I was quite nervous this morning to catch my early train to Krakow. I called (well, emailed) for a taxi at 7:15am, so I could get to the train station and buy a ticket for the 8:17am train. I kept thinking I was going to oversleep, so I was a bit restless toward the end. Also, lots of noise outside. Turns out they were filming something on the street outside of my hotel. Something with a car. Will post photo.
I made it to the station and bought my ticket no problem. Killed time and then found the platform (again, very hot and sweaty…I will very much look forward to fall temps soon!). I started to worry because the train that was leaving at 8:17 was some Z name. But I walked around to find an info board and saw that stops along the way included Krakow. I was nervous getting on the right train car and finding my seat. I remember from when Jaime and I rode the Eurostar last year that train seats make no sense to me. Unless someone understands them and wishes to enlighten me! Eventually I found my seat and realized I needed to heft my very large bag up onto the racks high above the seat (or, at least, it looked high above the seat). Thankfully a man across the aisle made a move as if to help, but then his seatmate blocked him in. So the guy behind me got up and said, let me help you. (He also was right there, immediately, to help me again once we had arrived in Krakow. So nice!).
My seatmate sits down (kicks me out of the window seat, unfortunately!) and I realize she speaks quite good English. So soon after leaving Warsaw the train stops. For like 30 minutes. At approximately 20 minutes, an announcement comes over the loud speaker. In Polish. A few minutes later, I asked my seatmate why we were stopped. She said it was a blockage on the tracks that no one had removed yet. Ok. I quickly decide I need to take advantage of this time and sleep. She and I both slept the majority of the way. But first, a cart came around with beverages. I didn’t know if you had to pay, so after my seatmate selected her Scooby Coo orange juice box, she interpreted for me, asking, without my prompting, do you want apple or orange juice? No thank you. Later, she got up to walk around and we stopped again. Another announcement. When she returned to our seats, she said, you probably didn’t understand, but they said we have a 25 minute delay. A 25 minute DELAY? Yes, she says, pretty standard. Really? Yep, she says. So I need to put my patient pants on for my trains rides, apparently. Seriously, the nicest, most helpful people!!
I knew my hostel was about 2 km from the train station, and with a 47lb bag on my back, I knew I couldn’t walk it. So I made a beeline for the taxi stand. And got totally ripped off. It was an $8 ride instead of the $4 it would’ve been in Warsaw. I will need to go online and find a reputable taxi for the ride Wednesday night. I’m not paying that again!
But I got to my hostel and couldn’t check in, so I left my bag and made my way to Old Town. Again, my killer sense of direction took me, literally, down the correct street from my hostel. Ok, there may have been a bit of luck involved, but I knew the general direction, I was just surprised that the street took my directly there! It was gorgeous. So much better than Warsaw, even. It was bigger, for one, and had an old Clock Tower, the Cloth Hall, and St. Mary’s Basilica. On my list for the day was Old Town and St. Mary’s. Perfect. The weather was beautiful again, except when I sat down to eat in a sidewalk restaurant and it got really windy. St. Mary’s is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen… largely due to the Altar Piece. You can’t take photos (or, rather, you have to pay extra), so here’s what it looks like:
It doesn’t do it justice. So beautiful. And I had an Irish info map with me. I was challenging myself to read the Irish and guess what I thought would be depicted in that part of it. I was right…SOME of the time. My Irish is going to be terrible by January! I’m finding there to be a lot of Jan Pawel II around this country. Not sure what that’s all about. 🙂
I made my way back to the hostel to check in, put socks on (FB joke), and rest a bit. I uploaded and edited photos and texted before dinner. Then I decided that I didn’t know where any restaurants were except on the way to Old Town. So I made my way back there and had some spaghetti. At a place called Fabryka Pizzy. I’m pretty sure I am going to call pizza pizzy from now on!
I am back a little early, still pretty tired and want to get settled into the new room and plan out tomorrow. Am going to Auschwitz. I am really looking forward to it and really dreading it at the same time.
Finally… what does a girl have to do to get a Diet Coke in this country? This is a huge beef, Poland. No, I don’t want Coke Zero, I said Coke Light. Even in corner stores (think, convenience store), no DC. I’m getting very annoyed. This needs to be rectified. Obviously someone needs to educate the Poles on the wonder that is Diet Coke. Sounds like a good task for me!