Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I realized that I had this post in drafts for months. I decided not to edit it, so when it says a month it actually means half a year ago. I hope next time it doesn't take me so long to publish!


Barely a month has passed, but it already seems so so far away. Going back to the university routine - go to class, sleep (a little), work on weekends, repeat - is never easy, but this trimester is being especially tough. Not even because of the workload, which is more or less the same, but beacause of the feeling that something is already ending but you don't really see yet what is about to come and the uncertainty is just too much. 

The trip to Wroclaw was nice. We spent three days (and a half) there, were very lucky with both the apartment and the weather and walked a lot; actually, more than my friends would have liked, but travelling with me is kind of exhausting so it's nothing new. I'm usually an all or nothing when it comes to travelling: walk eight hours a day to see everything or don't go. You know: go big or go home.

We rented an aparment, since we were four and sounded like a better option, and we weren't dissapointed. Small (although in a cosy way), well decorated, with pictures of Marilyn Monroe. What else could you as for? (although the bathroom leak was an unpleasant surprise, but we will forgive them that because of the cutest kitchen ever). It was situated right in the center of the city; and when I say the center, I mean it. Like, in the main town's square, next to the city hall. The architecture in the old (and centrinc) part of the town is something between magnificent and cute. There are gothic style cathedrals - lots of cathedrals - with high and spiky towers and then cheerfully coloured houses that make you thing immediately about Hansel and Gretel and chocolate houses and fairy tales. 

But my favorite part was the university's library. It's was located inside a gothic style building, with a tower and a clock. When we went inside, a woman - we suppose the librarian - came out and started the talk to us in Polish, which was the standard there. Despite the expression of absolute bewilderment on our faces, she didn't switch to English so we still don't know what she wanted. We assumed it was because of the camera - obviously, we took a photo inside anyway - or maybe it was because of the coats since the library had a cloackroom. It will remain a mystery forever. 

Besides libraries that look like if they were taken out of Harry Potter, in Wroclaw you can find a huge amount of bakeries and some coffee shops. Go look for them though a little bit further from the center, where you have the typical McDonalds. We bought pretzels for a little bit more than one grozi each - like 25 cents of euro - just twenty minutes to the north, past the Ostrov Tumski. Beware neverthless! They are really really addictive, and you could find yourself living on pretzels and pastries for the rest of your journey (we almost did)

The way back wasn't as quiet as the when we travelled there. We woke up with the thickest fog I've ever seen in my life. We had to take the 7AM bus, and once we left the city center you could barely see beyond your own nose. Someone said - I don't even remeber who. Maybe it was me. Probably it was me -  that what would happen if we couldn't take off because of the fog. We laughed it off. How silly, right? They land at night! Why should the fog change anything?

Obviously, we were wrong. After waiting an hour, they told us they were delaying the flight until 2PM...and moving it to another airport. Two hundred kilometers away. The air company brought three buses for all the passangers, and after another hour waiting we were on our way to Poznan. We laughed that off as well (why not?). We complained before how we couldn't see anything outside Wroclaw, and here we were: a free tour on bus through half Poland. Why could happen? The bus breaking down? (I'm sure you are starting to see a pattern by now)

The funny thing is, the bus that broke down was the one nobody expected to, since the other two (and especially the third one) had a much less reliable appearance. We had to be divided in two groups (a stupid tickets thing), so I went on one bus with a friend, and two of them on another. Guess who spent six hours on the road instead of three? Yep, our pleasure. On top of that, we had no local money because we changed everything back to euros at the airport, so when we stopped at a gas station  - where they finally told us that another bus was coming to pick us up because otherwise it was too dangerous -, our lunch consisted of half a bottle of liquid iogurt for each that we could buy with our last coins.

But because it couldn't end there, when we finally got to the airport - ten minutes before the closing of the gates - I learnt that a had to stamp the damn flying permit (or whatever it is called. Something Ryanair invented and that I never had to do with any other air company) again, because the stamp I had was from Wroclaw and we were in Poznan. So I had to go back, put a stamp on the damn thing, go back, wait for my turn again....and then I got stuck. They wanted to inspect my handbag, where there was obviously nothing besides clothes and my camera. I told the airport worker I about to miss a flight, which obviously didn't bother him that much, judging by the pace at which he started to inspect the bag.

After all that, when I was sitting in the plane about to take off, I couldn't believe we even made it. More than once I believed I would have to start the academic term in Poland. Even though I think I lost a considerable amount of hair that day because of the stress (not to mention a day's work: I was supposed to show at work that day!) it made a good adventure, and I doubt I will forget anytime soon.

PS: What are your strangest memories from a trip?


  1. Wow, sounds like quite an adventure. The photographs are so beautiful too, very artistic.

  2. love those photos! Poland is so pretty - I didn't really expect that (I don't know what I did expect, to be honest), but when I visited Poznan I was really (positively) surprised. I so want to go back some day! (btw, I love traveling just like you do - walking 8 hours a day? no problem. just like with everything else, it's always all or nothing for me.)

    My strangest memories from a trip.. I went to northern Finland & Norway this past week and had a quite an adventure myself, too. I have had insanely good luck with traveling before, like seriously no problems at all (besides one delay once going from Girona to Palma), so of course it was time for some adventure now. I went with my sister until Finnish Lapland, and since we live in different towns, we were supposed to meet in another town where we both had to switch to the same train. Of course that day it was thunderstorm in all Finland, so the trains were terribly late or canceled. Mine was only one hour late, and besides I was supposed to have over an hour in the other town, so I was not worried at all. Then turns out we had to switch to bus because a part of the trip couldn't be done in train for some electronical problems due to the thunderstorm. So, we finally got back to train after a while in bus (where, by the way, I met a catalan girl living in the same town as me here in Finland) some thirty minutes before my connecting train was supposed to leave, so I went to ask about the connection.. and they said they had no idea there were people going to the train to north! so they had to call the train if they waited for us, and it was all running and chaos, but finally they paid me and two others a taxi to the other train where the train waited for us only (we even got a number for the train to call once we get to the station and they were waiting us outside the train to see that we arrive and the train can leave - made me feel somewhat special lol), so it all ended good and I met my sister in the train and got to the destination in time - the next train wouldn't have left before morning as it was a night train to the north (that takes some 10 hours). the delays and all don't feel that funny at the moment but gosh they do make good memories, ha ha.

    1. That is sure quite an adventure! But at least it sounds that they were nice to you, with the taxi and waiting for you and everything (which is the normal thing to do, in my opinion). In my case, when my friend and I were on our way to the airport, our two other friends (who were already at the gate) asked the flight attendant if they would wait for all the buses and all the people to come (especially because they knew that one of them broke down, and they had a list of passangers, so...) and they said "We hope so". Meaning more something like 'good look if they are not on time'. Sigh.

  3. Those photos are the most amazing photos I've seen in a while. They made your trip look so dreamy, which I'm sure it was. The apartment sounds lovely, and its beauty must have washed the issue of having a leak in the bathroom away. Hahaha. Anyway, that library is just to die for. I want to be sitting in it so badly at the moment. I definitely must visit Poland ASAP! Thanks for sharing your adventure, Ksenia! All the best to you! :)

    Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing