Monday 24 June 2024: Poland

Wroclaw Old Town Square (© Diane Wordsworth)

We got up on time on Tuesday morning last week and headed south to East Midland Airport. It’s not the nicest of airports and we didn’t have the best experience with them. The poet travels with Ryan Air all the time, and this was the first time they said his cabin bag was too big. They have a crate they fit it in and his wheels were sticking out, so we had to wait and pay to have it put in the hold.

Not the best of starts.

I think the flight was about 10 minutes late setting off, but the flight itself was fine and without incident. It got a bit bumpy once or twice, but nothing that worried us. We were already late landing, due to the flight being late, but then we had to go and wait in baggage claim for the poet’s bag, which made us even later.

One of his Polish colleagues was waiting for us and he gave us a lift to the hotel, which was very kind of him. He gave us a few pointers of where to go and what to eat before dropping us off.

It wasn’t the best hotel we’ve ever stayed in when travelling on business:

© Diane Wordsworth
  • the sheet didn’t fit the frayed mattress
  • the carpets were grubby
  • we had 1 complimentary sachet of coffee each, 1 teabag each, and 1 sachet of sugar each – no milk at all
  • the internet didn’t work unless the telly was on
  • the telly didn’t stay on for very long and kept freezing
  • the hotel internet blocks some websites
  • there were ants in the dining room, nay! an ants’ nest in the dining room!
  • there were ants on one of the serving tables in the dining room
  • the hotel was apparently atop a brothel
  • the cold milk in the dining room was UHT, ugh!
  • the ceiling in the room was bare concrete
  • there was a monkey in the room…

Yes, a monkey light suspended from the ceiling…But there was one good thing about the room: The air conditioning worked.

We went out Tuesday evening for a stroll and discovered a park with multimedia fountains that lit up and danced to music. That was nice. We had a sorbet each there. (Brief video and pic below.)

Wednesday was Day 1 of the summit the poet was invited to, but it was all in Polish that day and he wasn’t on platform until the following day. So we spent all of Wednesday either chillaxing or visiting Wroclaw old square (pronounced rosz-laff). Here we could definitely see the old Bavarian influences in the buildings.

There are little dwarfs dotted around the old square that various organisations have sponsored. I don’t know how many there should be, but we saw about 17. We had a bit of a competition to see who could see them first and I took pictures, but about 5 didn’t turn out very sharp. Here’s a handful of those we did photograph:

Dwarfs (© Diane Wordsworth)

On Wednesday evening, the summit had a boat trip up the River Odra (doesn’t that sound a bit Viking?), and we were invited to join them. We had soft drinks and barbecued Polish fare. They were in the middle of a heatwave, but that evening a big storm was forecast. We’d taken raincoats with us, but no one else did. (British…?) They all got drenched getting from the hotel to the river, but we also hitched a ride so we were spared the worst of it.

It was a lovely trip up the river, and so nice to be invited along.

Thursday morning the poet was up and away quite early as he was joining his colleagues for both breakfast and the ride to the university where the summit was being held. So many delegates applied to join his workshop that they had to run an extra one in the morning. He was there until around 4pm.

While he was out, I spent the morning relaxing and the afternoon working. I finally got my workbook out for the Halloween cosy mystery and wrote out the basic structure for the entire story, leaving only the details to be filled in this week. I was still doing that when he got back to our room. We went back into the old town for our tea, via tram, and we had an Italian meal.

Friday morning we were up before breakfast and the poet’s colleague returned at 7am to take us back to the airport. We decided to put both bags into the hold right away, rather than risk being stopped at the gate again. We expected to pay about £70 to do this, but their thing was broken and we were able to do it for free. Result! And this time we were back on time, getting home at about 1pm.

Wroclaw Multimedia Fountains (© Diane Wordsworth)

We really enjoyed our short break in Poland. The poet said it was nice to have company for a change. The old town of Wroclaw was lovely and we didn’t even know it existed. It wasn’t damaged during the Second World War because Germany had a base there. It’s also really, really close to where some believe the Nazi train containing valuables is still hidden in a tunnel.

Wroclaw is beautiful, and we’ll certainly go back again. But we’ll probably choose a different hotel.

The poet had promised a friend that he would go and set up the sound for a festival at our local community centre, and he went to do that at 2pm. I’d had an upset stomach during the night and hadn’t slept very well, so I went to bed for an hour. I heard the poet nip home for something, but I don’t remember him going out again. By the time he got back for the day, I’d been fast asleep for a good few hours.

We had fish and chips for tea. On Saturday we did the shopping. And on Sunday we worked in the garden.

Enjoy the pictures. This time they’re mine.

The poet loved this misting point in the middle of the square! (For cooling down.) (© Diane Wordsworth)

6 thoughts on “Monday 24 June 2024: Poland

  1. Sounds like a lovely trip, in spite of the hotel room. The room Artie and I had in Prague was, shall we say, unique in several ways, but we laughed a lot and made do. It was only for a week, and we were just there to sleep.

    Love hearing about the trip and seeing the photos!

      1. It may well be considered such within the country. I know ours was considered one in Prague, and we just were like Huh? Totally would not be considered as such here. But it was owned by a corporation, not run by individuals, so that’s how they listed it.

        1. That’s a possibility. Other visitors did say that they expected better standards for Hilton prices, but I don’t know if Hilton is considered particularly that good at the moment.

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