czwartek, 27 grudnia 2012

A train trip to Poland

I'm laying covered with a warm blanket, staring at the window. It's peacefully quiet and I can hear only steady clatter of the wheels is putting me to sleep. Behind the window smaller and bigger towns are flashing with their lights in the darkness. We're passing them so fast. Now we have just reached some big light splash. The train is stopping at the station and I can hear someone shouting something in German. It's Koln and it's half past one. There's still a whole-night journey ahead of us. 

source: wikipedia
This year we decided to go for Christmas to Poland by... train. The prices of plane tickets were already enormous (however if we'd add the prices of train tickets from Warsow to Cracow and back, I guess we wouldn't save much), but most of all we couldn't find a right date for the fly. The choice was not big and we were very picky. That's why I decided to try this traditional, a bit nostalgic way of transportation. After all why not to try sometimes something different. A little adventure trip ;) Traveling by train brings me memories from my childhood. When you're preparing to this kind of journey, you know it's gonna take long, so you're not in a rush. You allow yourself to relax and let the time pass by just like the landscapes behind the window.  There's something romantic about the trains. Like going back in time. When the other passengers are falling asleep, you can clear your mind, listen to the clatter of the wheels and watch the views quickly passing by. A kind of a night kaleidoscope. I guess that without some dose of sensibility traveling by train must be very uphill and unconvenient. For me it's a bit more than just a means of transport. 

We took our train in Arnhem. Two couches in a 6 pax. We shared our compartment with a polish student studing economics in Amsterdam, a portly man, who spent most of the time in some other part of the train and slept only few hours on his place snoring from time to time; and a polish mother with two little twin girls with an identity disorder (apparently one of the girls was strongly convinced that she's a dog, so she was barking, jumping on her bed and baying at the moon or a laptop for instance). Maurice started talking a joking with the girls just when we got in the train, so they went a bit too energetic and unstoppable and didn't want to go to sleep driving their mother mad. I didn't know if I should laugh (the brilliant and irrational dialogues of three-year old and her mom) or pray so the girl would fall asleep (I couldn't focus and read). Luckily in some point the got tired and collapsed and slept the whole night quiet and nicely.

I had an impression that the whole train or at least our car was very polish. From all the directions, from behind the wall, from the corridor, from the platforms all I could hear was polish. Even a conductor was Polish. And one poor Maurice in a middle of this polish cloud trying to make some mini interviews asking everyone "Do you like living in the Netherlands?". In Warsow we were half an hour before the time. Thanks to that would still managed to catch an earlier train to Cracow. I knew it not to book the tickets online... somehow I don't trust polish railways, especially not in winter and christmas season. Another few-hour ride. Our car was kind a "internationalized", tho except for Maurice we were all Poles. Many of these people were living/working/studying somewhere abroad in Europe and now we were all coming home for Christmas. Nice conversations and pleasant warmth. They clearly don't try to save on heating in polish trains. For me it's great, i'm a very warm-liking creature, but for Maurice... He was almost melting all the way. 

In Cracow we were perfectly in time. I gotta say I was impressed. I expected at least few-minute delay. What a surprise. Probably because there was barely any snow. Now we only had to take the last train, the last part of our trip and slowly roll to our last station, where my dad was already waiting in a car to pick us up. That how we got to Poland for Christmas. Four trains, three interchange and 21 hours of travel. A bit tired and hungry, but happy and satisfied with our trip we got it safe home.

4 komentarze:

  1. Your stories are great, love reading them!

  2. What an adventure! Such are the trips I really like to do... okay just kick them into my bucket list! :) Happy New Year!!

    1. It was fun indeed, but the real adventure would be to take a Transsiberian train! :D


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