On Thursday morning I went to MOCAK, which is the museum of contemporary art in Krakow. I saw 3 exhibitions- Crime in Art, I Am a Drop in the Ocean: Art of the Ukrainian Revolution, and some art from the MOCAK collection. This museum was actually one of my most favorite and well curated that I’ve been to on this trip.
Danny Devos, Norman Bates Loves Arts, 1989
Danny Devos, Serial Killer Flags, 1987
Katarzyna Gorna, Fuck Me, Fuck You, Peace, 2000
Geza Perneczky, ,,,art”, 1972
I Am a Drop in the Ocean: Art of the Ukrainian Revolution
Vasily Tsagolov, Ballet Dancer, 2013
Banner showing the performance of Markiyan Matsekh and Oleg Matsekh, Imagine, 2013
After the museum, I decided I needed to indulge in some touristy food and drink. I had pierogies at this tiny place:
And then I sampled some vodka. I had crabapple vodka and hazelnut vodka.
After stumbling back to my hostel drunk and having a rest, I went out adventuring with a nice Canadian, Adam. First we went on the “Macabre” night walking tour.
Then we went to a bar to see this Israeli band perform- these guys were also staying in our hostel. I can’t remember the name of the band, but they described themselves as “hard electronic.” I really enjoyed them and I really enjoyed dancing around like a fool.
Sweat on the windows from all the dancing.
On Friday I went to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. I actually felt pretty disturbed about the idea of taking pictures there, so I mostly just stayed in the experience and didn’t even take out my “good” camera. I took this cell phone shot of one of the piles of belongings that was stolen from the Jewish prisoners:
I actually felt pretty physically ill after seeing the camps, and almost vomited on the bus ride back. I’m not sure if it was purely psychological or not, but I definitely had a reaction. I feel like the camps were something I needed to see for the sake of history, but it was definitely not an enjoyable experience by any means.
After arriving back at the hostel, I was greeted with a lovely barbecue and party hosted by the hostel owners. We had free food, good music- I had lots of conversations with really lovely interesting people and demonstrated some “contact improv” dancing with another woman from Santa Fe.
Overall, it was a much better end to the day than I had planned- meaning, I had planned to hibernate in my bed and feel emotionally devastated by the awfulness of humanity. But food, beer, and company were happily received instead.
Saturday was my last day in Krakow- I had to catch a 3 PM bus, so in the morning I decided to rent a bicycle and bike to this lake that a local person told me about- Lake Zakrzówek. I’m still totally confused by this lake though, because when I got there I was told it is a private lake and you can only get in if you are a diver. The internet also has conflicting information about whether or not you can actually swim/lounge/hang out there. Apparently it was an old stone quarry that got filled in with water so it has really high cliffs and a depth that makes it suitable for diving lessons. In any case, I got to view it from just inside a fence, so that was fun. At least I still had a really beautiful bike ride!
The courtyard at my hostel. I’m really going to miss this place.
I caught my bus Saturday (yesterday) afternoon, and arrived in Budapest just after 10 PM. My hostel is a little bit insane- like something created by someone’s reclusive grandmother who locked herself in an old building trying to ride out communism in secret. I’ll post photos and more about Budapest later- right now I’m taking some time to acclimate and get my bearings in yet another new city and country.