Wednesday, 2010-05-19

A visit to Poland

I headed down to Kraków the weekend before last to hang out with my good buds Jedrek, Mike and Jan. We’d rented 2 apartments in the old town, and spent 3 days hanging out, shooting, and drinking lots and lots of Tyskie beer and sour cherry vodka.

West Ost

I really enjoyed the city, even if it’s clear it’s a bit of a tourist trap (the flights were full of Swedish high school kids going to visit Auschwitz, and the sight of that labour camp being touted as a destination on par with the salt mines by tour guides was a bit jarring). It’s clear that Poland has made great strides since 1990, and it’s heartening to see the Polish people reach towards their full potential, free of the imposed dead hand of the Soviet-sponsored Communist regime.

Jezus Królem Polski

It was the Kraków Photo month, and the theme was British photography. We attended a mini lecture by Martin Parr, and saw some great exhibitions in the different spaces in town. Among the higlights were Mark Power’s exhibition and some prints by John Davies.

I never did get around to visit Auschwitz, which I was more interested in as a meta-visit, that is, I was more interested in the way the message is presented rather than the message itself. But in the end it turned out that we didn’t have the time to go together and I didn’t want to make the trip on my own.

Kraków reminded me a lot of Lund when I was a student there, and I’m happy I was able to visit it during warm weather before torrential rainfall flooded the city. I’m happy I got the time to visit Poland and I hope to be able return soon.