After my visit to Auschwitz the previous day and my friend that came to explore Krakow leaving today, it was time for me to be moving on as well.
Krakow had grown on me since arriving in the pouring rain and now that I had warmed up to it, it was time to depart. Parting ways with my friend I booked my train ticket for the night train and wasted away the afternoon with the folks at the hostel.
It was here as I discussed what I had been up to that they asked if I had tried a Zapiekanki yet. The blank look on my face obviously answered their question as some 30 minutes later I was tucking into a seriously delicious baguette like roll. This would have been the ultimate hangover cure for my earlier escapades with the English lads had I known about it at the time. Hit up the Jewish Quarter for these delicious treats that are worth waiting in line for, trust me.
Once fed it was time to find my train and make for my 12th country of Europe and a very very long train ride to Prague. Why was it long you ask? well almost getting thrown off not once but twice sure woke me up to the fact not all travel is made of happy land where everything is a dream.
It all started when the ticket clerk at the train station sold me the wrong ticket. It didn’t help that I may have missed the bit about my Eurail Global Pass not being valid for Poland, but hey I’d already used it once so can you blame me.
The first attempted forced evacuation of the train occurred just 20 minutes into my trip. I handed over my ticket and passport only to be told in broken english “not right”. Here it was pointed out that my Eurail Pass isn’t valid for Poland, OH SHIT I’m thinking. The attendant did say I could buy a ticket much to my annoyance, OH SHIT again I used all my Polish Zloty already getting food before I left. Panic began to set in as I realised I’m minutes from having the train stop at the next station and dump me in the middle of who knows where.
Only saved by asking the attendant if he was willing to take a combination of Euro’s and Zloty’s I managed to find in the bottom of my backpack. Thinking I had a dodged a bullet, I lay back down in my empty cabin and attempt to slow my heartbeat and get some much needed sleep.
Alas the rest didn’t last long as I was woken by another train attendant. This time a woman asking for a ticket, handing over the ticket I had bought earlier she says “no good, this ticket to here”. It so happens that the ticket I had bought earlier was only valid to the Polish border, awesome I thought. Glancing outside at the torrential rain in my half asleep state, I felt my entire body slump. I did not wanting to be going out there under any circumstances.
The attendant noticing my panic turned her evil gaze onto the guy that had appeared in my cabin while I slept and started to grill him. Meanwhile I frantically search my backpack for anything that resembled money to save me from being left in an even more remote, dark and unknown location.
Having almost emptied my backpack in minutes and finding nothing I noticed my cabin mate pass by me on the outside of our train… things were not looking good. As the attendant returned to deal with me she motioned for me to pack my things to get off the train.
At this moment my brain began to work again and I remembered my Eurail Pass. It wouldn’t work in Poland but I knew for sure it was going to rescue me in the Czech Republic. Almost knocking the attendant over in my haste to save my ass from being evicted from the train, I thanked them for their patience and collapsed into my seat.
Up to this point I’d been pretty lucky with all of my travels and I hoped I’d never encounter another OMG I’m screwed moment like that again.