Monday, July 12, 2010

WITAMY W LADKU ZDROJU/WELCOME TO LADEK SPA!

First, it was an oddysey to get from Ibiza, Spain, to Ladek Zdroj, Poland. As the festival organisation did not cover the expensive journey, we had to improvise to make it economic. It felt like being students again ( why do not we hitch -hike?).... We took the night flight from Ibiza to Berlin ( the nearest spot with cheap flight connection) arriving at Berlin Schoenefeld at 2 am. Too deep a night to disturb our Brigitte & Kober or our freshly married Swedish tango student Leif....So, it was ' paparazzi' ( on the wallpaper of an entrance) who welcomed us at the airport. We took a U- Bahn to the center and as it was too early for a direct one, we changed at least 3 times, once went wrong direction, to finally get to Victor's liebligs HAUPTBANHOF.

It was still a deep hot night in Berlin and the underground was full of stripped young people moving from party to party-and celebrating.....this time Victor was not so pround of exposing his ARGENTINITY, as it was a night of a horrible football desaster ( probably a national disaster in Argentina).
For us personally it was a double disaster ( only small ones)- first, the ticket offices were closed till 6 am and our train to Poznan was departing at 5 30 am; and the ticket machines were not selling for intercity trains with reservation; the second was that... the train came... 1 hour late!
Sitting at the platform and wathing the dawning lights, we sat besides a Mexican going to Poznan as well ( to meet his Polish girl friend).... so we had a lovely long chat in Spanish.





A confortable intercity to Poznan, then we changed the train to Wroclaw ( Breclau) where at 12 am our GUARDIAN ANGEL, Andrzej ( from Brzeg) was waiting for us in his car. This lovely couple of festival organizers, Ewa & Andrzej, wishing to helps us, made a whole intricate plan: first Andrzej came with his car to pick us up and drove us to Brzeg to have a rest and be fed ( the Polish hospitality!) . Then, about 7 am, after a quick stop to vote ( both of them still had to complete with presidencial elections that day!) they drove us to Ladek Zdroj, about 200 km. The Kotlina Klodzka region is surrounded by Czech Republic, so we had to drive in and out of Czech, on a mountain roads. We arrived at 22 00 and before our 22 30 reunion ( of all the artists, teachers and organisers), we were driven to our hotel, up in the mounains, above the Ladek town. The view was to be appreciated the next day, when we woke up:

We also discovered that our hotel was only a couple of hundred meters fromt he country's border! The sign looked so sweet in the high green grass...

Our hotel was run by a Polish couple who came back after 30 years in Germany. We had long chats with Pani Jadwiga over breakfasts or dinners. Actually we had a couple of restaurants in town to choose from, but having checked all of them ( for commodity reason or just for change) we have to admit that Jadwiga's home kitchen was the best!


International Dance Festival idea is to offer about 30 different dance disciplines with the artists-teachers from all over the world. The beautiful mountain spa town is a perfect setting for holidays- taking dance classes every day, watching the dance theatre spectales every evening and dancing till 2 30 every night. We were in charge of two tango groups: beginners and intermediate. Besides, as all the teachers could freely attend other teachers' classes, providing they do not clash with their own, I picked up gipsy dance and afro jazz just for myslef. It's great to be a student again! Thus, my day was packed: breakfast at 9 am,then getting to the 10 45 gypsy dance ( 1, 5 hour) coming up to the hotel for a shower and nap then going for the aftro jazz at 3 50, then staying for our both tango classes till 8 pm. Our students would normally drive us up to the hotel for a quick shower and dinner , after which we would run down to the town square to watch the dance theatres ( from USA, Cracow and Lublin were the best!) after which we all walked to ZDROJOWA restaurant where the party with a DJ was going on till 2 30. We were not the first ones to leave. Not a good choice of wine, but who cares ( when we drank the first bottle of Chilenean wine and we asked for another one, we got a funny half sweet bottle of wine. When we complained to have another DRY wine we got an answer: ' you have already drunk it' .... This explains a lot about the wine culture in Poland. Well, there was always vodka. And beer. Anyway, the ambience was great, people friendly and international- besides, we had the appreciated company of our tango students A & A from Katowice ( who have been with us in Buenos Aires)























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