Jen Dobry from Warsaw!

Trip Start Apr 29, 2008
Trip End May 25, 2008

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Flag of Poland  , Central Poland,
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Jen Dobry from Warsaw!

Well we finally made it to Warsaw this morning around 6:50 am. We left Prague around 2:36 yesterday afternoon. As luck would have it I misread my watch yesterday and we left for the Prague train station an hour earlier than planned. Let's just say we had a few hours to waste in the Prague station - sights were a bit interesting. We finally boarded our first train to Berlin. We were in a coach section with an older couple who spoke German. As Mike keeps saying our communication is limited to signs and strange grunts - it's rather comical. At least we were able to exchange the greeting of "Guten Tag" (good afternoon). Our first train was about four hours long - for some reason the air wasn't working so it was warm and stagnant (glad to get off that train). Upon our arrival in Berlin (a large station), we couldn't find our connecting train. Unfortunately, we found out that our connecting train was leaving from another Berlin station so we had to quickly take the Metro to this station - thank goodness we had about two hours between trains. Phew.

Our next train was the last connection to Warsaw - a sleeper car (my first). Okay, I now know that I can sleep in my closet at home anytime. This sleeper car was so small I'm still shocked Mike actually fit inside. The beds were against one wall one on top of the other. We had a little mishap with the conductor because he didn't speak much English (trains seem to be the biggest challenge). Through a bit of gestures we finally connected however, he took off with our German and East Europe rail passes. I about crapped my pants (these passes are for our entire trip). When he finally came back down the hall we were able to ask about the passes -- evidently we were not getting them back until we arrived in Warsaw. Phew, at least we knew we were getting them back. I guess he needed them for ticketing, border control, etc.

Okay, so sleeping on a train is similar to a boat ride. If you're on for awhile (e.g., overnight) you still feel like you're moving even after you've left! The strange thing about the train was that we kept stopping along the way. Maybe they needed to waste some time so that we didn't arrive in Warsaw too early. Anyway, we finally arrived in Warsaw early this morning (Wednesday). Poland is a bit more challenging to figure out on the map because there are few main streets and lots of small streets. Plus, the language is more difficult. So, when we got off the train we had no idea how to get to away from the station. Our place of stay was too far away to walk. After spending at least 45 minutes trying to strategize on how to get out of the station (note, not even the information window contact spoke English), we decided to write down sentences to communicate with a cab driver - and it worked!! We had a rather energetic 50 something driver who kept talking to us in Polish - Mike and I just kept smiling. I kept saying "Tak" which means yes. We were so glad to finally get out of there!!

No worries though, we have found some English speaking people now that we're away from the station. Phew. And, Warsaw is a very beautiful city. Much of the city was destroyed during WWII so many of the buildings have been rebuilt. WWII is still a strong memory here through the many monuments and dedications. We are taking lots of pictures. Oh, and Mom, today I ate "Pierogi Ruskie" (Russian Pierogies cheese and potato) - Grandpa Norman would be proud. Well, for now, pa (bye)! We'll write again soon.
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