Mar 19, 2007

OTP (2), Day 6 -- Off to Krakow!

Those who know me, know that I'm not always on time. I've definitely improved over time, but it's not my strongest point. But I'm getting better. So when I realized I had a 9:45am flight from Gatwick to Krakow, I planned carefully --30 minutes from Paddington to Victoria (subway or "Tube" stations), 15 minutes waiting for the Gatwick Express, 30 minutes on the Express, then the recommended 2 hours for pre-flight processing. Add the 5 minute walk to Paddington, and I need to leave my hotel by 6:15am.

And I did it! Made it to Paddington by 6:20am... and realized that the Tube didn't run until 7:00am on Sundays. Chatted with 2 Scots and a self-described "tranny from hell" (i.e. a large man in heels and a peekaboo lace bra, wearing last night's makeup which may not have been that good to begin with) until they opened the gates to the subway. [Only a little worried about making my flight.] Caught the Tube to Victoria... and realized that they were running the Gatwick Express every 30 minutes instead of 15, due to repairs. [Getting more worried.] Waited through 15 minutes of stalling due to a broken train on the tracks. [Getting very worried.] Nodded when another passenger casually remarked, "You'll probably miss your plane." The next British Airways flight to Krakow was the next day. Damn it.

Got to Gatwick 55 minutes before my flight and had to change terminals, and was fortunately able to rush through check-in because I only had a carry-on. They waved me to the front of the security line (I felt guilty with every step), and I sprinted to the gate and was the second to last to board. Whew.

When I first decided to go to Krakow, it sounded exciting. Two days by myself in that exotic city, eating bigos and perogi and drinking good beer. But as we flew over Western Europe, I began to have doubts. Will I be able to do this by myself? What if I get lost on the way from the airport into town? Too late now -- we're about to land.

I caught the very-obviously-marked bus into the center of town, where my hostel was located. Cracow Hostel looked good online, located right on the Rynek Glowny (Old Town Square) in a restored townhouse. I barely made it, as the heels on both my boots were breaking, folding back and pinching my heels. Ouch.

Sad to say, I reached the hostel around 3:30pm, checked in and collapsed for a nap.

More later.

No comments: