🎶 Nemo, Nudism, and More in Pipeaway Newsletter #130

Pipeaway travel newsletter #130; AI image by DALL-E/Adobe.

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Hi from Trieste!

I’m taking a train to Switzerland, not really to find Nemo. But who knows?

(Not only) Europe went crazy last week for (and against) the songs offered at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden.

From protests against the participation of Israel and then the disqualification of the Netherlands’ “Europapa” to the division between the juries’ and the audiences’ opinions over the Croatian and Swiss acts, Eurosong 2024 was a festival of intrigue.

Even if Baby Lasagna’s “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” won the public votes, the music experts were not as generous and made Nemo’s “The Code” the winner.

The fact that the Swiss song won with the highest number of 12 points, and the lowest number of audience votes, inspired conspiracy theories and raised questions on why we need juries if not for them to promote interests that misalign with the public ones. Just like in the 2023 situation with Loreen and Käärijä, a large part of the audience felt cheated and let down.

I felt the passion of the followers on Facebook myself, where I posted some AI images that went viral. From kitty lasagna to other pet versions of competitors, thousands of likes poured in.

With the odds going in Croatian favor, it seemed that Baby Lasagna would easily eat his main competitor as sushi that fateful evening, but the jury changed it all.

After Nemo won, I changed the set-up, now with clownfish devouring a lasagna baby. This angered and offended many fans, despite my words giving context.

Some responded by posting the original Lasagna-eyeing-Nemo picture, not even aware that I created their counter-weapon. The images went viral, and made the full circle, turning back at me.

Well, there was a lot of hatred against the “non-binary person” in some of the comments, but with hundreds pouring in, I couldn’t keep the pace.

Such is Eurosong. Even for those who think it’s a platform for spreading an LGBT agenda, it still ends up being a festival of – pride.

Find this in today’s newsletter:

  • Words: Trips to strips.
  • Images: Love shine a light.
  • Numbers: No walls, no fuel, no sense.
  • P.S.: A walletbud.

Have a code-cracking week!

Ivan Kralj        



Towers of Antoni Gaudi's basilica Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, a must stop for the first European trip; photo by Ashim D'Silva, Unsplash.


Mapping Your First Euro Adventure

Some people love traveling for their favorite events. Whether it’s Eurovision or the Olympics, the events that change locations become an annual excuse to hit the road and explore a new destination. ESC fans can already start imagining the itinerary for Switzerland in 2025, but why wait? If you’ve never been to Europe, this first-time trip itinerary can help your planning. It suggests Oxford, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona as iconic places you have to visit if you’re new to the Old Continent.




Didn’t get enough of Euro music this weekend? A German train chugging between Nuremberg and Würzburg offers techno parties on tracks, and 700 available tickets sell out in seconds. Quite impressive for Bavaria, because this conservative state is not as welcoming for parties as Berlin.


Eurovision is an eccentric gathering, but stay around for the summer, and you’ll experience some of the continent’s most bizarre gatherings. From cheese-rolling carnage to jumping over newborn babies, there’s more weirdness in Europe than just that Windows95man.


While the Finnish representative played on being naked on the Eurovision stage, three male tourists in Namibia stripped down for real at the famous Big Daddy dune, angering the authorities. If you want to get naked without getting blacklisted from the country, you can join the nude cruise, say “I do” to Italian naked weddings, or celebrate a honeymoon in the nudist hotels in Greece.




Thanks to the extreme geomagnetic storm over the weekend, Aurora Borealis didn’t just embrace the Eurovision TV finals. The powerful solar ejections created spectacular Northern lights on European and North American skies, not seen so extensively for over two decades. If you want to chase the moving lights in other parts of the world, check out the impressive volcanic lightning in Guatemala, or explore the lighthouses featured in this week’s #Top4Theme.


Several countries competing at Eurosong included a round set element in their staging. IsraelLatvia, and even Ireland with those witchcraft candles, reached through circular entrances to the other worlds. But people in New York City and Dublin now have a real-life portal that allows them to interact 24/7.


While no clownfish in the selection, there’s a kitten in rim-tim-tagi-dim pose competing for the Comedy Pet Photography Awards. Check out some silly dogs, cats, horses, and even a turtle among the finalists.




The price of a night stay at the Swiss “zero-star hotel”, located next to a petrol station in the village of Saillon. The room has no walls nor a ceiling, and yet, there are 6,500 people on the waiting list for this Null Stern accommodation, luckily available only during summer.


The amount Hertz charged their long-time customer Joshua Lee for the costs of refueling the rented Tesla Model 3. Like other electric cars, this vehicle doesn’t have a fuel tank, but the company insisted “service was provided”.

3 hours

The amount of time French air traffic controllers can now show up late for work, or even leave early. Threatening a strike during the summer Olympics, the union also managed to secure 18 more days off per year, a raise of up to €18,000, and retirement at 59.

Busbud logo.


Your Ticket to Thrifty Travels

I snagged a Flixbus from Zagreb to Trieste. With an applied 10% promo code (available to Croats through the Kaufland app – that’s not sponsored! ;)), a trip from Croatia via Slovenia to Italy cost me only 18 euros. But even without knowing where to focus one’s bus search, there’s a simple solution – Busbud. This online bus booking platform has the largest selection of tickets and lets you compare options from different bus companies. Try it out today!


How did you like Pipeaway Newsletter #130? Send your feedback.
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This is the archived version of our free weekly newsletter. To start receiving it in your mailbox on the send-out day, join the newsletter list!

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Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia

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Mapping the extraordinary since 2017.


Pipeaway is a travel blog mapping extraordinary people, places and passions.
Founded and run by Ivan Kralj, Croatian award-winning journalist and editor.
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