Trans-Siberian Part 2: Warsaw
I managed to have four hours in Warsaw before the next train. I've only been to Poland once, to Krakow a few years ago and I was expecting another Brothers-Grimm style old gothic fairytale of a town. I didn't expect to see a place with so many skyscrapers, so much open space between the skyscrapers (you don't get that in New York) and so few old buildings. The last part is obviously a direct consequence of the way the city suffered in World War II and it takes something like to realise how much damage they would have received, because so much of the city has started from scratch. I walked around for a bit from Centralna station up to Ogrod Saski park where some kind of military parade was being held. *Now* I'm in the former Soviet bloc!
The modern parts of the city at least showed a lot of imagination.
There was a lot of building work for the Warsaw metro. If I was a UKIP-supporting ignoramus I'd say something about all the Polish builders "being over here" but they clearly aren't.
I think I found the world's poshest toilet too. Is loo a word understood in Poland?
No idea how to pronounce this. "Naleczow" is probably a long way wide of the mark.
Tonight's train journey was going to be a bit more of a challenge - about 17 hours on the train, in a 3-berth again measuring 6 feet by 4 feet. This is the longest single journey I've had and will be the longest until Tuesday night when I do my 100-hour marathon. As it turned out I was sharing this time with a married couple, Vitaly and Olga (can you come up with a more Russian pairing than that?) who had been visiting friends in Berlin and decided to get the train back to Sevastopol in the Crimea. Luckily they spoke English (they were Russian speakers themselves, not Ukrainian) and helped me out with a few things, especially with the left luggage lockers at Kiev which were unnecessarily complicated. Vitaly was also a football fan, supporting his local team, FK Sevastopol, so I was heartened not to be talking with a glory-hunter. He knew a lot about West Ham too. The downside was that there was no restaurant car on the train, so the only thing available to drink was tea without milk, which was surprisingly nice and cheap (about 40p a cup). In a proper Eastern European cup too!
I didn't sleep very well on the train - the Ukrainian customs and border police came on board at around 10.40pm and then we spent three hours through customs checks (they went through and spoke to everyone, this isn't Western Europe) and then we had a fun couple of hours while the train changed bogies in the fitting shed so that we could carry on along the old USSR railway gauges.
|Next:||Trans-Siberian Part 3: Kiev|
|Previous:||Trans-Siberian Part 1: Billericay to Cologne|
Last updated 01 June 2013 12:54
I think I'm meant to do an "About" here but I think you'd be more interested in seeing a random seagull.