A Surprising Train “Trip”

The weatherman said to enjoy the warm temps today because the REAL November is tired of waiting. He will make his cold, rainy appearance tomorrow. Luckily, Ken and I will venture out today and head to Milwaukee. Our destination is a doctor’s appointment. And here you thought we might be doing something fun, huh?

Well, with his declining abilities to do travel of any kind, we make fun out of the most mundane things we must do–like going to the doctor, dentist, or just out for lunch at a hamburger joint. We do miss traveling, though, so we fulfill that need by watching pieces on PBS or the Travel Channel to learn about places neither of us will probably never visit.

Last night we learned about the cities of Poland–Warsaw, Poznan, Lodz, and Krakow. We traveled by train from city to city–which in itself would have been a wonderful thing to do. At each stop we were amazed at how beautiful the buildings and city squares were.

Each city had its own charm even though the underpinnings of the many conquers the Polish have endured by Austrians, Nazis, and Russians showed in its architecture. Warsaw was razed by the Nazis during World War II, but today there is no evidence of the war. After WWII was over, ordinary citizens scavenged through the rubble to find unbroken bricks and other salvageable building materials to begin again. And did they build modern structures of the day? No. They replaced the old stylish buildings with new buildings closely matching the old ones. I suppose it was their way of washing away the humiliation of being conquered by the outside forces. Impressive.

Lodz is the second largest Polish city, and has its own unique atmosphere. It is likened to Manchester, England due to its size and the fame of the textile industry which developed there in the 19th century. Now it features fine Art Nouveau architecture and the most famous Polish film school. They even incorporated a Hollywood-type star walk. Roman Polanski was one name I recognized.

Thank goodness the documentary did not cover the ugliness of the numerous concentration camps the Nazis built. Instead we rode along on one of the last surviving steam engine trains in the world which still makes regular commuter runs.

Few people probably don’t give Poland a second thought when they think of vacationing, but after seeing the sights via the television, I know I wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to explore the country. But I certainly would go in the summer, even though the trains criss-crossing the land are heated to protect passengers from thirty degrees below zero temps.

Have you ever been surprised about a place like I was? If so, tell me about it.

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3 thoughts on “A Surprising Train “Trip”

  1. Love traveling via the travel channel. That’s how I get around now too. My niece spent time in Poland. She loved it. Glad you were able to get out for at least one nice day. I hadn’t thought about cities surprising me. I know I expected to like Munich and I so didn’t. It has become quite industrial looking and as we drove by Dachau, every fiber of my being stood on end. Couldn’t get out of that area fast enough.

    • Thanks for commenting, Marlene. When I was in Germany for work, I only had three days. I don’t even remember the name of the city, but I’ll never forget the cobblestone street and the lovely Bread and Breakfast I stayed in. What struck me was the towns were so close together and the church was used by three different dominations on Sunday. I was about an hour from Neurenburg.

      • I lived all over Germany and traveled the circuit twice plus dipping toes into Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein. I’d go back in heartbeat if I could keep my balance and drive or see well enough to get around. :)) A church is a church. How you use it is up to you.

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