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Published: September 5th 2019
Left Berlin early this morning. Farewelled Ann and Bill from Oz at breakfast. They are doing the same independent package as me but a day later. Lovely couple. Peak hour traffic getting to the station was no different to anywhere else except for the hundreds of cyclists.
Berlin International Station was buzzing as people moved through the enormous complex getting food, Raul-fresh (toilets) and then onto their departure platform- mine was 11. Double checked with the guard in his smart hat and waited. A very elderly humped over lady with clothes every colour of the rainbow makes me smile and I hope I have her spirit for life as I age.
Eventually my train to Warsaw arrived. Carriage 276, Seat 15. And no, there were not 276 carriages- the Germans just thought they would throw that into the mix to confuse me! Back to my friend the little platform guard with the smart hat, who told me the number was on the glass window on the carriage door. He’s very helpful but I can see that no one messes with this guy. Runs his 2 platforms with precision timing and a lung full of air into his very loud
whistle. Last carriage, first cubicle of 6 seats. An effort getting my luggage up 3 angular steps onto the train. A young German girl offers to help and I graciously accept her offer. There’s no room for heroism on this trip. If someone wants to help, I’ll gladly accept! Interdependence is far better than independence. And besides, she will hopefully feel good about her kind deed all day.
Very tight for luggage storage but comfortable seats. White hair gave me the grace of a gentleman lifting my luggage up on a very high rack. The 6 of us were an international mix of German, Polish, mid-west American and Aussie. We were a jovial bunch, with the exception of my luggage hero who worked and sang to whatever was coming through his earphones. The rest of us shared names, stories and cultural differences as well as many photos- and laughed A LOT! We all speak English.
Interesting to note that you paid for coffee on the German side and it was free in Poland 😁. The same coffee man all the way. Frankfurt was our last German station.
Most of the 6 got off at Poznan in Poland
and a new tribe joined me. A different lot- kept to themselves or slept so I sat back and enjoyed some quiet and scenery. It was all farming with corn 1-2 metres high, hay harvested for the coming Winter and wind farms scattered throughout. Patches of planned forest pop up here and there as well. Interesting to note how green it is considering it’s the end of Summer. Old buildings clustered together with Aline rooftops to cope with the Winter snow fall. A church spire emerges from the cluster of buildings in every country town. Very pleasant.
Ticket checked for the third time. No passport checks as I move between countries. I’m 3 hours into a 5 1/2 hour trip. Time is flying by and we fly at top speed through many rural train platforms. It’s a comfortable ride as I’m snacking along the way in place of lunch. Train slows, I lift my head and we stop at Koznan.
Moving again as the older lady opposite pulls out her large print puzzle book and absorbs herself into that in between checking her phone. She has a beautiful smile, most attractive and hair I would die for! But
I do wish she would turn the sound off on her keypad. Makes me think of mum who loved her puzzles and had a great mind for a crossword. Eyes well up thinking about her and how much joy Tim and Natalia’s wedding would have brought her. And also that her death gave me the blessing of this travel as I was no longer staying in Aus to meet her needs.
Warsaw is not too far off. Luggage hero pulls out an energy drink and keeps working and singing. My derrière is beginning to numb. At last! Warsaw windows. Check in to hotel and washing catch up. Then a walk and familiarisation. 33 degrees!
Dinner and early night. A long and delightful day.
The train system has served me well! Efficient, clean and comfortable.
Tot: 2.403s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 9; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0472s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb