Thursday, 18 August 2011

Katowice-Wroclaw tour and what happened after

When we were enjoying ourselves away from home I had this premonition that I'd have to pay for every single day, what I didn't know was that I'd have to pay more than double. On Wednesday after we returned home Adam fell ill and on Thursday night we rushed with him to hospital with pneumonia, as it later turned out. We spent a week there taking shifts at his bedside and today we're finally back home. Home sweet home! Adam's illness caused serious distress among all of us, but I need to say that the traumatic experience of being in hospital with a 1.5 year old was considerably diminished by the surprisingly humane treatment we received in the childrens' hospital. Going to hospital wasn't as scary as it seemed ...

... especially that we'd managed to charge out batteries during our 4-day holiday in Katowice and Wroclaw. The reason why we went to Katowice was to see Current93 play live as the opening event of OFF Festival. We set off at 6 am to allow for any unexpected occurences on the way, so we proceeded at leisurely pace towards our destination, enjoying the sunshine (so rare this summer) and trying to combat the desire to sleep with coffee. The centre of Katowice surprised us with how neat and tidy it was, no trodden grass, no dog poo, no rubbish, no cigarette butts, no plastic bags rustling here and there. Wide streets, no traffic, no stench of urine among the tenements. We felt as if we've crossed some boundary and entered a different country. People tell me that this picture is a bit misleading and does not represent the whole city, but I wish Zaspa looked like that.

Current 93 did not disappoint us, after the gig we went to a club where there was supposed to be an after party, but it turned out not many people were informed about that and only about 20 turned up, well, it didn't matter cause  the party was actually very nice with 2 DJs playing live. God, I don't remember when I was clubbing last! The club Hipnoza was tiny, but you entered it through the most weird hallway of mirrors and bright striped walls. It gave us the funny feeling when we were sober, we were wondering if you are able to find the exit when you're stoned. We did't try that, but we did our best to get ourselves drunk, which considering the fact that we'd slept only few hours and travelled over 500km shouldn't be a hard task, but we didn't manage. The beer in that establishment was so poor quality that having drank 6-7 pints a head we remained relatively sober.

Next day we left Katowice, I liked the city so much that I deeply regretted that we didn't stay for the whole OFF Festival, and we promised ourselves to come next year, no matter what the line up will be. But we're masters of futile plans (eg. we're not going to London in September, as we planned due to Adam's prolonged medication) so this one most probably won't work out, but who knows.

When we were leaving Katowice we got excited like children by taking a 3-lane motorway! We'd never seen such a thing before! Wow! Then we got a less direct route to Wroclaw cause we wanted to see more of the countryside and visit a replica of Krakow's Wawel in Brzeg. Again we were struck by how tidy the little villages were and even more by rhe lack of people in them, they looked like ghost villages, deserted. Not even a local drunkard loitering around the off-licence.

Brzeg was the place where we saw some local inhabitants, and the town was not as clean and well-kept as the surrounding villages. But the castle was really lovely. What was on those Renaissance men's minds? Dirty, dirty!

First thing I did upon arrival to Wroclaw was to drag my friends (who I'm sure think now I've freaked out completely) to a shopping mall, the only reason being the urge to get some MAC goodies and new nail polishes. Then we checked in our hotel, which wasn't as nice as the one in Katowice ( though Adam enthusiastically enjoyed its facilities, swimming pool being one of the most frequently used words during our stay there) and abandoned ourselves to a life of pleasure, i.e. eating and drinking. Our pub crawling tour began in Spiz, where they brew their own beer and then continued along the lovely streets of Wroclaw Old Town. 

It was my first night out this summer, the evening was so nice and warm I let myself get carried away by the holiday atmosphere of the city. I thought I would like to live in a place like this. It seemed so European, it had so much to offer. Gdansk is so provincial and so pompous with all these restaurants catering for rich Germans.
I found my happiness in pub Academos, where we continued to reside for 2 subsequent evenings.

The pub sold delicious Belgian beers, horribly expensive, but worth it! White beer and excellent cherry beer called Kriek on draught and a number of fruity bottled beers won our hearts. The pub owners obviously said no to big corporations and chose Kozlak and Zywe from our local brewery in Bielkowek to represent Polish beers! 

We loved the decor of the place, especially the sofa opposite us, which we christened White Noise (see below). Intriguing, isn't it?

Next day looked pretty much the same, the only difference being that we started earlier. We had a lovely Mexican breakfast in one of the countless cheap bars with food from all over the world. We did a bit of random sightseeing. In the evening we were joined by Adam's friends in beer garden of Bierhalle, where the waiter told us he'd serve us if he found time causing roars of laughter. So we ended in Academus for our final pints.

On Sunday, sad-faced we left for home. Home sweet home they say. Unfortunately we didn't even start to miss it!

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