The Elusive Escape
Trip Start May 14, 2010
16Trip End May 26, 2010
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The whole flood thing going on in Oświęcim was going to prevent Auschwitz from opening today as well so we decided to stick with our plans to continue on to Bratislava. So glad we went out of our way so far into Poland to see...a flood...and a small museum. Traveling is an adventure though, and whether I face country-wide floods, deportation, or anything else, I still love to do it. We took a taxi to the train station at 6am this morning. We were just praying that the trains would be running. Tons of tracks have been flooded with water throughout Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Thankfully, the train from Oświęcim to Katowice left at 6:45, 10 minutes later than its scheduled departure time. It was apparent that the train was moving slow as we went. We passed flooded fields, houses with water gushing out of its windows, and rivers that were nearly as high as the bridge above it. Though slow, the train made it to Katowice.
The train didn't end up leaving Katowice until about 9:45am. We really needed the train on time because in Břeclav we would only have 9 minutes to make our connection. So much for that. Our lives were turning into continuous strands of "complications." Remember..."complications" is code for something worse. As we sat on the train having left Katowice (good riddance!), we started to recognize things...the same flooded houses, fields, and rivers that we had seen...when was it...FOUR HOURS AGO. Groundhog day. Déjà vu. Twilight zone. Whatever you label it, we couldn't believe we were heading back where we came from. By 11:10, we made a short stop in Oświęcim, and looked across the same tracks to the same platform we had stood on at 6:35 that morning. We had left our hotel more than 5 hours before, and now we were a mere 2 miles from it again. Poland was starting to turn into a bad dream. Someone wake me up! But we had been assured that we would be going to Břeclav in the Czech Republic. Despite knowing that we had been going the complete wrong direction than what we wanted, we tried to relax knowing what we had been told. Eventually, we got an explanation. Apparently the tracks south of Katowice were so flooded that they had to go on an alternate route which just so happened to include the same spot we had just come from. Which also
A little bit before 4pm, we arrived in Břeclav, Czech Republic. We spent the hour there in a small waiting room with a man in the corner muttering to himself. The station was a huge improvement from Katowice. At 5pm, we got on a train that is now on its way to Bratislava, Slovakia. Now 4 hours behind schedule for the day, we hope we have left Katowice and the flood "complications" behind for good. We saw a Polish newspaper with what seemed to say "Catastrophe in Southern Poland" on the front page today. Here's to hoping for better headlines in the future.