011 is already over, let’s focus on the next year! If thinking about attending one of the festival above, we recommend you to go to and book your vacation 2012 right now!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Celebrity ukázali srdce

Desiatky mediálne známych osobností spojili svoje sily, aby mohli pomôcť ťažko chorému Paťkovi Bielikovi (2), ktorý ešte nikdy v živote nezažil, aké je to spať doma vo vlastnej postieľke. Celý svoj život zatiaľ prežil na nemocničnom lôžku a jeho ťažko skúšaný život by pomohla skvalitniť len náročná a finančne nákladná operácia v zahraničí, ktorú si jeho rodičia nemôžu dovoliť.

Myšlienka pomôcť tejto nešťastnej rodine sa zrodila u MUDr. Aleny Pallovej, ktorá na svojej klinike v Pezinku zorganizovala charitatívnu akciu s názvom Spolu dokážeme pomôcť. Počas celého dňa mala možnosť verejnosť, no najmä mediálne známe osobnosti absolvovať rôzne procedúry estetického charakteru na klinike, za čo prispeli ľubovoľnou čiastkou pre Paťka Bielika. Cieľom bolo vyzbierať 3000 €, ktoré by pomohli pokryť náklady súvisiace s jeho liečbou. Do Pezinka tak v stredu prišli Paťka svojou prítomnosťou a aj finančne podporiť napríklad herci Peter Batthyány, Štefan Skrúcaný, Filip Tůma, Michaela Čobejová, Petra Palevičová, moderátorky Erika Barkolová, Lenka Čviriková – Hriadelová,  Monika Bruteničová, modelky Eva Cifrová, Jana Mináriková, Denisa Mendrejová, Ivana Kičikoleva, Romana Škamlová, módny návrhár Andrej Baraník, fotograf Mário Gotti, Andrea Heringová a aj Bruno Ciberej.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Wisent - the symbol of Poland

Wisent, or European Bison, is one of the most popular symbol of Poland.  It is the heaviest surviving land animal in Europe.  A typical wisent is about 2.8 to 3 m (9 to 10 ft) long and 1.8 to 2 m (6 to 7 ft) tall, and weighs 300 to 920 kg (660 to 2,000 lb).  Dimension and weight of this admirable animal cause that it does not have any natural enemies. The main characteristic of the wisent is big disproportion between the front and rear part of the body. The animal has a massive, expanded chest and a narrow waist. Additionally, an impression of huge skein intensifies thick and long fur growing on this place. A head of wisent is big and heavy with horns rounded to the center, small eyes and a wide forehead.  Wisents live 30 to 35 years on average. There are only about 3400 individuals all over the world, from which about 1100 live in Poland. 
Wisents have been covered with complete species preservation because for centuries, these animals were continuously cut down by hunters and poachers. In the past, especially during the Middle Ages, they were commonly killed to produce hides and drinking horns. In order to protect the species in 1923 the International Society for the Protection of Bison was founded, nevertheless in 1996 the International Union for Conservation of Nature classified the wisent as an endangered species.
The history of wisents is an excellent example of negative human impact on the nature. Human actions directly contributed to the extinction of wild wisent. On the other hand, it is worth to notice that also human activities have contributed to the repopulation of these animals. Extinct species was reconstructed through individuals coming from zoos and private breeding. The fact that nowadays we could admire bison and watch it in its natural environment, is without doubt the merit of Poland and Polish people. It is they who largely contributed to restoring populations of these animals.
Bisons in Poland live mainly in the area of Białowieża Forest which is part of Białowieski National Park. BNP  is the oldest national park in Poland and one of the oldest in the Europe. It was founded as 'Reserve' forestry in 1921 but officially established as a National Park in Białowieża in 1932. In 1979, Białowieża Forest was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It annually attracts nearly 140 000 tourists. The bison farm is one the most interesting attractions there.
Popularity of Polish wisents is so large that even famous vodka “Żubrówka” (which is also known in English as Bison Grass Vodka) was introduced. It has been manufactured since the 16th century. The name of it comes from żubr – the Polish word for the wisent. Its flavor is unique and is described as having woodruff, vanilla, coconut, and almond notes and also a blade of buffalo grass which grows in the Białowieża Forest is placed in each bottle of Żubrówka.

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