"Pivo?" Beer on a train at 9 AM

Wroclaw Travel Blog

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Definitely one of the prettiest cities in Poland!

'Pivo?' At nine this morning I was handed a nice cold beer by one of the two Polish guys sitting in my cabin on the way from Krakov to Wroclaw. It was quickly established that I was far from being Polish and the two men in their late twenties took an interest in practicing their English skills and getting to know me. While it was still pretty terrible, one of them knew English much better than the other and did most of the talking, and the conversation we had for the next two hours was fairly entertaining. 'We go to friend to make party,' one of them tells me. Apparently they couldn't wait to get there to start drinking and I had the pleasure of helping them start off the party.

What Mark couldn't figure out how to say in English I helped by filling in words based on context, funny hand gestures or pictures he insisted, 'Wait, I paint for you.

Dozens of lawn knomes scatter the city-no idea why
' At one point he asked me a question and I answered 'Yeah, yeah,' which sent him into a fit of laughter. Puzzled, I asked him what I had said that was so funny. I learned then that my response meant "chicken's egg," which upon learning made me start laughing as well. We bonded over funny stories and they kept insisting that I talk to them in English and tell them more about myself. We even hopped over to the next cabin to ask someone to take a picture of the three of us.

Before we parted ways Mark got all excited and dug into his bag of football stuff, pulling out a lanyard and handing it to me. 'Do not wear this in Poland,' he warns me sternly. 'France, Germany...ok. But not here. They are very aggressive about football.' To show him I understood I took it from around my neck and put it in my camera bag.

Such contrasts in the sizes of the buildings!
'Thank you. I'll keep it safe here,' I promise sincerely. The last thing I need is trouble with rowdy football fans, especially ones whose language I have no clue how to understand.

It was dreary weather outside but I was crossing my fingers that it would be better once I got there. Soon I found myself trudging through the pouring rain, my head covered with my scarf and singing to myself, 'I've seen better days,' as I looked for an umbrella and a place to stay. Having come across a hostel on every block in Krakov, I'd assumed that it wouldn't take me more than 15 minutes of walking around to find one here, so I hadn't booked one in advance in the chance that I would get terribly lost finding it. Bad assumption. I was cold and wet and my throat was killing me.

Sunshine, if only for a few minutes :)

I couldn't find a place to stay for at least 30 minutes, but at least a small bit of logic saved me from my utter lack of sense of direction. Taking turns to follow buildings that looked attractive, I figured I could make my way to the city center where the majority of the citie's accomodation would be. This time I was right, and my strategy landed me right in front of a tourist office in Market Square, and within 15 minutes I was on the right street of the hostel he had guided me to on a map. Problem was, I couldn't actually find the hostel as there were no clear signs. I decided that the solution to this was to head into the bar on that street for a cold one and ask for directions.

Turns out that the bar was literally right next to the place I was to be staying, but the beer still tasted good and the MTV music videos playing brought me a little sense of relaxation and comfort before I headed up to check in.

The hostel is really nice and pretty cheap, with just one guy messing around on the computer in the kitchen/hangout area. He's from Minnesota traveling for two weeks, and was pretty excited to meet someone who speaks English as he explains that he's been in smaller cities where English isn't known by everyone and he feels like he hasn't spoken it in ages. We headed to a pretty good Polish dinner before walking around the square for a short time then heading back to the hostel.

A bunch of German guys ended up coming in as well a bit later. I knew that I was really not in good shape when I didn't even make an attempt to get to know them and made it an early night. Hope I feel better tomorrow.

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Definitely one of the prettiest ci…
Definitely one of the prettiest c…
Dozens of lawn knomes scatter the …
Dozens of lawn knomes scatter the…
Such contrasts in the sizes of the…
Such contrasts in the sizes of th…
Sunshine, if only for a few minute…
Sunshine, if only for a few minut…
Loved this water fountain!
Loved this water fountain!
photo by: EmyG