Łódź, one of the most pleasantly surprising destinations I have experienced – Istanbul had the same effect on me … and Porto. We felt welcomed from that we step of the direct bus from Warsaw airport, a 2 hours journey and until we left.
Everybody we met was so friendly and helpful, the city had pleasant surprises both during daytime and in the evenings.
I was shocked when I found out that this year there were 650.000 visitors during this years edition of “Light Move Festival” – last year they ONLY 50.000 but then it was raining the whole weekend.
The city was nearly spotless … hardly any litter anywhere … and after that amount of people!
Neither was there any drunkness or fights – scream or shots, the police were very relaxed and just standing by their cars on distance. No police patrolling in with us visitors. All ages were out and about.
Another pleasant surprise was that nobody was on their mobile during dinners and very few were walking around with their mobile, not even on public transport. They have a very healthy relationship to their mobile. Fantastic!!!!
Our first day we just took on the city as it came to us … and enjoyed the sunshine, we had fantastic weather the whole 5 days stay, even the evenings were pleasant – not chilly at all.
MAKUFAKTURA was the great experience during our first day. Amazing place and absolutely massive. A place to shop to you drop, eat, drink, have fun, relax and enjoy. This complex is the main tourist attraction in the city.
Ann Christine had forgotten her camera battery charger and at the shopping complex there was a little photoshop were we could find one, but that shop was more than hard to find, but we found it. We started to get tired too at that time .. and when we were going to give the public transport a try (not very successful with the ticket machine) I created a bit of a show and tripped over (nearly happened twice) and it resulted in that we took a taxi back to the hotel … and the poor taxi driver didn’t have a clue where we want to go, but we got to the hotel. He was so cute.
Manufaktura was created on the premises of the former empire of an industrialist, Izrael Poznański. The complex occupied an area equal to 145 football pitches (almost 30 ha) and consisted of factory buildings, houses for workers, a hospital, a church and the owner’s palace – all of which constituted a self-sufficient town inhabited by several thousand people. You can learn about the history of the industrial fortune of Poznański, the technology of textiles manufacturer and everyday work of former workers in the Museum of the Factory.
Manufaktura is an excellent example of the19th-century industrial architecture.
Designed by Hilary Majewski, a graduate of St. Petersburg University, the mills were built in a red-brick industrial style, incorporating the occasional Art Nouveau flourish. They were the property of Izrael Poznański, a Jewish merchant who saw the need for high-quality textiles on the eastern markets of Russia, Japan and China. As Łódź was at the time the most westerly city in the Russian Empire, Poznański was able to match the western textile expertise and industrial practices with limitless access to eastern markets. It was a winning combination and one that made him a fortune and put Łódź on the map.
Today in all, more than 90,000m2 of red brick buildings have been restored and completely refitted. An equal amount of new buildings has been added. Manufaktura is an excellent example of the 19th-century industrial architecture. The interior of the shopping centre and the Market Square have been designed in such a way as to harmoniously combine post-industrial architecture with modern designs. Although the latest technological solutions have been employed in the project, the original historic arrangement of buildings, as well as their brick facades, which create the unique atmosphere of the place, have been preserved. (text: inyourpocket.com & manufaktura.com)
Zapiekarnia Bistro (Not so fast food) another pleasant surprise, the best lunch we had during our stay … can’t remember what it was called, but it means tray in English. Cheap and fantastic – and the bistro was nearly inside a passage opposite our hotel at Piotrkowska 52 – a very small place and it took a while for our tray to get ready, but it was worth the wait. They also served fantastic hot baguettes. Great find. They had also the cutest pigeon couple walking in and out … for some snacking.
There are loads of things that we missed … and that is not a problem because that means we have a reason to go back.
One of the most interesting monuments we missed is Krzyż Pamięci Ofiar Stanu Wojennego (Cross Memorial of the Victims of War) and we must have passed it at least 3 times – so it’s high up on the return do-it-note.
My partner in crime … had her birthday on our departure day, but she is still a spring chicken in my book .. and we have some exciting planned adventures coming up and maybe even a common return to fantastic Łódź!
“Thank you so much and see you soon again Łódź”
“If you want to go fast,
go alone – if you want to go fare
The cloud I have chosen for this post … is one of my favourites for about 10 years now, “NIECH MÓWIĄ, ŻE TO NIE JEST MIŁOŚĆ” and it means in plain English,”Let’s say it’s not love” – saved the best to last!
Written by Piotr Rubik (born 1968 in Warsaw) who is a cellist, pop musician, film and theatre composer and television presenter. He learned to play the cello from the age of 7, went on to a musical secondary school, and then studied at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. Later he became a member of the world-class orchestra Jeunesses Musicales. He studied film score composition in Siena, Italy, under Ennio Morricone. I would love to attend to one of his concerts.