Friday, 22 May 2015

Three days - three Polish cities

Back to Lublin - second visit within one month. Great! And two hours between the end of the event and my train, so lots of time to wander through an Athens of the er... north. Below: this is a reverse view of this photo taken a month ago.

Back to the Old Town. Here's the entrance to ul. Rybna, below. this time taken from back in the square. Compare to pic taken last month.

Below: I had a burger and a Spitfire ale (from Kent's Shepherds Neame brewery) at U szewca ('at the cobbler's')' and here is the view from outside the pub, looking across at Pl. Po Farze.

Below: time to make my way down the hill to the station, to catch the night train to Wrocław. On one side of the street, the splendour of the Old Town, on the other, early industry and workers' tenements.

All aboard the night train! I love Poland's night trains - I get into my berth in Lublin at quarter past eight in the evening and wake up nine hours later in Wrocław's beautifully restored station. Interestingly, looking at a map of Poland, I notice that Wrocław's only a teeny bit further south than Lublin. The two cities are 385 km apart as the crow flies, but the train does it 660 km in a giant serpentine route going as far north as Warsaw and as far south as Katowice. Still, nine hours from station to station means there's plenty of time for a good night's sleep.

Are you ready for the Night Train?

Puławy Miasto... Warszawa Wschodnia... Opoczno Południe... Dąbrowa Górnicza... Sosnowiec Główny... Kędzierzyn Koźle... Opole Główne... Night Train, Night Train, NIGHT... TRAIN!

Below: quarter past five in the morning, looking up from the passage linking the platforms.

Below: looking at the original platforms, now the booking hall (the tracks are to the left). I'm picked up by car and driven to Oleśnica for an excellent manufacturing event at GKN Driveline's factory.

Below: heading back to Wrocław along the S8 expressway, over the Odra river. A vast amount of new infrastructure has emerged in an around the city.

Below: back at Wrocław station to catch the evening Pendolino service to Warsaw. Third time I've caught this train since the Warsaw-Wrocław service was launched. And each journey was on time.

Back in Warsaw, meetings, preparing more meetings. E-mails by the score. An intensive week's work. Nighttime skyline below shows Poland's progress. Just before the cisza wyborcza, let me make an appeal to vote to secure stability and predictability on Sunday.

Morning, Jeziorki. Below: On my way to the station, dandelions in seed. Less than eight miles from the scene above, Warsaw is a compact capital compared to London. I much prefer living in Warsaw to London!

Half an hour by train from W-wa Jeziorki to W-wa Śródmieście and I'm walking past the Palace of Culture again on my way to the office. A long week made all the more interesting by the change of scenery.

This time three years ago:
Part two of short story The Devil Is In Doubt

This time four years ago:
"A helpful, friendly people"

This time five years ago:
A familiar shape in the skies

This time six years ago:
Feel like going home

This time seven years ago:
Mr Hare comes to call


AndrzejK said...

Re your understated comment re the Presidential elections. My father always used to say that Poland did not have any luck with politicians who seemed determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. He was referring to the pre war years and also in part to the Government in exile!!!

dr Marcin said...

Warsaw is a compact capital compared to London.

Warsaw compared to London? Good Lord. Haven't you ventured too far? I might find of dozen deep and substantial differences between the two cities, that would falsify argument of yours. Interested?

All the very best,
dr Marcin

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Dr Marcin:

Bring it on!

@ AndrzejK

See latest post :-)

dr Marcin said...

As I promised. Thy are as following:
London v. Warsaw
1. substantially well developed public transport network,
2. a better town-planning order,
3. cleaner,
4. not-destroyed pathways, pavements,
5. a lack of stand-out ramshackle houses,
6. much more polite public services workers (for instance bus drivers),
7. a better information system,
8. a greater ethnic/cultural diversity,
9. lesser or lack of fenced settlements (esp. newest ones),
10. more theaters/movie theaters/museums...
11. more airports,
12. more sport/recreational facilities,
13. more recreational green fields,
14. more universities/higher schools/colleges,
15. substantially younger population,
16. substantially higher average salary,
17. clearly lower level of corruption,
18. 38v84 position at the Mercer Quality of Living Survey of 2015
19. clearly lower VAT
.... need more? Will find.

All the very best,
dr Marcin