After going in 2009 with Gabriel and Kaz (and running into the Polish girls Mila, Basia, Ania and Magda), as almost a signifier of how life has moved on, I returned this year with Alex, Olivia and Jacqui from my MA course. As we planned it, the line-up kept getting better and better. Blur and Kendrick Lamar played Wednesday night, Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala and Nick Cave on Thursday. Friday brought Queens of the Stone Age and The National, Saturday The Kings of Leon and Rhianna kind of bizarrely turned up on the Sunday with Dizzie Rascal.
We missed the Wednesday due to work and the last two days out of choice butdespite major hiccups (airline lost my bag; Alex got drunk and missed the bus; we got to the show pretty late on Thursday), it all worked out rather brilliantly. The musical highlights were Nick Cave letching it up, The National’s Matt Berninger being wasted on stage and the whole Queens of the Stone Age gig. The true gem was Olivia losing her shoe in the mosh, only for us to see it flying towards the stage later in the gig and reclaiming it. A disaster became a great story.
The rest of the time we hung out eating in odd restaurants, drinking vodka and going to Sopot for the Polish seaside. Anyone who’s been to Sopot, where the German monarchs went to holiday will testify the town is nice, the beach is alright, the water is freezing. As a unit we were cool, getting on well and taking it out of each other, Olivia especially ;).
After the festival Alex and I headed south to Krakow while Jacqui returned to Vienna and Olivia hung out with her friend Ewa until flying to Eindhoven. Krakow was as pretty as ever, the vodka is still cheap and the tourist hordes are greater than ever. The directions to strip bars were more persistent. As pretty as it looks, Krakow has overrun itself with tourists. Even stag dos don’t get a look-in.