For this blog I thought I would go back, way back. I was clearing my room the other day and found some old journals from my first big trip abroad. Soon after finishing University in the summer of 2001 myself, Phil (Current FCC score of 1.720) and another friend Dave had a great month inter-railing around Europe. I will quote from the journal verbatim to give a flavour of what I was like as a 21 year old traveller taking his first big independent trip. On this particular day we had just taken an overnight train from Vienna to Krakow and the journal entry starts on arrival into Krakow main station.
” Up at 0530 gathered everything but I could not find my wallet. Train needed to carry on journey but couldn’t because of me! Guard got mad and overturned the bed and found it so off we went. Had a number of offers for accommodation from two young girls and a leery old fellow. We chose the one closer to the centre and definitely not the old man. Got minibus to hostel but was too early yet to get a room. I had a rest in the lounge-room whilst Dave and Phil went for brekky and a wander. Got woken by girl saying room was ready so stumbled to it and was soon joined by others where we grabbed some rest. Got up again at 1300 and wandered to town for a Chinese, not bad as Chinese food goes and good size fillings and very cheap (€2!)
Had a wander round the also very cheap shops. Went round an exhibition of Polish medieval torture, we decided against leaving Dave on the rack and instead went to an Irish Bar for some strong Zywiec lager. Went next door for another and into a dungeon called Joe Black which smelt of shit. Before we got too drunk we went back for showers and a change. Decided against tea because we were still stuffed from dinner so headed to another dungeon bar called Klub Metro then Klub Indigo with darts and a key needed for the toilet. I went off to try get sodding phone card to work and for McD’s supper. Next to an Irish bar where escort girl was with Irish terrorist brothers, where Phil spilt drink. Finally to a bar which gave us a map to the ‘best club in town’. Found Pasija Klub where we were initially disappointed but once we paid our 5 Zloty to get to main arena the music and clientele livened everyone up. Dave got increasingly drunk and tried to pull with his ‘waddle’ dance technique, abused the bar-man, “I’ve been waiting here for 20, 30, 40 minutes, you twat” and argued with me – good work Dave. Phil got dick-teased by some bird and pulled a midget blonde, he said his farewells to a Howie song then we stumbled home for 0230.”
So that was a day in the life of a 21 year old me inter-railing around Europe! As you can see we were quite the opposite of cultural travellers. We did not do much sight-seeing, sampling of local food or interacting with the locals (other than verbal abuse of barmen!), but we certainly had a good time. I feel there may be plenty more of these ‘throwback’ blogs as I kept journals on all my big trips and they are quite entertaining.