Feb 12, 2014

Weekend in Wroclaw

A few weeks ago I decided I want to spend one of my free weekends traveling to Poland. Two days is not enough time to see the whole country, so I had to choose one place and I choose Wroclaw. My friend Peter told me it´s a beautiful city worth visiting and I must say it really is wonderful :)
Actually even for visiting just one city two days are too less (at least for me), but still enough to fell in love with the place and deciding it´s a must to go back once (or twice, or more) in the future :)

Who said you need a lot of money to travel? I could travel with a plane/train and stay in a hotel, which is easier to arrange, true. But I choose Carpooling/hitchhiking and Couchsurfing - that´s much more cheaper and much more FUN!

What is Carpooling? What is Couchsurfing?

Carpooling is simply sharing the ride in the car with someone going in the same direction as you. You still pay for the ride (for fuel costs,etc...), but usually much less then you would pay for any other public transport. And it´s way better travelling with the car than with the bus, for example (especially long distances).
There is also a free way to get from place to place - hitchhiking
Couchsurfing it´s staying as a guest at a host's home, sleeping in whatever spare space is available. Maybe not always so comfortable as 5* hotel, but it´s free and fun and you meet new people!


My way to Wroclaw was kind of boring, though. There were three older men in the car, and just one of them spoke a bit English. So I talk to him for some time about basic things (where I´m from, what I´m doing,..) and rest of the time I was reading a book while they talked to each other in Polish.

The way back was more fun than way there!
I decided to try hitchhiking. I wanted to do that for a long time and I said why not now? I know a lot of people won´t approve that, but also a lot of people do that all the time and it´s actually not so dangerous as you may think (don´t watch so many movies!!).

The plan was to take the free bus out of the city to shopping center near the highway and hitchike on the gas stations for and hour or so. If I wouldnt get I ride in this time, I would take the bus back to the city and use the Carpooling again.
It was quite a fun adventure. I couldn't find a right bus at first and I try to ask few people  but none of them spoke English and they just turned away when I approch them. Finally two policemen explained me in Polish (even they looked at me kind of suspicious) and I managed to get to my destination.
Theen I stand on the gas stationwith  a sign 'Berlin' for an hour and a half and I didn't have any luck i geting a ride. There were a few other people, also hitchhiking (to other destinations), but they were successfull just as I was. 
It was already getting dark and my hand hurt from holding the sign and I was just about to back off and go catch a bus back to the city, when some older man from gas station came to me and offer me a ride all the way to Berlin. He seemed nice and reminded me of my friends father and I took the offer. 
He and his friend also didn't speak any English, but I managed to make some
Conversation in a mixture of German and Polish. It was quite of fun! And we listened to old country music in the car!
Oh, there were some young guys before trying to offer me a ride for 40€ (you think I'm stupid or what?), but I wouldn't go with them even for free - they seemed weird to me, not in a dengerous way, but more annoying - that kind of guys that try to hit on everything with va***a.
So it wasn´t so scary, see? I got from one place to another alive and for free and I had fun.

Me and my CS host Artur

More about the city. My host was really nice. Althought he had a lot of work to do, he took time to show me around the city and told me a bit about history. Wroclaw used to be German befor the war (Breslau) so there is a lot of German architecure, much more that in other Polish cities. There is still a lot of old buildings, I kind of felt like I ended up 50 years back in history when walking around the city. I loved that - I admire pre-war architecture and I don´t like all those boring modern buildings!

Staircase in one of the buildings - amazing!
Another thing I found interesting in Wroclaw are it´s famouse dwarfs. Those are small sculpures placed all over the city and each of them has it´s story. First of them was placed about 13 years ago as a movement symbol and it became a tradition with placing more and more of this sculpures everywhere around. I would like to try to find all of them once, when I go back there :)

The conclusion is: I must go back! During the summer for longer period of time. Preferably few weeks. So I can have enought time to experience the life in Wroclaw (and find all the dwarfs). Anyone wants to join? :)

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