Lots of train time today.
Trip Start May 25, 2012
17Trip End Jun 06, 2012
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The language barrier here has been incredible. We don't speak a word of Polish, the Polish don't speak a word of English. I'm sure it's better in big cities, as is the case in every other country I've been in, but the gap here is the widest I've dealt with. You'd think I'd be able to catch some of it seeing as my grandparents spoke Polish quite a bit. Then again it was mixed with German and English, all in the same sentence, so that probably didn't help.
We've been able to figure out what things are in other countries because there are similarities between their languages and ours
Before we left the States I tried to figure out what the best way to get from Swinoujscie to Bydgoszc was. I must have found five different timetables with varying times. Not minutes, but hours of difference and completely different routes. I e-mailed the Polish railway company and the told me my only option left Swinoujscie late in the afternoon and got to Bydgoszcz late in the evening. When our ship docked, we walked across the street to the train station and the woman there set us up with a route that left within the half hour and got us to Bydgoszcz earlier in the evening than I planned.
Polish train tickets are nothing like I've seen before and made no sense to me whatsoever. Which, of course, meant we wound up somewhere nowhere near where we should have. But here's another example of how screwy the train system is - the person at the ticket counter told us to grab an 11:00 am train to Posnan and then another to Bydgoszcz. I don't know how it works, but we'll wind up in Bydgoszcz three hours earlier than any of the other two routes we were set up with
We had to kill a couple hours waiting for that 11 am train so Max and I were going to walk into the Old Town of whatever city we were in but never made it. We stopped at the first place that had outdoor seating, grabbed a table, ordered drinks and played chess. I finally beat him.
Looking out the window of my train to Posnan, I could easily imagine I'm somewhere in the Midwest, or even northern Arizona. Pine trees, houses that look sturdy enough to stand the cold and lots of snow. The biggest difference is everything is run down. Not people's houses, they all look well taken care of. All of the public works seem to not have caught up since the fall of communism. The train stations in some of the smaller towns look like they're about to cave in. But they're working on it. It's a beautiful country so far. I just wish I spoke Polish so I could know what people are saying about us.
At last we made it to Bydgoszcz around 5, I think. Not sure, actually. It was a long day and all we wanted to do was get to the hotel and crash. Except that we couldn't find the damned thing. The woman at the counter who e-mailed me directions said to take the #54 bus and it would drop us off right at the hotel's door
Yeah, I'm bagging on the rickety buses, trains, and trams day, But I think once you figure out the timetables and city names, it makes it pretty easy to get around anywhere over here.
My charger won't work on the outlets in this hotel so this might be the last post for a couple days.