Lodz has an indoor climbing gym in the Manufaktura complex. It’s only about 2km from our hotel and in the same area a most of the town’s entertainment. Paul doesn’t need to be asked twice: before I know it he’s harnesed up to belay me and I’m on the wall climbing to my heart’s content. It’s much tougher climbing alone than taking turns and, before long, my forearm are pumped and I’m sweating. This gym is nowhere near as good as Krakow and the routes are poorly set (or set by someone who assumes all climbers are over six foot tall). But I still have a great time and the challenge does me good. I have to think about the next move and how on earth I’m going to stretch my body far enough to have one foot on a hold, one hand and foot smeared on the wall and the other hand groping high with fingertips outstretched to grasp the next hold. I work out for about 1.5 hours before my arms and fingers are too sore to continue. Besides, there’s still things to see here in Lodz and we only have one night.
As I mentioned, Manufaktura is the main entertainment precinct in Lodz. It houses a cinema (we didn’t go because it was far too busy), glitzy shopping center (as are all Poland’s shopping centers), restaurants and what looked like a nightclub. This used to be a textile factory during the days of Soviet occupation but with the fall of communism the factory also failed. According to my Poland travel app, Lodz struggled after the demise of the factory but is now working to become a tourist destination in its own right. After-all, this city was once the Hollywood of Poland, complete with star walk.
We enjoy some time playing with the statues that line the main street. Well, let’s be honest, I play with the statues while Paul plays photographer.
I’m not alone. While we were walking towards the meeting in this photo a group of young guys also approached to do exactly what I did. And when we passed the piano player later in the night there was a whole group of people hanging around taking photos with him. Interactive art at its best.
As you can see, we had a bit of silly fun during our night in Lodz. The Tiger shop was still open and Paul has been wanting to see what’s inside since we first saw one in Krakow. So tonight was the night. Tiger is cool. It’s essentially a discount shop like the Japanese Daiso chain. They sell a bit of everything and it’s all quite cheap but adds up when you buy lots of things (haha). After I played with the hats, Mr Security Guard followed us around the shop like we were trouble makers or thieves (or both). The irony of his concerns is that we were almost the only people in the shop who actually purchased anything and we purchased more than any of the other people at the check out when we were up there. But hey, he’s just doing his job. And he actually added to our sense of fun because hiding our naughtiness from him became part of the game.
We ended our day at the only desert bar that we still found open (it was after 10pm though). Despite all the chocolatey options available, I went with this fruit and ice cream treat. It was so good. It’s funny how after a while my body just craves fresh fruit and vegetables. And given that vegetables a dessert do not make, the fruit had to do the trick.