We woke still in Berlin and after a mad rush to pack our things we said our goodbyes at the Sunflower Hostel and headed for the train to get to Berlin Hbf. We didn’t have a reservation for the train to Poznán, we just relied on the fact the Interrail website said you didn’t require a reservation. We did; however, need to buy a ticket to Frankfurt (Oder) as our Interrail passes were only valid once we crossed the border and entered Poland. Besides, we had to change trains at Frankfurt (Oder) so it was useful to try and find out which platform we needed.
At the DB Bahn information desk we hit another stumbling block and it looked as though we’d be unable to make it to Poznán. For some reason the train between Frankfurt (Oder) was not showing up on the database and theoretically did not exist. After a tense half an hour we finally were able to find out where we’d need to go to get our connecting train and therefore we were also able to book our tickets to Frankfurt (Oder). Due to the length of time it took to resolve the ticket issues, we almost missed our first train of the day, which would have been disastrous as there wasn’t another connecting train at all that day.
When we boarded the train it wasn’t long before we arrived in Frankfurt (Oder) and thankfully finding the correct platform was a lot easier than I’d feared. On the platform we saw a train ahead which I believed to be ours. Emilija thought it wasn’t the train we needed but luckily I persisted and when she asked “How do you know it’s the right train?”, I kindly pointed out that the train had ‘Poznán’ written on the front of it (oops).
The train to Poznán took around 2hrs and once we arrived we had the fun task of finding our hostel for the night. I should point out at this stage that during our entire trip we didn’t have access to smart phones or even WiFi for our laptops (unless we were in hostels) so we ended up finding where we needed to go the old fashioned way. It was doable, but it ended up being a lot more time consuming that it would have been if we had say a GPS on a smart phone. It took us around an hour to find the hostel but my first impressions of Poland were great. When we left the station I thought that the city was a little run down, but it turned out we were just on the outskirts and as we crossed the bridge over the railway lines and into the older parts of the city, the real Polish beauty shone through. Emilija had told me ahead of arriving that Polish city are dominated by religious buildings, churches and old monasteries. Poznán seemed to take great pride in their idilic buildings and communal squares. Cobbled streets and huge archways were a recurring theme. I felt a little mesmerised as I’d never experienced a city quite like it. I felt a sense of sadness that we were only to be spending one evening there; especially, after we saw how pretty the hostel was. You can find a review of the hostel we stayed at elsewhere within this blog.
Unfortunately we were unable to take many pictures, and some of the pictures we did take were on Emilija’s iPod which she has sadly lost. The street that our hostel was on was tucker away, with a Catholic Church directly at the end of the street. As a little car whizzed along the cobbled street only appearing as it crossed the front of the Church, it reminded me of some kind of old school Italian gangster movie. This place was certainly something a bit different.
After catching some sleep for an hour or so in our beautiful hostel room, we headed back out into the city to try and find somewhere to eat. The restaurant that I’d researched online was no where to be found, so instead we opted for a small gastro-pub in the main square. Here I had my first taste of Polish food at Polish prices! I couldn’t believe how cheap it was, and was shocked further when Emilija told me it used to be far cheaper! We ate a ridiculous amount of food and each sampled some Polish beer, all for a total of around €25. Okay, now I really like Poland.
Back at the hostel I asked Emilija if she really wanted to go to Kraków, or whether she’d like to just maybe stay here and explore the city more. She told me I was crazy and that to not go to Kraków would be a total waste of time, money and energy. I later thanked her for this, Kraków was just…. well… it was just incredible.