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Published: August 7th 2011
Hi Friends & Family,
Its the summer holidays once again and because our previous holiday this year was all glitz, glamour and spare-no-expense to the USA our summer hols had to be somewhere cheaper 'cos money doesn't grow on trees you know, so to Eastern Europe we came i.e. A two week beach-forest-lake holiday in POLAND at a little fishing hamlet and beach resort called Leba on the Baltic Sea.
'Got up at 05:45 and after throwing the last bits and pieces together and force-closing the suitcase ( didn't know we had so much stuff! ) 'decided to give "The Small Young Gentleman" the suitcase ( filled with all-weather clothes, "Horrible History" books and computer games ) whilst I put all my stuff into my backpack of lore.
We left home at about 07:14 in order to get the 07:19 Ring train that finally got us to Hauptbahnhof a good 20 mins ahead of schedule.
Of course, I hadn't made any sandwiches or finished my morning cup of tea or even checked my Emails / Facebook. What horror!!!
Anyway, our train to the German/Polish border left at 07:59 to Szcecin Glowny and arrived a
little after 10:00.
The station is a tiny little thing when for the first time ever. And I do mean ever. A man dressed in black ran behind me speaking in Polish, then German, then English.
"Your I. D. please?"
"Why?" said I.
"Your Pass please?"
"I don't know you?!" I said, "Who are you?"
They were the Polish border police.
Happily, he showed me his and I showed him mine!!!
Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, take your pick. Nobody else was asked. Then I said, "Why did you not go on the train? Why did you follow me?" Suddenly, they didn't understand a word I was saying which was quite alright 'cos I gave them a piece of my mind all the while smiling of course.
Then I walked firmly away.
Meanwhile, "The Small Young Gentleman" became anxious so I told him a cock and bull story of how they hardly saw brown-skinned people in this tiny little town and that they wanted to make sure that we were going in the right direction!!
I mean who in their right mind would choose Poland over
I'm sorry for that comment and I really didn't mean to oiffend but I hope you know what I mean.
In actual fact, I love Poland and have been going to the same Polish Baltic Sea area for over 12 years and it has been absolutely fine and not only that but Krakow is a really picturesque town and highly recommended as a weekend-city location.
We tend to go to the same town. The same hotel. 'Same procedure as usual. We love it, that is, "The Small Young Gentleman" and I love it!! Frank, not so much 'cos he'd prefer another place. Another town but you know, as an avid traveller sometimes its nice to go to "normal" places of routine and I just like the fact that they know us and we can and have developed a sort of, albeit weird, tourist relationship, but I like it nevertheless and most importantly, so does "The Small Young Gentleman" LOL!
Right, back to the journey....All the trains we used this time around were traditional old-timer trains so reservations weren't really possible.
The first train from Berlin to the Polish border had very few
people in it and most seemed to be of Polish origin thus, we had four complete comfortable seats to ourselves.
The second train from Szczecin Glowny was equally as small and this time each and every seat was completely and utterly utilized. We were lucky to get a private compartment with only one person in it at first but when we got to the next stop all hell let loose and the train was delayed for between 40 and 50 minutes waiting for another train to arrive and as a result the train got so crowded and all the compartments, including ours, were pretty filled up. In fact, it was so cramped that lots of people were made to sit on their bags and suitcases in the hallway / corridor as there was no room!!!
To cut a long story short, more delays took place and I became so disoriented that I missed our stop. 20 minutes ago!
Yikes! Yikes!! Yikes!!!
My fellow travellers were nice enough to help us get off the next stop. My constant enquiries from every train official I could find yielded to zilch as they all said that the next train
back to Lebork ,which was where I actually wanted to go, would leave in 2.5 hours! I really couldn't wait that long and there were no inter-town buses available moreover, it was close to 16:00 and I didn't want to be at a strange train station, with lugguage and a young child, in the evening soooooo
...I decided to look around the station and other platforms and lo and behold, the connecting train that I wanted was still ON THE PLATFORM!
I checked and double-checked that it was indeed the right train then we hopped on. I so bugged the inspector as per how many stops we had left and what time we were expected to get to Lebork as there are no announcements and no indicators. It was a case of watching each and every stop....
75 minutes later, we were there. In Lebork.
Of course our connecting train had already departed and other trains were leaving once an hour with the next train departing at only 18:06 so we travelled to Leba in one of the inter-town buses plyed all around the station. For the amount of 1.25 Euros each and a 30 minute
ride we were soon there.
We made it. 1.5 hours late but we nevertheless made it.
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