|Sunshine makes anything look good|
And so I got off a stop early to have a look at the Soviet palace, which also had a tourist office in so I could get the obligatory postcard. And the sun made it look pretty good, even if it was nearly identical to the Seven Sisters in Moscow. Yes, in Soviet Russia, buildings are related. I wonder what Stalin would make of my awful Soviet Russia jokes.
|The Soviets can do decent architecture when they want to|
|I found this guy on the way round|
So yes, the train to Krakow. Which was compulsory reservation. I didn't have a reservation, ain't nobody got time for that! But I'll just play the confused foreigner card, it's fine.
|There's always time for a train selfie|
I was sat down, with some banging trance playing on my iPod (only appropriate, given that this is the East), and then the train started to slow down. And then it stopped. The engine was off. I had only the view of a Polish farmhouse to keep me company. I tried to get one of those classic train photos, of the side of the entire train - but to no avail.
|My poor attempt at a classic|
But she didn't mind at all. The Polish are a friendly bunch, and she even stamped next to the relevant entry on my interrail travel report. Memento number 94, here we come.
And then two trains came from the other direction, and off we were again. On what was definitely a two-track stretch. Why we had to wait I don't know, but this is the East after all. It's not exactly super-efficient German rail. I'm fairly sure some of the carriages were Soviet-era, and the loco was most certainly a bulky Eastern European affair.
Bought a bottle of coke off the trolley, and the guy mentioned he used to live in Rochdale. I can see why I came back to Poland. Apparently it said that I had to share it with "Brunetka", which unfortunately doesn't count as an excuse to chat up a brunette Polish girl. Oh well - I prefer blondes anyway.
Then we pulled into a random station in the middle of nowhere with a name that contained far too many W's and Z's. See, it's not just the Welsh language that overdoes things. And it had those l's with the funny line through them, which means that Lodz is pronounced "wodz" and just sounds like Jonathan Ross pronouncing the letter R. And so I got a picture of a red roof, because I take pictures of everything. I'd much rather they'd have gone through Kielce, which I only know of because it has a good handball team, but that would have been one of my less useless photos.
|The train stopped in smaller places than this one.|
But then I put my laptop away, stopped being so bloody sarcastic and cynical, and looked out of the window.
I realised something.
The Polish countryside is beautiful. Especially when the sun shines on it. And instead of talking much more, I'm just going to show you some photos explaining what I mean.
Eventually though, having stopped pointlessly a few more times, we pulled into Krakow. That journey did not feel like 3 and a half hours. In Britain, it would have felt like 6. I'm fairly sure that 3 Polish hours is less than 3 British hours, but there you go.
That's why I love the travelling bit of travelling. You see so much, especially from trains. And you can always sleep, eat, update blogposts, read guidebooks and whatever else. Though sleeping on trains confuses small Polish children. Especially with inflatable neck pillows.
Friday night in Krakow. Score.
Checkout at 10am. Not so much.