Polish trains

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Gdansk to Poznan then Szczecin by train

Travelling by train in Poland today was a mixed experience. We had bought tickets online for ourselves and two bikes. When the train arrived at Gdansk it was a real scramble to get everything on board as (i) we were not the only people with bikes (ii) there were already several bikes on board and (iii) there is no dedicated space to put bikes! The only option was to stash as many as would fit in the small spaces at the end of the carriages which then made access difficult for people boarding or walking through to the next carriage. Somehow we made it work and the conductor accepted the result – probably happens all the time.

The train was comfortable and quick but there was no information display showing the upcoming stops, nor was there wifi. On the second leg of this trip we had a 6-seat compartment to ourselves and in the next carriage along so did a cellist who was doing some practice. I interrupted him briefly and found out that his name is Robert, he studied cello in Warsaw and now plays professionally in an orchestra in Szczecin. They are about to go on tour to Krasnogorsk. He was practising his part in a Mendelssohn string quartet.

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The day was grey and overcast and the Polish countryside was flat and pretty featureless – a good stretch to do on the rails. We are in Szczecin, proudly the capital of West Pomerania, an interesting city on the River Oder, with trams, churches, a new white Filharmonie and many grand streets with impressive architecture. A sign near the entrance to St Jacob’s Cathedral explains about the Pomeranian Way, the Baltic section of the pilgrim route to Santiago that we travelled along two days ago.

In the supermarket near our accommodation you can buy a whole sunflower head! Can’t do that in Foodland.

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