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Plzen

Written on: Tuesday September 9th, 2008

A journal entry from: July 08 - Jan 09

As you may have realised by now, I am trying to make the trail I am leaving on the map look like the instructions on how to tie a clove-hitch knot. With a flight booked out of Bratislava to Milan (at 15 euro return, I couldn't say no) I returned to the Czech Republic and spent an afternoon in Plzen.

On the way, while changing trains in Katowice I had the following problem: Knowing that I had to get a train bound for Vienna, I went to what I thought was the departures board. It was in fact also the arrivals board. The only train listed with "Wien" against it, was 3 minutes later than I had been told, but this is not unusual, and as it was also at what I thought was the right platform number (from what I had previously been told in Krakow), I went there. In Poland however there are platform numbers, track numbers and even 'section' numbers that divide  platform into various parts. In Katowice there is the added complication that neither the tracks nor the platforms are numbered sequentially. Finally, the platform sign which lets you know what the next train is, also seemed to not be working. As the train pulled in though, the sign flicked over to say that the train was heading to Wasaw. Oops.

I know that is a really long excuse for missing a train connection, but it makes me feel better. Needless to say I was in a bit of a tizz when I went down to information to ask them what they did with people like me. Fortunately, Isabella, my knight in shining armour was ushered forward by the long line behind me, waiting to buy tickets etcetera and fifteen minutes, three offices and admirably few Zloty later, I had my new ticket and was still on course to get to Prague that night.