GĂ¶rlitz, Germany and Zgorzelec, Poland- all in one day
Gorlitz Travel Blog› entry 4 of 20 › view all entries
Iâ€™d first heard about GĂ¶rlitz in a Germany guidebook that I ended up forgetting to pack. But I remembered the name, and remembered that it was close to Dresden, and that I could go to Poland. So armed with that knowledge, a guidebook on GĂ¶rlitz in German (borrowed from the Goethe-Institut), my passport and everything else Iâ€™d need for a daytrip, I left Dresden from the Neustadt train station. Now thatâ€™s a nice place, plenty to chose from for snacks, a bookstore/newshop and a convience store. Not that I had that much time to kill. So I got two sandwich rolls and went to the track.
When in Germany, sometimes itâ€™s more convenient and cheaper to get a â€śSchĂ¶nes Wochenendeâ€ť card. Itâ€™s 37â‚¬, good for one day (either Saturday or Sunday) and is good for up to five people.
Even though I was alone, I got one because it was about the same price as a regular roundtrip ticket and itâ€™s more flexible since I can travel whenever I want.
It took about an hour and a half to get there, and along the way I saw two places I want to visit (Radeburg for the beer brewery and Bautzen for the scenery). As we went further east, I saw some town name signs in both German and Czech, and a while later that changed to German and Polish. The trainâ€™s last stop was GĂ¶rlitz since any further and itâ€™d be in Poland. The train station was simple, but I didnâ€™t say long. I made my way to the Altstadt (Old Town) and started wondering. I found the tourist info, bought a GĂ¶rlitz book in English (I know, but itâ€™s easier to read quickly) and a ticket for a walking tour. Since I had two hours before the tour, I just started making my way to the bridge that would take me into Poland. It was a nice walk, except for the snow and ice. Apparently it hadnâ€™t gotten that warm like in Dresden. Almost all of our snow is gone. The bridge was simple, and definitely not like Iâ€™d expected. I had expected a grand bridge with passport control in the middle. I got exactly the opposite. So, why no Passport Control? Later on I found out that Poland had signed the Schengen Agreement so PC was done away with. So I crossed into Zgorzelec, Poland, and tried to find the Tourist Info. Never found it, and didnâ€™t really want to stay. It was cool being in Zgorzelec, but it wasnâ€™t really that nice of an area, and I felt out of place (much like I did in Warsaw).
But in both GĂ¶rlitz and Zgorzelec, I heard people speaking a language that definitely wasnâ€™t regular German and it didnâ€™t sound Polish- Iâ€™m guessing itâ€™s Sorbish.
Coming back into Germany, I just walked around for a while, until it was time to head back (by then I was pretty cold and looking to sit down for a while). But itâ€™s winter, and nothing that looked good was open. So I got a coffee from the Senfladen (Mustard Shop) and waited.
Two oâ€™clock came and the tour began. Overall, it was a pretty disappointing tour. In two hours we didnâ€™t get very far, and he kept droning on about stuff I didnâ€™t care about. Plus he spoke in a dialect that was hard for me to follow. After the tour, I talked to the two women (mother/daughter from Baden-WĂĽrttemberg), and they had a hard time with his dialect too. So we talked for a while, and we headed for the train station. After four hours on my feet in the cold, I just wanted to go back to Dresden. But on the way we got separated, and I missed the train by minutes.
This is where I note how much I wished the GĂ¶rlitz train station was like Dresden-Neustadt. The only thing open was the convenience store (bought postcards and stamps though). So I sat and froze in the train station for more than hour before heading up to the track and finding my train waiting for me. Now, I donâ€™t know if the train was cold or if I was just chilled through, but my coat stayed on the entire way, even though other people took theirs off. It was a slow ride back to Dresden, but at least I was sitting and it was warmer.
And I got to read the tourist info book on GĂ¶rlitz, wishing I had a red penâ€¦