Thursday, February 17, 2011

Poland! A Story to Tell (picture-less though)

So, here we are in Vienna, Austria...pretty freaking cold over here, but we are used to it. Staying at my family's apartment now and going to to mountains tomorrow! So excited...but first, let me tell you about our adventurous trip to Poland, and then to Vienna!
It all started with our early trek out of was another cold, cloudy morning as we made our way to the train station from our awesome hostel hopped on a train that was headed to Krakow, Poland...we really wanted to visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp while we were here and that was the closest city to get to. I found a great hostel- that actually provided free laundry and such- which never happens at a hostel.
Anyways. We caught our train, made a few transfers at different stations and as we just crossed the border into Poland, the ticket checker on the train stopped by. (not just to say hi, mind you) hehe. So, we showed him our passes-global passes that allow us to go through 22 countries with this pass and the response we got was that they were not valid. Ooops. Nervous laughter filled the air as we scanned our documents trying to figure out why, I guess we missed the memo. Anyways, no big deal. We paid. He told us in a cute Polish accent we were to pay from our next transfer to Krakow for our train ride. We said ok. We get off next station, go to ticket counter where NOBODY spoke English and wanted to pay. Ok, so I tried to give this lady my credit card twice and she would not take it! She just showed us what platform to go to, which we already knew and told us, I'm assuming that we were all set to go. So off we go. Then another ticket checker came by and asked to see our tickets. We showed him the last one and he started telling us we needed to have tickets as i tried to explain to him that we were told not to...All with a HUGE language barrier! Good luck with that.
So, I pulled out my credit card, and of course his ticket checking device does not have a credit card slot (most checkers on trains in different countries do, Poland is just behind on things)....So he kept saying 'un moment, un moment...' dissapeared for awhile, then came back- only to go through the same thing all over again! We thought we would be screwed, told on the cops or something, but no....In all honesty I wasnt that nervous about it, it was actually kind of a rush, hehe. Oh and we prayed in our heads, God gave us peace, like he always does, because he is an AWESOME Father.
Oh and this whole time we are in an old, noisy train, sitting in a coach that is dimly lit with another stranger (woman) as we are riding into the dusky, mysterious country of Poland...It was cold, both literally and emotionally, staring at the passing shabby houses, lone trees, and distant fields. I could only thing of Jews and what they had to endure traveling perhaps the same tracks we were on.
On a lighter note.....we made it to our hostel, found us some food....oh i have another story! So we go to a grocery store, searching for food and I caught a guy stealing, stuffing shaving cream cans down his jacket...I slowly back away, accidentally run into a store clerk and pointed in the direction of the guy...I guess he ran out....V-day dinner consisted of coleslaw, spicy pepperoni, kebab chips, polish beer, and chocolate. :)

Okay, so next morning we get up early to catch a 7:10 train to Auschwitz only to find out we had to wait till 8:30. NOTE: trains in Poland SUCK. Times suck, trains are old, and they are always late. No offense to the country, just their trains in Krakow area....
We rush to Auschwitz, which took us 20 minutes to walk to with bags on our back, catch the tail end of a tour (which was crazy-we saw human hairs, the gas chambers, clothes and stuff they had to leave behind---crazy stuff. Read about it here:

So off we go, catch our train right on time- had another 10 minutes to catch another train- then five minutes to catch another train....and we made it just in time. We seriously were on trains that we were not supposed to be on! Seriously. Once, we literally ran off one train, across the platform to another and that one left in under 1 minute....It's like it waited for us, it was seriously insane. God was definitely with us the whole time, I can testify to that on almost everything on our trip! Praise God. 


So about the pictures- not on this blog- sorry I know I am bad at uploading pictures, but as soon as I can I will.

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