Trip Start Jun 08, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday 21 July
Caught train to Gdansk, but really crowded spent one stop standing, one sitting on floor, one standing in 1st class then sat in 2nd. Asked this lady what the next stop was and something got lost in translation, so I was on the train in the platform scanning when I spotted it was my station so got off quick, just as the train pulled off. As usual no info so asked the hostel selling people how to get to my recommended hostel, but found there's was better so had the last but one bed in a 200 bed hostel. Checked in and found I was in with 3 women, who were out at the time. Also found the connection to the airport was poor so had to fit everything in that night and it was already 8.30. Got a taxi to Westerplatte (where WW2 officially started) to see where the bombs first fell. I had a feeling the taxi was trying to rip me off, using delaying tactics so as he spoke no English I got the map out like I knew where I was going. He offered to pull over and show me where we were - I said I knew. The taxi waited for me to sprint the 2k to the monument and back, it started raining and was getting dark. Next to the shipyard where he dropped me off - no tip. Took a few pictures of the solidarity monument and the gates which were still in use. Walked the 1k in pouring rain to Pod Lososiem to try the goldwater and salmon, arrived in a sorry state. I asked if I could eat, bur the waiter said no. I thought it was a bit strange but then I realised this was one of the most exclusive restaurants in Gdansk. I pleaded if I can I have a drink and he said OK, showed me to this beautiful room and sat me in a big leather seat at a table. Lots of stares from the waiters but then ordered the best beer and goldwasser (vodka with gold leaf in). When he brought it over he said the chef had finished cooking but could prepare some cold food, so I ordered the salmon - respect. The food was delicious and he gave me a complimentary goldwasser, I noticed the other table of 4 brits never got this service. It had stopped raining so onto the cathedral (biggest brick building in Europe apparently), old town and new town where I sat outside on wet seats, drinking beer and listening to Brit pop. When I got back to hostel, opened the door rather loudly and this dog started barking from inside the room. The room consisted of one stunner, one snoring middle aged woman and one lady with a dog in her bed who kept barking at every noise (obscure).

Saturday 22 July
Up at 7 with dog barking, woman snoring and stunner going for a shower. Out of bed at 7.15 and found the communal showers, so had fun and games with 3 of us trying to keep our dignity. Walked to the bus station for bus to airport, no bus, then by chance found information office, 5mins to catch bus. Having big problems but then this bloke stepped in and sorted my ticket and took to the bus stop just before the bus left - what a star. At airport checked in but they asked me to sign away any damage to the rucksack, I refused. Managed to find 4 carrier bags and some sellotape to cover the bag, returned to the desk and check-in girls said oh well done. Sat in area surrounded by Germans going to Cologne - funny that's where I started.
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