If you are English speaking, you might very well pronounce Lodz, Poland as “LOTS” but with a more accentuated “D” sound. You could not be more wrong. I remember on my way to Warsaw I was looking at the airplane map – you know the one that shows you where you are and what you are flying over. I saw Lodz, and I thought, hmmm, I wonder what this “lods” place might be like. Little did I know that I was going to have the opportunity to experience Lodz and its Light. Move. Festival (LMF) in October 2016.
First, let’s clarify. It is not “lods.” It is more like “WOODGE.” You know, rhymes with “SCROOGE.” The “L” in Polish is more like a “W” in English. And the “O” with an accent over it is more like our “OO”. Google tells me these types of letters are called diacritics. Given that I was raised speaking English, can communicate fairly well in Spanish, and can understand French enough to make me dangerous, this “diacritic” alphabet within the Polish language was (is) quite the challenge. I have digressed here….
My friends who live in Warsaw (and are in the process of actually moving to Lodz) offered the LMF as an option for something to see and do on my visit. What could be better: a beautiful town in the countryside, a cool, brisk October, drinking hot wine (and vodka with apple juice) and experiencing one of the world’s renowned light shows. I had no idea how “world renowned” it was.
We headed to Lodz by day, had a small tour of the town and then headed to the main drag on Piotrkowska Street (I will not further impress you with my knowledge of Polish pronunciation here, most likely because I have no idea how to say it). Time to grab some dinner at an authentic Polish restaurant; think cold beet soup (borscht), stewed pork knuckle, sausage, sauerkraut, and my favorite – pierogi’s. We saddled on up to the cute table by the window, ate our food, had our vodka and apple juice (mixed or shot, your choice) and warmed ourselves up to get ready for the evening’s festivities.
As the streets became more and more busy (Piotrkowska is a pedestrian and bicyclist only street), and the sun slowly set (ok, I didn’t actually see it set as it was raining most of the day – but it did get darker) the buildings started to come alive. We left our cozy corner cafe and headed up the street to find music in rhythm with light shows all around us.
Blocks upon blocks had various shows, all done by different artists. There were over 40 shows, art installations, and attractions, way too much to see in our one night there. The show is only one weekend a year (lucky = me) so if you intend to see everything, good luck, you would be better off planning a trip annually to visit.
Church of the Holy Cross
Along the way we of course stopped at various Polish food stands – pierogis, pretzels, sausage, and of course the hot wine needed to make it through the cold evening.
If I ever find myself in Poland the same weekend as this festival I plan to visit again, see new installations an artists (they change every year). It was quite the experience; something I would recommend adding to your bucket list.
You can find more info at http://en.lmf2016.lmf.com.pl/
Church of the Holy Cross, Lodz Poland