Gdansk to Krakow - A Day at the Cattle Market
Well this morning started with a 3am wake up call curtesy of the women in the bed next me at my hostel. For the love of god I could not understand why she had insisted on leaving her bags in the common room the night before and then gone out clubbing. It was at 3am that she decided to relocate her luggage to the dorm; bang, thud, wallop, 15 minutes later and 7 bags were strewn across the room, and she was standing practically naked in the middle of a mixed dorm after waking everyone. After the noise subsided, I drifted back off to sleep to be woken again an hour later, this time another women was leaving, and had decided to only pack her stuff ready to go at 4am. What is wrong with people?!?
By the time my alarm was due to go off at 8.30, I had already been staring at the ceiling for over an hour, hopelessly waiting for one last snooze before an 8hr train from Gdansk to Krakow via Warsaw.... Yes I know.
Well too add to my morning from hell, I managed to burn yesterday whilst indulging myself on the beach. I would not mind so much but the amount of sun tan lotion I used would have drowned a small army of children!
The two tender spots, the top of my feet/ankle crease point, and the front of my armpit/arm/collar. So, lathered up with mountains of aloe vera my socks have been turned into squishy heaven for my feet. However, there was no easy solution to my inner arm, the burn is exactly where my bra strap should sit. Brave call made, I decided to travel bra-less. Now for most people this wouldn't be scary at all, but for someone who is on the larger size, carrying round 40DD boobs, its not something you would usually do! But when needs must...
Arrival at the train station saw me about half an hour early for my departure. Knowing my platform, I decided to get comfy on the platform as my rucksack had slowly been digging into the lovely burn on my shoulder. As the platform filled I realise this is no small train, there are at least 700 people stood waiting to board the train... my train.
In the flurry of making sure I was on the train before the doors locked (I learnt very quickly trains in Poland do not wait long), I jumped on what I thought to be my designated carriage. I very slowly and painfully pushed my way through to my seat, where I found a lovely German gentleman who kindly informed me this was carriage 16, not 14 :( By this time it was too late to jump back off and then back on at 14, so I started my fight through the throngs of people without a seat allocation. I was already hot, flustered, and starting to feel the burn again, but I can honestly say that 200 metre journey has been the hardest of my trip so far. Without going into too much detail, polish trains have a combination of standard carriages (like virgin in the UK but smaller in width), and 6 people compartments connected to a long corridor no wider than a shoulder width. This is where the problem started, for all those who had been sold tickets, even though the train was full, had lined this corridor along with all of their holiday luggage. Trying to get my stout body through was hard enough, but with a rucksack too!
It doesn't stop there either, it's definitely one of those days.
I finally got to my seat after fighting through the 'bike shed' on the train, and low and behold someone was sat in my seat. Now custom says if you politely inform the person you have this seat booked, said person will move. Can you see where this is going?
Immediately the language barrier became obvious, but I was prepared for that, after showing her my ticket details she still declined to move. By this point I was holding up at least 6 people in either direction and with no sign of getting anywhere fast. I will admit, on-top of my stress, heat exhaustion, pain, and tiredness from on off sleep all night, I finally snapped. With a raised voice and a deathly look on my face I pretty much shouted at this women to move. For someone who didn't understand english, she moved pretty fast! I'm not proud of how I handled it, but I reached breaking point.
Managed to get as far as Warsaw problem free after that.
Then it started again... I wont bore you with all of the details, but it involved a guy eating peanuts (I have a deadly allergy), being told I wasn't allowed to change seats, and a group of men arguing in Polish when I wanted to open the window.
With only 20 minutes of my train from hell left, we pulled into a place called Miechow, and an announcement was made in Polish. Within seconds people were flooding off the train so I tried to find out what was going on. Ten minutes later and after trying to speak with at least 20 people, a Russian kindly told me that the electricity supply had gone down and they were estimating an hour wait for things to be sorted!
We're on the move again. It was nice to get off the stuffy train and walk around for a bit though. Let my hostel know I will be checking in late, all I want to do is sleep. I have decided that I will get an Uber once I arrive at Krakow Glowny as the hostel is 2 miles away from the station. I think after today the last thing I need is to be walking round lost in the city when it's threatening a storm.
Today has just been one unbelievable thing after another, you just couldn't make this stuff up. I will be glad to move on to Budapest on Sunday.
Moral of today, stick to the bus!!!Read more