Thursday, 11 August 2011

Warsaw to Vilnius

In which a marching band refused to yield
And starring a man with an enormous pink bucket in the middle of a forest

The train from Warsaw to Vilnius lasts all day emptying of passengers and shedding carriages as it proceeds. A day is more than enough time for a naturally paranoid person to build up an unnaturally high level of paranoia that they are not on the right or have missed the point at which they were supposed to change trains, or have been in the wrong carriage all along and are now in a completely random part of Poland thanks to aforementioned train divisions.

The paranoia is exacerbated by a long midday stop at which almost everyone disembarks and the train eventually chugs off again in the direction it has just come from with all the signs saying where it will stop now updated to indicate a return to Warsaw. 

I eventually found a conductor who wrote the train change time on my ticket and managed to successfully explain the fact that the time would change by an hour when we crossed the border.  He also came and got me when we arrived at the border of Lithunia where the train stopped for about ten minutes as a marching band limbered up alongside the tracks and dignitaries took up their seats in a white pavillion.  When we finally drove through the band was playing, fireworks were set off and the three remaining passengers waved at the TV cameras from the 6 carriage train.  Never got an explanation of what was actually going on.

Its a very pretty journey through rural Poland with plenty to stare at out the windows.  At one point we went through a forest for about an hour - so dense and dark green that I had to turn the light on to carry on reading.   Every now and again, with no sign of a road or a path, there would suddenly be someone standing near the tracks not appearing to do anything in particular.  The last I saw was a man standing on one leg with an enormous pink bucket in his hand.

Vilnius felt rather grimey after Poland and I was glad I was only staying the night.  

No comments:

Post a Comment