Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prague ----> Krakow: Terror on the Train?


Eugenie and Jirca seemed especially concerned about my safety on the train to Krakow. So I place all my credit cards, passport, and money in a money belt and tied it to my waist.

Eugenie told me to never take my eyes off my luggage, so I got out my bicycle lock that I carry for situations like this iI order to be able to secure my packs to something so they couldn’t be grabbed and thrown out the window. 

Between you and I, I was humoring them, I did not really think they was any great danger. Then I got on the train… it was only after I got that I began to realize I was not being overly cautious but sensible.

First the conductor comes by and tells us to always keep our money on us, to lock all three (3!) locks on the door and be careful answering the door. Then my roommate, a female for a change, tells me she was robbed on the way to Prague on the train. I then read in my guidebook to be cautious on the train and that people have reported being gassed and robbed on the train. Good lord – I should have looked into this before I left.

I did some other mistakes, the biggest, I ate a big dinner with lots of liquid before I left. I know better and I normally do not drink or eat dinner before a night bus or train when I do not have a private toilet.

DSCF4960I went to sleep as usual, it comes to be three in the morning and my bladder is screaming. I do not know what to do. I am frightened to go outside and use the toilet.  I realize I have only two choices I can wake my roommate and hope it is not dangerous to leave the cabin or use a cup and the sink. I’ll let you decide how I handled it.

DSCF4959Another mistake I made was choosing the top bunk.  I thought it would be fun to be up high and if my roommate needed to go to the toilet, I wouldn’t be distributed.  What I hadn’t thought of was, that if three beds fit in one compartment, how much head room would there actually be? We did not have anyone in the middle bed, but the top bunk was so close to the stop of the compartment that I could not sit up in bed.  At least my roommate let me sit on her bed until I was ready to go to sleep.

Did I mention my roommate was from Ukraine? She had come to Prague for a convention. I was lucky she was so sweet, Her snoring did not even bother me, which most likely is due to the fact that the noise of the train drowned her out.

This experience did not sour me, I still love traveling by train. For my next trip, I will follow the no liquid no dinner rules and book the lowest berth. Since I know the score, I will be prepared with my money belt and be really to secure my luggage with the bicycle lock I carry around just for this purpose. Who knows, maybe next trip, I’ll get lucky and have a compartment just to myself?


Arriving in Krakow

DSCF5124 All of sudden it was 6:30 a.m. Monday morning and we were pulling into the train station in Krakow. I was a bit bleary eyes but managed to get my stuff off the train and to the tram to get to the hostel.   I arrived  at the Elephant on the Moon hostel during breakfast and they fed me well, cereal, bread, jam, honey, ham, pate, cheese, yogurt, fruit, and lots of hot coffee. I knew I was going to like this place. No nickel and diming here. Of course I could have breakfast and I got to take a hot shower also! My room the newest one in the hostel the  “Hippie Room” was ready by 10:30 and I was off to explore the town. Below are some pictures of the hostel and my room.


Anonymous said...

Terror on the Train? It appears the only terror was in your mind! You had an uneventful trip—NOTHING HAPPENED.

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