Two things to sum up this day: one, were it not for Greg, I would either not care to or simply be unable to reach places like the small destinations today; two, there have been several potential hosts who told me how they were “intimidated” by the LUXURIOUS lodging I had come to enjoy for my various couch-surfing experiences. (In the case of Piotrek in Olsztyn, I have to say he is simply crazy, since he’s such an adorable doll and has the view of singing trees from the balcony, which is only too agreeable no matter for the sun-shining day we had or for some rainstorm.) Well, check out this entry: it isn’t always like this.
After a somewhat four-star hotel breakfast buffet we set forth for the journey. The first stop is Bydgoszcz, which I really don’t care for and never chose to see. However, thanks to the very nice weather, the modern designs scattering here and there work perfectly well, and the cathedral has not only beautifully Baroque ornaments but also some surprising palette of colors – this one is definitely a winner.
(I have to say that yesterday and today I was most happy that I was able to NAP in the car – something I came to realize how much I enjoy!!!!!)
After this was Biskupin – actually Greg told me that we had time for either Biskupin or Gniezno, so I chose Biskupin, the “Stone Age village.” He told T to go inside with me, saying it’s a waste of time and a place he wouldn’t spend more than five minutes. Unfortunately he’s kind of right – the place is largely some “reconstruction”; frankly if someone told me that the whole thing is built by modern efforts I wouldn’t be surprised. The place simply looks fake and kitschy, although the scenery of ponds and (especially) trees is very lovely.
Well, I should really stop being a completist.
We did get to grab a glimpse of Gniezno, although my lovely and accommodating hosts aren’t exactly the type that pour out historical anecdotes, and the significance of this town is basically of a purely historical sense.
We rushed to the train station. Turned out that while I was to take the train to Poznan, so was Greg – he was to visit his ailing aunt in Wroclaw and had to change in Poznan. The train was very crowded, and after I finally managed to sit down with my enormous suitcase, I found out that the passenger sitting right across somewhat resembles some football-star-slash-celebrity kind of character. Well, go figure.
Earlier my host Mirek texted me that he wouldn’t return from Krakow until 8.30pm, but he gave me the address and told me his roommate would open the door for me. I got to Poznan safe and sound, and Greg bade me a swift adieu so he could hasten to catch his train. I found the tourist information in the old train station, and the clerk couldn’t wait to get rid of me. I walked with the big suitcase and all to the new train station, and the very kind tourist information helped me to ascertain the route. I walked with the big suitcase and eventually found my next couch, located right on a big street leading to the old town.
Some dog was barking incessantly when I entered the courtyard, and while I was somewhat bewildered about the numbering system of the apartment, Mirek’s roommate Ola came down to help me – she actually helped carry the suitcase up the very old staircases.
My first impression of the place is a student-slash-bachelor-pad located in some old building back in Soviet’s era, and it probably is. Two girl roommates actually had to pass through Mirek’s room to reach theirs, and Mirek turns out to have a dental student roommate Bartek(?) too. After a brief orientation with the girls and getting connected to the internet, I went out not exactly willingly for a walk – the rain resumed, and raining is never pleasant. I took my round and returned with some grocery.
Ola’s brother came to visit, and they offered beer and snacks, while I boiled water for the instant noodles I bought – I was to wait for Mirek to have dinner, supposedly sometime past 9pm, but I just had the urge to have some instant noodles, all the while knowing it isn’t gonna resemble even remotely what we have back home. I chatted a bit with girls and the brother, and then retired to take a nap. (Ola marveled how I am able to pronounce Polish words so properly.) The other girl laughed and talked fervently in the common area, and yes, they are college students.
I slept a bit before the very nice Bartek returned, who apologized for his “not very good English,” while I sincerely doubted he needed to.
Mirek eventually returned sometime after 9.30pm. We’ve been corresponding on and off (mostly off, which is only natural) for the past months, and while it may not be the case in some other cases, we started talking most naturally, which is a good thing.
We went out for a lovely dinner and took a very nice walk. After some extra wine and shortly before we went to the bed, Mirek asked whether I remember the old Polish saying about “Guest is the light in the house.” Yes, I remember that. “Now you’re the light,” he said. And it turned out that he yielded his bed to me and opted for the floor! Which is really not necessary.
We chatted for a bit more, and I had some wonderful sleep. Finally.
[Photo album = here.]
Gniezno – Poznan regio火車票：15