First Class Hell
Trip Start May 25, 2012
17Trip End Jun 06, 2012
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After such a long train-day getting to Bydgoszcz, I figured that instead of buying 2nd class tickets and winding up in one of those rooms, I'd pop for first-class tickets for the 4-hour ride to Warsaw.
On our last trip to Europe, first-class on a train was better than first-class on an airline. Luxurious, wide, leather seats. Endless legroom. Perfect temperature control. Clean bathrooms. Food service. Bar car. That's what I was looking for this time.
Wrong! First class on Polish trains (at least this one) meant that instead of cramming eight people into one of those little rooms, they only cram in six. Food service consists of a guy with an urn of coffee rolling past the compartment so fast it's not possible to flag him down.
Our fabulous first class cabin had three seats on each side facing each other. Max and I had the center seats facing each other. To our left, against the outside window, was an older Polish couple (they said a few words in Polish when they first got in, so I'm assuming) and to our right, against the door, was another older Polish couple.
Neither couple said more than a few words the entire trip. It was totally uncomfortable. It was made worse because of the heat. I didn't think we'd experience a sauna until Finland, but all that was missing in our cabin was some hot rocks to pour water over to generate steam. Finally, at one of the stops along the way, the guy to my left opened the window and we got a breath of fresh air. As soon as the train started moving he shut it. After a while, the lady to my right started opening the door to get a little air, and then it got comical. The guy would open the window, she'd shut the door, he'd shut the window, she'd open the door.
Personally, I think they were in cahoots just to torture the two Americans in the car.
One other thing that I found hilarious: I took a walk to the back of the train and the sliding doors were held closed with twine.
We'll only have one more train ride on the trip, from Warsaw to Vilnius, so hopefully it won't be any worse. From there on it's buses, ferries, and planes.