Travelers in Training

Friday, May 16, 2014 Road Junkies 0 Comments

CHAPTER 25:  IN WHICH WE GET SIDE-TRACKED IN POLAND

Around the World, Day 25:  Prague, Czech Republic to Krakow, Poland.

D:  Here's our train, SuperCity 505.  This leg of the trip is 225 miles to Ostrava and takes a little over three hours with only two stops.

SC 505 Pendolino
K:  Hey, not only is there an electrical outlet, I have wifi!  I saw a sign on the side of the car that said WiFi.  Maybe we'll have it the entire trip.


D:  I can't believe how much I'm getting done here.  This car is not only very spacious, it's a nice quiet ride.  And smooth, too.  I'm thinking we need to forget about air travel.  Forget car rentals.  Rail is the way to go.


K:  And a heck of a value.  Our tickets were only about $100 for this nice first class car.  I would never have guessed that included free food and beverages.  Did you hear the attendant ask if we wanted champagne?


D:  That's a pretty little village.  I think it's called Lipník nad Bečvou.  Hard to see with the rainwater running down the windows.  Aren't you glad we aren't driving in all this rain?


K:  I sure hope this EuroCity train is as nice as the SuperCity.  This station at Ostrava is definitely a little below the standards of Prague.  The train may be a little slower.  This leg is an hour and a half and takes us only about 60 miles.


D:  OK.  We can definitely work with this.  No WiFi but we do have electrical power.  And thankfully the restaurant car isn't full, so we can ride here and have a bigger table than what's offered at our seats.  Guess the food won't be free, though.  Still, only two intermediate stops.  This is still working.  We should look into taking a train from Krakow to Sofia.

K:  Hurry, we have only three minutes to make this connection in Katowice.  Yes, I'm sure this is the train.  All the cars are 2nd class and we don't have reserved seats this time, so let's just board and find seats.

D:  Whoa.  Is that little shelf the only thing we have for a table?

K:  Table?  I'd rather have a new seat.  These must have been installed when this train was built during the Eisenhower administration.  Not a good time to have a bony butt.  Ouch!

D:  This Regional train stops at every station.  A total of 25 stops in 50 miles.  No wonder it takes more than two hours.

K:  Yes, but we've been sitting at this spot between stations for 15 minutes now.  I don't think we're really even out of Katowice yet.

D:  Who was that guy who just stormed through toward the back of the train?  I think it was the engineer.  And he looked pretty annoyed.

(Train conductor walks into the car and makes an announcement.)
"Pociąg został zmieniony na błędnej ścieżce. Musimy odwrócić nasz kurs do poprzedniej stacji i zmieniać utwory tam."

K:  Wonder what that was about.  Did you see him snicker when I asked him for English?

D:  OK.  No one in our car speaks English, but that young woman with the green hair in the next car spoke enough to tell me that we are on the wrong track and have to go back to the last station to get on the right track.

K:  The Polish Express, eh?  Oops.  Here we go, back toward Katowice.


D:  What?  I can't hear you over the rattling of the rails in this bucket of bolts.  (yelling)  Remember what I said about train travel?  Let's take to the skies instead, OK?

K:  (yelling) No problem.