When I was planning my trip a couple months back, I initially wanted to do a Central/Eastern Europe route of 3 cities, Kraków, Vienna and Budapest. However, the cost to Krakow was way more than for a flight to Warsaw, so I decided to fly in to Warsaw, spend a night there and take the train to Kraków the following day.
After traveling alone for a few times, and dealing with flying and passport control, you’d think i’d be pretty decent with time estimation by now. But no, when I was planning for my trip, I thought I had given myself half a day to explore in Warsaw, before getting the train to Krakow. Sadly, with passport control, and the bus trip into Warsaw centre from modlin airport, and the 30 minutes i waited to get myself checked in to the hostel (YEA WHAT?! I know.) I was only left with 2 -3 hours for exploring before sun down.
In my head I thought I had to catch the train to Kraków at 1106 the next day, and so I was pretty devastated with the short amount of time I had in Warsaw, especially since I saw how pretty it was!
Anyway, I tried to make the most out of it, and bolted for the Old Town right after I dumped my bags in my hostel room. I walked from my hostel, passed a lovely garden, down what is known as Warsaw’s prettiest street (because it was rebuilt and redesigned after the destruction during the war), and eventually I made it to the Castle Square and the Old Town Market Square.
The area of the Old Town was lovely! They had beautifully decorated shops around the squares, wide open spaces where people could hang out, nice chairs for alfresco dining. It had such a nice summery atmosphere with the warm evening sun beaming through the sky.
Just around the Old Town, you can find Buskers, Magicians, Playing music and entertaining the crowd. "Ah, I wish I had more time in Warsaw!" That kept repeating over and over in my head.
Accommodation Info | Oki Doki Hostel
+ Near the Main train station, super easy to navigate there.
+ Nice clean rooms, pretty in pink in fact! Lovely ambience.
- WIFI was Bad. Huge minus sadly! :( I need my wifi at the end of the day!
Since wifi was horrid, I spent the whole night talking to a my german in my dorm mate. Warsaw wasn't initially on her itinerary initially, and like me, she came over because it was cheaper, she had extra time, and just thought it would be nice! We were both bonding over the mutual fact we wished we had more time here in Warsaw.
We talked till 12 midnight, and she mentioned how she just graduated from medicial school, was sharing about the whole industry in Germany. Love conversations like these, I feel like I'm building up my general knowledge every single time!
So as I mentioned earlier, I thought my train ride was at 1106. I woke up early (well late, because I intended to wake up earlier but early by conventional standards) went for a nice breakfast, walked around for a bit, and headed for the train station.
What a stupid stupid thing to not check my ticket the night before. Partly, because the train ticket was in Polish, and partly due to my stupidity, I went to the train station at 11, and realised 11.06 was the DATE. Not the DEPARTURE TIME. My departure time was a few hours later in the afternoon. Suddenly, it all made so much sense. I wouldn't have only given myself half a day in a city, even if it wasn't on my itinerary.
Low and behold, Rookie mistake number 2. So there I was at the train station with my luggage, and all my belongings stranded, wishing I could go out and explore, but not wanting to drag everything along with me. Walking back to the hostel to leave my things there, and then out again after would just be a waste of time, leaving me not much time to explore anyway. So... I found some cafe, caught up on some internet work, replied everyone that texted me the day before, talked to my mum who was worried I didn't make it (she usually checks up if I arrive at the hostel), and ate nice lunch (I tried this long cake/croissant thing which was really good!) hoping to forget I made such silly mistakes.
I guess no matter how used to traveling one is, mistakes are bound to happen. From this i've learned. 1, Use my common sense, and 2, check check check! Things tend to go wry when I don't plan ahead (thought i'd have learned from this experience, guess not haha!).
So far, it's just losing precious traveling time, Thank God. Things could have been a lot worse. I nearly hopped on the 1106 train without checking and could have ended up who knows where in Poland. Everything was in polish! Thankfully I asked the officers that were patrolling at the platform!
Well, we live and we learn, right? Embrace every moment good or bad. Still, I did manage to see the highlights of Warsaw, so at least there is that!