Saturday, 18 May 2013
AN ULSTERMAN IN BRZEG...(PART 1)
When i first visited Krakow in Poland in September 2012 i fell in love with it.
I also knew that my Mum would love it there. She really likes old Churches and Castles and such and there are a lot of them in Krakow.
In some quarters Krakow gets a bit of a bad name for itself? Some have the idea that it's full of Stag and Hen parties and drunken English football hooligans.
They are there unfortunately and the pubs and clubs are there too.......if you want to find them. It's like any big City. It has it's bad points.
But all in all it's great City to visit. Easy to get to, really cheap prices, nice food, 2 Football Stadiums and lots of relatively easily planned trips to go on.
When my Mother announced around Christmas that she would maybe like to visit, i jumped at the chance. My Mum is now 80 years old and although she is beginning to show her age she's surprisingly fit and able. She can't walk as fast as she once could and needs to rest more often but otherwise all's good.
We settled for the end of April or the beginning of May. This time i decided for a longer stay rather than my usual long weekend. At the time i booked the trip i had no idea that Ewa would be playing anywhere even remotely close to Krakow.
It was only when i was trying to arrange an EFUK staff meet with Paulina that she mentioned Brzeg and that it was happening whilst i would be in Krakow. I was most pleased but there were several fences to overcome (besides actually finding Brzeg on the map!) before everything was 100%.
Brzeg is quite a distance from Krakow and it ended up that i had two different travel options.
I could fly to Wroclaw and make my way to Brzeg from there or i could get the train/coach.
The first option was a non starter. Firstly it was way too expensive and i didn't quite like the prospect of trying to get to Brzeg from Wroclaw.
So the train it was.
Paulina was able to interpret the extremely confusing time table for me and although it would mean an approximate 6 hour journey there and another 6 hour return journey, i really didn't want to miss out and knew it would be worth it. Paulina wouldn't be able to meet me at Brzeg train station so the next possible problem would be finding the venue from there. Luckily enough former EFUK contributor Criss would also be going and he very kindly offered to arrange for someone to collect me from the train station if i managed to get lost.
I also had the option of return train times at various points throughout the early hours of the Sunday morning. I'm not the most social person but really wanted to spend at least a little time at one of the 'infamous' Polish Fan Club afterparties. That would also give some time to catch up with Paulina and it would mean that my Mum would have to spend the shortest time possible in Krakow by herself.
Despite some initial confusion we managed to locate the venue ok and it looked pretty easy to get to from the train station so all was looking pretty good. I figured that Brzeg couldn't be that big and if i got lost surely someone would speak enough English to point me in the right direction.
Time to pack my bag and go!