A day in Krakow (wish it could be every day)

You can walk forever in the green park that surrounds the center of Krakow.  Really.  You can.  And you will, unless you realize the park is actually in the shape of a ring so you never reach the end.

Park in Krakow

Drifting through an endless sea of green

I keep getting lost here.  But so very pleasantly lost in the cool leafy shade.

I couldn’t meet my friend last night at all to give her the painting, and she won’t come back until I am gone, so I have to leave the painting behind at the hostel for her to pick it up.

Not exactly the moment of triumph I had been expecting.

The hostel I am at (The Mosquito Hostel) is wonderful, and I got a delightful comfy bed with clean crisp sheets for a mere 11 Euros a night, but I was unlucky enough to get  a roomful of really annoying people – the first time that has ever happened to me there.  I’ll write a post about rude hostel behavior later when I get home.

This is the only full day I will spend in Krakow, and that makes me sad because I love this city like no other.  I would live here if I could.  Perfect weather in summer: cool, misty and rainy.  (Well, that’s perfect weather for me.)  And it’s green, green, green.  And they have wonderful beer.

Tomorrow I will take a long long ride to the Polish border and try to cross it on foot.  With luck I’ll be blogging from Lvov, Ukraine.  (Actually they call it Lviv now.)

Oh, before I go:  check out this kid playing guitar on the streets of Krakow.



I took the video with my digital still camera (and it’s a super-cheap one) so I apologize for its low quality, but…this kid is talented.  I didn’t get his name.  He was too busy playing for me to ask him.  After each song he just went right into another one.   I could only get a few minutes of it because my camera will only hold that much.

See you in Ukraine.

Sleepless In Krakow

Krakow, Poland:  Here I am.

I survived the train to Maribor, hitching for hours in the hot sun, finally getting a ride to Graz with a nice Serb family, and finally taking the Austrian Railjet to Vienna.  I walked round Vienna for a while, toting this huge painting, and finally was crammed into a bus along with a bunch of noisy Poles for a nightmarishly long and sleepless ride to Krakow.  The painting survived this hellish trip with a minimum of damage.

Now that I’m here, my friend (the one I am giving the painting to) says she can’t put me up for the next three days and she can’t find anyone who can.   Lovely!

I have tons of photos, but they need to be resized before I can post them.

Also, there is a big Sunday market here in Krakow, and my favorite restaurant wasn’t open yet so I went down to the market to get some food.  I met some hungry looking guys there scrounging around the trash cans eating leftovers and I gave them enough money to get a meal.  They were really happy.

Interesting tree in Krakow’s central market square.

I will write in lots more detail about everything I saw and did.  But this is just to let you all know I got as far as Krakow and so far, I’m okay.  And probably my karma has gone up by +1.


She’s leaving home

…here I go.

It begins rather tamely with a local train to Maribor.  From there, I am hitchhiking to Vienna, because I am damned if I am paying 60 euros for a train.  Honestly, what starving artist can afford that rubbish.

From Vienna I am taking a bus to Katowice, Poland, and from there I am taking a train to Krakow, where hopefully Ania will be anxiously awaiting her painting.

The painting below, which isn’t really done (I’ll probably add more to it when I am in Krakow:”

Painting I made for my friend

The painting I hope will score me some rides

It is much rougher than I want, but I ran out of time.

From Krakow I will go to Lvov, Kiev and Odessa in Ukraine.  Maybe to the Crimea if I get a REALLY wild hair or enjoy tediously long train rides.

I’ll come back via Chisinau, Moldova, then through northern Romania and Hungary.

Oh, yeah, and I’m spending my birthday at Chernobyl.  The public has spoken.


See you from Vienna, if I have time to blog.




I’m a star. Sort of.

No time for a long post – I have a trip to prepare for and a large painting to finish first – but I just want to say how funny it is that this search phrase is now the #1 reason people visited my blog in the last couple of days:

“new movie wayland song richard jobson m k hajdin”

This is probably because I talked to Richard on Twitter about his new movie Wayland’s Song, and Google is indexing my tweets.  I still think it’s funny because it implies I’m a movie star.  Definitely not!  I’m an exiled star.

Hypervelocity Star

Exiled Stars are officially “Hypervelocity Stars”

But you can still go to Richard’s website and buy all his movies if you want, and you would be vastly entertained if you did.

Here is Richard singing “New York City” with the Armoury Show sometime in the 1980s.  Cheery git, isn’t he?  😀

Sundays with Clyfford Still is taking a holiday

Dear readers,

Sundays with Clyfford Still may have to take a three-week hiatus.  Last week it was pre-empted by a long blog post I wrote about Eric Joyce;  this week I am frantically busy getting ready for a trip to Ukraine.   I’ll be traveling until the beginning of June, and I don’t write my blog posts in advance like a smart blogger would, so Clyffie may have to take a vacation along with me.

Fear not – Clyfford will return in June.  And I’ll be back with photos of the Black Sea and my birthday party at Chernobyl.  I’ll try to blog or at least tweet during the trip, but I don’t know how much internet access I’ll have.  (I don’t have a mobile phone.  Yeah, I know, I’m a dinosaur.)



Painting in progress: “Subterranean Omniscience”

This is the first stages of a painting I am doing for my Polish friend, Anna.  The painting is 70 x 100cm (28 x 40 in).


When it’s done, I’ll have to drag it halfway across Europe in order to deliver it to her.   I’m hitchhiking as much as I can get away with to save money.

Maybe the cars will be more willing to stop for me if I’m carrying an interesting piece of art.   Do you think so?

Poll: Chernobyl or not to Chernobyl? That is the question.

After vainly attempting to get a visa out of  the evil Russian consul in Ljubljana, I have given up my hope of going to St. Petersburg, Russia for my birthday in late May.  So I’m going to the Ukraine, a country I haven’t seen before.

Chernobyl control room

Chernobyl  Nuclear Power Plant Control Room

I’m going the cheapest way possible through Krakow, to Polish border, then from Lvov to Kiev.  Maybe I will stop in Odessa on the way back, but I don’t think I have time to see the Crimea.  I’d better hurry if I want to get out of there before the Eurocup hordes descend on the place.

Anyway, in Kiev I’ll have the opportunity to tour Chernobyl for a day.  It’s supposed to be very interesting, but at nearly $200, very very expensive for a starving artist like me.  To give you perspective:  I travel on an absolute shoestring, and I’ll be spending less than $200 on the whole rest of the trip.  But this may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

I leave it to you, internet:

Should I go?  Or not?