Hello Polska!

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Merry Christmas! My time in France has passed and I have to start traveling again. Longer, better, harder you think? Once again I stoped in Poland between motherland and my lovely baltic region.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Katowice

Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Katowice

No photo album yet, I have to sort and upload them first :) 

One week in Motherland

Christmas in familly

As a person borned in a historical catholic country I grown up with christmas hollidays in familly, snow, christmas tree and so on… But I am getting old and everything has changed so far. No snow because of global warming and no christmas evening as I used to have.

Generaly speaking the last week of December is a wonderful time for people, they can rest and stop thinking about their work, what I did by leaving my little Estonia to my little countryside.

And New Year will be on the road

Because I knew that the young man won’t enjoy his last christmas as he wanted and because I needed something extra I decided to go somewhere in Central Europe, but where? I had few options such as Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, Vilnius or Riga… but we are leaving the Central part and I would be alone there, quite sad no? Here came a friend from my – awesome – Erasmus time. She proposed me to celebrate it in Slovakia, Zilina. I didn’t see anything better and the idea to meet an old friend was just too good to be missed: I immediatly booked my ticket from France to Katowice! closest airport from the northern middle sized Slovakian city.

First step of the Big Trip

I get used to leave my home

Could you imagine that it is for me and my familly more and more easy, almost normal to leave them? It is like I am living the house to get the bread at the bakery! « I go mum » – « Ok, see you later! ». This ‘later’ will be in six months.

Flying by night

A small paragraph just to tell what I have seen and what I have felt. It was my first time in a plane flying at night.

The flight left Beauvais at 7pm during an small rain and when the plane crossed the clouds, the vibration, the flash light on the wing and the water on the windows gave me some American movie nightmare 😀 Have you seen « Cast Away » with Tom Hanks?

Flying over Katowice

Flying over Katowice

Tumb up for the view on Polish cities when the flight started operating its landing. The orange lights on the black background seems or me so irrealistic, very peacefull and beautiful. I might be crazy no?

Good evening … Katowice?!

My trip will take almost 10 days of intensive travelling by visiting six countries and maybe ten cities. I was planning, searching and booking everything for days to be sure to be where I needed on time.

Guess what? For my first step and my first hour in Poland I realized that I made a mistake which could have been very problematic… actually a – very nice – girl from the Katowice Airport Information Point made me realized.

The airport where I have landed is as much in Katowice as the Beauvais airport is in Paris. You start to see now?

I haven’t really checked that point, I knew that because I only considered satelite view of Katowice to see where were the airport, train station and hostel. So now I should find what was this airport in the south of the city… I came to the Information Center to ask for a city map (rule number one) and how long it should take me to walk to the train station…

My idea was to walk for 15 minutes on 3 kilometers. So understand when the girl told me that 35km and 50 minutes by bus were needed I was really surprised.
And to make the surprise more complete, she said that the bus to Katowice just left and I had to wait 3 hours for the next.

I have missed a bus for 5 minutes? Really? I walked out, checked a bus, and it appears that it was the correct one, ready to leave. I jumped inside and paid the 26Zl I had changed before and sat, waiting to get in Katowice.

Katowice Centrum Hostel

The windows were dark and I didn’t know any of the stop written. I asked the driver only one time if we were close to the centrail train station. The good one because we were! Took my bag and jumped to realize that the bus was actully right under the Katowice Centrum Hostel! Perfect.

The receptionist was really smilling and talkative. She gave me a tour in the small hostel. I am not sure that I could got lost in the only corridor 😀

I shared my room with seven other persons. Two were sleeping already and fice not here. I will know later that they were noisy douchs Polishs guys. Nothing more to tell about the noisy douchs Frenchs guys staying in a room near us…

A night visit of Katowice

Let me go out!

I tried to leave the hostel for five minutes but it was impossible without the reception open the door. I didn’t know 😀 I had to get back to ask after have tried all the logical possibilities to open it.

Searching for food

It was almost 10pm that I got hungry and left expecting to find a restaurant or something able to feed me. Down the hostel was a Kebab kiosk opened 24 hours, I considered it as my last solution and started walking in the cold city.

Some lighten decorations catched my attention and I walked to a park. Two fake trees and a fake funtain. It was kind of nice but for sure much better if there was snow as well.

Fountain by night are illuminated

Fountain by night are illuminated

Because it was night and I had no map (left in backpack in hostel) I must use my feeling to guide me. That feeling was helped by the clear full moon over the city.

I have walk to a church and then to a shop in which I found my favorite Polish beer Ziwek. I have drank it on a square: cold night, cold beer and no gloves give interesting sensations. That square has the Moniuszko statue and a little christmas tree.

Cathedral of Christ the King

I have seen from far the coupole of the Cathedral of Christ the King and I wanted to see more. The building is classic and big. The square in front of it is named Jana Pawla II and a memorial statue stand down the Cathedral.

Found a place to eat

I felt tired and wanted to rest so I navigated to the train station for my hostel. I changed route to see something new but I was not really impressed by the streets I saw.

I finally came to the same square I started with, and the kebab was still open. Nobody spoke English but we understood each other and I got my food. Then I crossed the street to reach the hostel door.

Morning in Katowice

Hard night, drunk Polish

Just to say fuck to the three stupid guys who ruins the night of our room by talking loud, swithing on the light, putting coke on the floor and other bullshitting.

Buying tickets

The first mission of the day was to buy my ticket to Zilina to be free to see the city after. Hostel check out is 12am and my train at 12:31, perfect.

I had again some difficulties to understand the Polish model. If in France we have one main desk where to buy regional, national and international tickets, Poland has differents. You can even feel it if you try to talk in English with the regional desk: they won’t help you. Luckily PKP office helped me to find my trains (I did the same task by internet) and told me where to buy tickets.

Single ticket to Zilina cost 100Zl (25 euros). This is a price for a five hours in trains with one changement in Zwardon.

Doing the same tour

I left with my camera with the idea to catch the same things as the night before (I used my compact only). All light decoration were off but they were not the most interesting elements. I noticed the War Memorial at the other extremity of the Andrzeja park.

A lot of churches

Face to the park is the church of Saint Casimir, modern and with a little memorial of John Paul II. After is still the Cathedral which looked different, less impressive I would say, but with a large memorial of John Paul II.

Church of Saint Casimir

Church of Saint Casimir

The third church is dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, also not far it seems older, built from red bricks. I got inside and saw it was fully empty. Did Polish turned atheists?

Cathedral of Christ the King in Katowice

Cathedral of Christ the King in Katowice

Last hours

I had enough of walking in Katowice and I wanted to prepare my departure. I stop in my hostel for a hour. Taking my bag from my room, without any consideration for the douchs sleeping inside, and made me another tea while I was checking the last news on Facebook planet. My phone wasn’t working due to my debt with my operator… Hollidays abroad cost a lot and I forgot to paid them.

Katowice central station

Almost 12am and I was going to the station. A gallery is inside with different shops and restaurant. I bought a sandwich and some souvenirs before getting in my train.

12:31 the train left the town and I can continue to think about the following days.

Tramway in Katowice

Tramway in Katowice

Guillaume Speurt

Guillaume Speurt

French settled in Estonia, I have spent my last years in the Baltic States. I love photography and travelling in Eastern and Central Europe, I write this blog to relate my experiences.
Guillaume Speurt

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