So the rest of Vienna was awesome and I will really have to explain the merits of the city, the hostel, and the people I met when I have a little more time. I also had the chance to dip over to Bratislava, Slovakia, for a few hours yesterday. Bratislava is an hour away from Vienna by bus, which makes Bratislava and Vienna the two closest capitals in the world (read that somewhere, don’t ask me where).
But really, I digress. Tales of my sojourn in Austria and Slovakia really weren’t the point of writing my post. For I now write to you all from Krakow, Poland. What? Poland??!? Yes, I know that it wasn’t part of the itinerary, but a whole bunch of people at the hostel I stayed at in Vienna assured me that I should go. And so, I worked it out, bought a ticket for the night train, and found myself at the train station in Vienna last night at 10pm… Scheduled departure was for 10:12pm and we were supposed to arrive in Krakow at 6am the following morning. Which I was excited about because I bought a train ticket for the sleeping car of the train, and assumed that I would sleep the whole night and wake up in the morning in Poland.
HOWEVER… fate had something else in mind. Due to a ridiculous amount of rain, there was a serious amount of flooding in the Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland (which all border each other), which, very literally, railroaded our trip. So what was supposed to be a “quick” and painless 8 hour night journey, turned into a ridiculously long and painful fiasco. When I woke up this morning on the train at about 5am, expecting to be in Poland, I was told that we were still hours away and the flooding along the train tracks prevented us from going further. So then the waiting began. We waited, and waited, and waited, with no info as to what was going on, (since none of the train personnel seemed to speak English, and my Polish/Slovak/Czech/German is non-existent). Luckily I found a few lovely Americans to commiserate/gripe with. Over the next ELEVEN hours, we were herded off the train, onto another, then off again, on to a bus, then on to another train, then still another. We had to wait, and take a number of detours. Just when I thought that I was at my wits end, we FINALLY pulled into Krakow at 5pm! ELEVEN hours after our scheduled arrival. Good lord.
Ahhh.. the joys of travelling.