Whatever happened to the Viking Queen… that intrepid adventuress, a mixture of ‘Calamity Jane’ (sorry Harriet, but you know what I mean!) and the crotchety feminist?
Well she’s still here in Poland, when she should really be in Scandinavia by now…
I didn’t know quite what to expect from Poland with so many people telling me so many things. I honestly thought I should take a look, catch a train if you will..
And so I did, to the beautiful city of Wroclaw.
I’m not going to flood you with images, that you can find in any tourist brochure. Most of you know I’m not comfortable with overbearing tourism, or traipsing around on the trail of twee magnificence (is there such a thing?). No I wanted to see something real… something not so touristy.
The train system itself was fascinating and the cheapest I have ever witnessed. My return fare from Wroclaw to Swinoujscie including a sleeper was about one hundred and sixty Zlotys (forty five pounds); however woe to she who sits in a couchette with fellow travellers! On arrival in Wroclaw, I felt like I had been awake all my life! Nine hours of shoulder leaning hell! And the moral of the story is? Book a sleeper well in advance. The hotels though on average will cost you approximately one hundred and twenty and one hundred and eighty Zlotys per night… you do the math.
Hurrah for the Zloty, of which there are approximately five to the pound. Bah to the horrid Euro which is making our Continental sojourns into a mortgage concern. Here in Poland it is still very cheap, and one of the main reasons I have stayed for so long. “Thank you nasty rock in Helgoland harbour… without you I wouldn’t have had to spend half of my emergency fund, and wouldn’t need to stay in Poland to save money!”
So after meeting so many nice folk and grunting my way through attempted communication, with a mixture of every language I’ve ever tried to learn, except Polish, of course, I returned to ‘Free’ who had been a good girl with no nasty surprises for me aka Lowestoft and the great internal flood of 2011. Mind you, there were no men with sailory beards around to interfere and turn off various switches while I was away!
So what is next?
Well, either I sail north towards Bornholm and then the Swedish Coast or I carry on east towards Gdansk, once known as Danzig in the old Prussian Kingdom. A lot depends on the weather as usual. Certainly, I feel no urgency to do much at present except help myself to delicious Polish cakes and cheap fresh strawberries.
The question is, should I wait until next year to reach Scandinavia? It’s a thought, because the whole Gearbox affair has run me ragged and I’m not sure just how much my finances can bear the costly Swedish economy. If I do leave, it must be within the next few weeks if I am to meet Carro’s uncle Micke in Borka Brygga, north of Stockholm.
I must ask myself this question: ‘Am I up to it this year… or is it a foolhardy exploit?’