Travel Plan Update

Hello,

due to the fact that I wanted to stay one day longer in Gdansk, I’ve changed my travel plan a little bit.

Here is the new plan:
14.08. Wroclaw
15.08. – 18.08. Krakow
20.08. – 23.08. Ceske Budejovice
23.08. Cesky Krumlov
23.08. – 28.08. Prague
28.08. – 31.08. Brno

First 5 days in Poland

I’m currently on day 5 of my trip doing a stopover in Sopot, a very nice city very close to Gdansk. One of my reasons to visit Gdansk was to see the baltic sea. Sopot has a very nice & long sand beach,perfect spot to relax a little bit from sightseeing. So what did I do the last 5 days?

After going out on friday to drink some last beers in Vienna, I packed my bag Saturday in the morning and headed to the train station. After some hours in the train I arrived in Warsaw and a little bit later I was in the flat of my host Kuba. Tania from Portugal made us a great portuguese dinner, many thanks for that.
Some beers with friends of Kuba and a rainy night later, I did go to the “Warsaw Uprising Museum”. It is about Events in World War II, when Poland was invaded & occupied by Germany & Russia. Due to some reason, there was free entry and a very long queue to get into the museum. After visiting this huge museum, I did some sightseeing in Old Town of Warsaw. Looking to find a nice place for dinner and equiped only with a stupid “Lonely Planet” book about Eastern Europe, I decided to go in a very old restaurant at Castle Place. If you are in Poland, try the “Sour Borsch Soup”, really something special.
So after a good meal, I decided to ask the waiter for a nice pub. What a waste of time. He told me to look in the city center (not old town center), there are hundreds of pubs. After walking around that center without finding much, I did go back to Kubas place, to find out that he doesn’t know anything about “hundrds of Pubs” in Warsaw. I don’t know what the waiter was talking about, maybe another city.

On monday I tried to get a reservation for the train to Gdansk, but without luck. Without showing my Euro Domino Ticket, no reservation. Most of the afternoon I spent on preparing and publishing the blog post about Warsaw. Blogging needs more time than I expected, but I think the result is good.
Monday evening, which was my last evening in Warsaw, I met with 2 Colleagues from Work to go out. We did go to a pub directly outside the city walls, called “Kompania Piwna”. Because of the Way, this place and the people there fascinated me, I will soon write a own blog post about it.

Tuesday morning, I packed my stuff to say goodbye to Kuba and Warsaw. Thanks Kuba for the hospitality, if you are ever near Vienna contact me!
After finally getting a reservation to Gdansk )this time without having to show the Euro Domino Pass, now that I had it with me) it was for the wrong train. But that didn’t matter, it was just a slower train and needed 20 minutes longer.
The place on the reservation turned out to be in a smokers compartment. And there were 8 seats, but luckily 3 stayed free the whole time.
After some time without anyone smoking, the first person did take cigarettes out of her bag. But what happens? She goes out of the compartment and smokes outside. Also the other ones. I heard this is usual in Poland, even though there are smoker compartments no one smokes inside them. Also in the restaurant cars it’s not allowed to smoke. And also not in and near bus stations. So in the subject of smoking in public, Poland is much more strict than Austria.
After arriving in Gdansk, I could not get out of amazement. Gdansk has a really different look than the other cities in Poland I know till now. The buildings here look more like in Amsterdam.
In the evening, I took a taxi (due to the lack of a good city map) to my host Inga and Marek. There we had a great vegetarian dinner and looked at the pictures of their trip to Ukraine & Lithuania.

While talking to people from Poland the last days and combining it with what I saw, it looks as if the polish President & Government have a very strange interpretation of Democracy. Especially younger people are not happy about that.

On friday, I’ll go to Szczecin for one night and then to Poznan, where some people already organize a small Couchsurfing Meeting. On Sunday, my trip will take me to the beautiful city of Krakow. That’s all for now, clouds are coming, so I think I’ll finish this entry and leave the beautiful beach of Sopot for some sightseeing in Gdansk.

Warsaw

I’m now in Warsaw for around 2 days and leaving tomorrow. So what to say about Warsaw?

Warsaw is a nice and relaxing city. It was a good choice as the start for my 4 Week long trip. Warsaw has a nice old town called “Stare Miasto”. But most parts of this old town is not that old, simply because most of the buildings were destroyed in World War II and were after the end of the war, rebuilt from the scratch. In old town, you find many street performers, but mostly musicians (one really cool exception is the funny “Executioners Group”). Old town is that part of the city, why I call this city relaxing. Even though there are many tourist around, it’s nice to walk around or sit in the garden of a pub, have a drink or two. And it seems like there is music everywhere and if the street performers would not play only for money, but play because they love music. A small tip for budget travellers: There are not many restaurants in old town which are not very expensive. In general the prices for food & drinks in Warsaw are not that much cheaper than in Austria. But this city should also be the most expensive city in Poland. I will see.

As in many cities, there are many old & beautiful churches in Warsaw. One of the differences here in Warsaw (and probably also in the rest of Poland) is the admiration of the “Black Madonna” of CzÄ™stochowa. Also there are many monuments about the “Warsaw Uprising”, if you have time, take a look at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, it offers much information about this historical event.

Here in Warsaw, you also find big shopping & cinema centers, like Aupark in Bratislava or Donauzentrum/Donauplexx in Vienna. The strange thing here is that if you look at the shops, they are mostly the same chains as you find in Austria, except that they also open on sunday.

What didn’t I like about Warsaw? This city is (in some parts) a maze. This starts at the underground level of the Central Train Station and goes all the way to the old town. Why? None of the main train lines stop somewhere near the old town. Which would not be a big problem, if there wouldn’t be no signs pointing out where old town is. There are signs to old town, but they only start approximatley 5 minutes walking distance from old town. I think if that even if I would be here for one week, I still would get lost or have to ask people for direction, either in the underground or on my way to old town. 🙂
So that’s one of the advantages of Vienna, 3 main subway lines have stops in the first district, so no tourist can say it’s hard to find.

That’s all for the moment, thanks for reading this long text. Greetings to Vienna or wherever you are at the moment. Tomorrow I’m heading north to Gdansk and the baltic sea. Hopefully it doesn’t rain much the next days, wet beach is not that nice. Hope I will find time in Gdansk to upload some pictures, so stay tuned.

Greetings from Warsaw, Stefan

The Trip

Hi People,

I arrived in Warsaw yesterday and will write something about this nice city later.

But now to an interesting question: Ever thought about doing “THE Trip”?

So what do I mean with THE Trip. I mean a Trip through different countries which you most probably do only once in your live. A Trip with an either unlimited duration or which takes you at least around 1 year away from home.

Many Couchsurfers I’ve met till now, either have already done such a long trip or are currently doing it or plan to do it someday. Some even sold all their stuff, rented or sold their apartment and go to a trip around the world.

My opinion is, that this is an experience you only could get once in your life. Seeing so many Countries, ways of life and meeting many people changes yourself.

I’m not sure yet if I would want to do such a trip. I want to wait till the end of my 4 Week Poland & Czech Republic Trip, but the thought of it is very tempting. 🙂

So give this question some thougts and maybe write some comment.

First Post

Hi people, this is my first post on this blog. It’s also the first ever, that I’m blogging.

So why did I start with blogging?

I’m going to do a 4 week trip through Poland & Czech Republic this sumnmer. So I created this blog to write about my experiences and to keep my friends at home and travel colleagues updated.

Life, University, FOSS Development and Everything else