“All the world’s a stage,” wrote Shakespeare. Well it certainly seems like it in Eastern Europe where there is are street performers on every corner. In Krakow, Poland I was thinking of going to a classical music concert in a church, but realised there was no need to pay for music – just walking through the streets we were being serenaded by winds, brass and strings at every turn. Well also I forgot to bring money for the ticket so consoled myself with the street performers!
The epicentre of busker activity is the always the main square in the “old town” part of the various cities. From Moscow to Warsaw, the squares are alive and vibrant with break-dancers, magicians and musicians and free outdoor concerts of jazz, rock, classical and folk.
Concert in Krakow’s main square – this band was a mixture of folk, punk and rock!
The main squares are often surprising. The Red Square in Moscow was considerably smaller than I had thought (also it is not red). It turns out Krakow has the largest medievel square in Europe – it is truly impressive. In Warsaw, aside from the main square, free piano concerts of Chopin, the city’s famed composer, are held every Sunday outdoors (throughout spring and summer) in a beautiful park – a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. When that ended we walked to another section of the park for some opera!
It’s hard to see but there is a grand piano next to the sculpture
We’ve seen all sorts of things – children playing piano accordions, old men with parrots and monkeys, string duets, trios and quartets, guitar-strumming vocalists and saucepan-playing drummers. However the award for the most intriguing, original and downright confounding goes to the Levitating Lady in Krakow. No matter how long we looked at her we could not work out the trick. It will remain one of the great mysteries of the world!
Roberto and myself getting into the street performing vibe and showing some levitation skills of our own!