Friday, 24 November 2017

Edinburgh from Warsaw made easier

For the first time in my eight trips to Edinburgh, I managed to fly direct from Warsaw (if one can consider a flight from Modlin 'direct'). To get to Modlin, I took the Metro from the office to Dworzec Gdański, from there a Koleje Mazowieckie train to Modlin station, and from there a bus to the airport. Now that I'm over 60, I can get a 35% discount on the KM tickets, and with my Zone 1 quarterly pass, my travel to W-wa Choszczówka is free. And so I end up paying 12.82zł (£2.70) for the journey.

From Modlin to Edinburgh, and that's Edinburgh Airport, in the city of Edinburgh and not 50km away as some low-cost airports can be. The flight is entirely in hours of darkness, so I have an aisle seat for a quick getaway. Tickets from Warsaw to Edinburgh can be bought for peanuts if booked well in advance and outside of school holidays. Below: boarding the flight.

Arriving in Edinburgh, I take the opportunity to take the tram into town. Opened three years ago, it is now fully operational and has become an integral part of Edinburgh's public transport. Now, the fare structure of the tram system (just one line - airport to York Place in the centre) is controversial. You can travel nearly the entire route, from York Place to Ingliston Park+Ride (one stop short of the airport), for just £1.60. But go that one stop further, and you pay £5.50. Clearly a mechanism to get the tourists to pay more than their fair share towards the upkeep of the tramway. If you want to save £3.90, you can walk from the airport terminal to Ingliston P+R, it's around 1.5km (1 mile or around 1,800 paces).

The trams were built in Spain specially for the Edinburgh contract to meet the city's specific requirements. They are bi-directional, with a driver cab at either end and doors on both sides.

Below: Gogarburn tram stop, for the huge Royal Bank of Scotland campus. At the edge of town. Trams during the rush hours are frequent, one every seven minutes, and heavily used.

Left: West End Princes Street tram stop, with the Charlotte Chapel in the background.

Another point to note with the tram fares; you need to buy your ticket before boarding; there are two ticket machines at each stop. Banknotes aren't accepted and change is not given; minimum credit card transaction is £3.00. So if you want to buy a £1.60 ticket, best have that exact amount in cash. I didn't so I ended up paying for an unnecessary £3.20 return ticket just that the transaction would come to over the £3.00 minimum.

Coming back to Warsaw, my flight at 19:25 from Edinburgh left and arrived on time, I was at Modlin groundside at 23:20, the Modlin Bus (33zł) left at 23:40 and arrived outside the Palace of Culture at 00:20; I caught the last Metro from Centrum towards Kabaty at 00:27 and a taxi from Wilanowska home (35zł), where I arrived just before 01:00.

All of which goes to show that Edinburgh and Warsaw now have excellent connections, all the more reason for Varsovians to visit Edinburgh and Edinburgers to visit Warsaw!

This time two years ago:
Stuffocation: the rich-world problem of dealing with too many things

This time five years ago:
Heroes on the wall

This time seven years ago:
Tax dodge or public service? 

This time eight years ago:
Warsaw's woodlands in autumn

This time nine years ago:
Still here, the early snow

This time ten years ago:
Another point of view


Anonymous said...

"If you want to save £3.90, you can walk from the airport terminal to Ingliston R+R, it's around 1.5km (1 mile or around 1,800 paces)."

I'd wager all the Poles do that!

Michael Dembinski said...

Worth it to get your paces in. If you're not burdened with a suitcase, it's a doddle.