For nearly as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble staying asleep, usually waking multiple times each night. Waking only 3 times inside of 10+ hours is rare enough to be considered a good night’s sleep and was a testament to just how tired the past week of traveling had made me. I still felt tired when I awoke for the fourth time, and wanted to just roll over and sleep for another couple of hours. But, I was supposed to be leaving for Poland and had a train to catch.
Except, I didn’t. I arrived at the station only to find that my schedule was wrong. Instead of departing at 11, like my booklet of train time tables had said, the train to Krakow wouldn’t arrive at my station until 2. With extra hours to kill, I left the station to walk around the city once more. Like in Austria, I came across remnants of holiday festivities. Outdoor markets that were now closed and being either dismantled or unloaded of wares. I started looking for a place to have lunch, and ran into my two roommates along the way. We waved hello and, later as I made my way back to the station, I wondered the odds of meeting some of the only people I knew in the city.
On the train and on my way, I napped during most of the 7-hr ride. In the few moments of wakefulness, however, I took time to reflect on the first half of my trip. In hindsight, I’d rather have traded a day in Salzburg for an extra day in Vienna, despite Salzburg being the prettier city. Whether it was the palaces and museums, or perhaps even to listen to the Vienna National Orchestra perform some of Mozart’s works, I felt there was more I could’ve done there. Prague was great for New Years, but otherwise did little to impress me. I could’ve used less time there, but appreciated the time off to rest.
I also thought some about the people I had met, and I realized that the guy from North Carolina I had met days before was mostly right. Everyone is pretty much the same. They all go about their lives, running small errands, talking about random miscellaneous things. The only real difference between everyone is in their language.
Eventually, the train arrived in Krakow, and I walked around in the darkness of night looking for what my map showed to be a river. At some point, I began to realize that it was a badly drawn map, and the river was actually a grass field. Finally oriented, I made it to the hostel and checked in.