On Friday, September 2nd, I left my apartment at 7 am to catch the 7:12 bus to Katowice. I knew it was 5 złoty and would drop me off at the Katowice train station. The bus pulled up to the Żory Sąd (courthouse) bus stop right on time, but the bus was so crowded that I had to stand all the way to Katowice (about 45 minutes).
Once at the train station I saw a ticket booth and I bought my ticket to Kraków. I said, "bilet Kraków głowny" ("ticket Kraków main" - the train station was implied) and after handing the woman 18 złoty she handed me a ticket to Kraków. Here is where I made my first wrong assumption. I thought the train time and platform would be on the ticket. Like your boarding pass for a plane....it tells you what gate and what time the flight is...and what time you will board. Well, a Polish train ticket does not. In the main terminal there is a massive board with train times and platforms, but I could not figure out how to read it. I stood there for about 5 minutes and saw many different trains going to Kraków. I found someone who spoke English. She said I was on a regional train and that I was going from platform 4 at 8:40. I could see what she was reading and that there was a train to Kraków at 8:40 leaving from platform 4, but I still have no clue how she knew that was my train. By this time it is 8:30....so headed to the platform. A few minutes later a train pulled up and the sign on the platform said Kraków....I got on board. During the ride a man came to collect my ticket. I had no idea what he said to me, but I figured he was there for the ticket. I gave it to him, he punched, said
dziękuję, and handed the ticket back. I was on my way....
After two hours of riding through the Polish countryside I arrived in Kraków. The train station is attached to a massive mall, I guess I wasn't expecting that. I headed out onto the streets and started walking to the old town. I was surprised I found it so easily, I guess it was from the map of the city I studied on the way there. One thing I love about Europe is the architecture. Just walking from the train station to the old town was beautiful. I arrived at Florian Gate and headed down Ulica Floriańska to the main rynek.
|Florian Gate - entrance to old town|
|View down Ulica Floriańska|
|My first view of the rynek and Cloth Hall. I can't even describe how big the rynek is....|
|The grounds of Wawel Hill|
|the castle courtyard - early in the morning|
Can't wait until my next adventure....which will be this weekend to Wrocław. And Vienna is coming up in November....stay tuned....