November 20, 2006

On the way to Warsaw

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We left Vilnius wishing we’d had more time there, and headed for the train that would take us to the border with Poland. While we were finding the platform, we met a fellow rucksack carrier in the form of Jorn, an amiable chap from Norway (hi Jorn, if you’re reading!) who proved to be an entertaining companion for the very, very long journey to Warsaw.

We hadn’t really had any hassle on the journey up to this point, so it came as a bit of a shock when two youngish Russian guys burst into our compartment, blind drunk at midday, and all over the place. We endured ten minutes or so of their shouting at us in a language none of us understood, but as their hands wandered more, and they got more aggressive in trying to communicate, the three of us made a swift exit to another compartment. After we left there was massive crash from their compartment which alerted the conductor. She had stern words, and ejected them from the train at the next stop, where they were met by the police on the platform. I was glad we’d left when we did.

After an hour’s wait at a desolate station near the border, the Polish train arrived to take us on to Warsaw. The hours (all nine of them) passed slowly as we chugged through the Polish countryside, stopping for ages at every station. We were glad we’d stocked up on food at the supermarket beforehand, as there wasn’t even so much as a soggy ham sandwich or overpriced cup of coffee to be had. Jorn had brought even more food than we had, and managed at least ten cakes and a litre of Coke during the last five hours of the journey! Near the end of the trip, we were treated to some live entertainment by a three year old Polish girl called Carolina, who along with her mum joined us in our compartment for an hour or so. She started off shy, but by the end she was performing ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ over and over again (she’d learnt it from ‘Teletubbies’ on TV apparently).

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