Waiting A Fix In The Weather: Raining; I Delay Leaving And Go Off To Buy A Map - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

October 16, 2013

Waiting A Fix In The Weather: Raining; I Delay Leaving And Go Off To Buy A Map

This was to be the day of preparation for leaving Krakow and with that in mind, I'd made a list the evening before of things I'd need to do for getting back on the road. Instead, it was a grey morning when looking towards the window first thing and opening the door, out onto the balcony, I was greeted to rain drumming on the tin roof below.

Sebastian was in a mood today. He's the hostel manager and also receptionist this morning. It came out when I overfilled the coffee machine with water. Well, I didn't know the coffee machine was temperamental: it began to steam and gurgle like a coffee machine does; then, next minute there was a hissing, as boiling water ran down the sides onto the table and drip down onto the floor. I was over in an instant but was passed by Sebastian, furious as he grabbed the jug and switched the machine off. "No coffee for you today!" he barked. Not serious anger as he'd a twinkle in his eye, and twenty minutes later, I had my coffee, but Sebastian made it this time.

It was too wet to go out so, I spent the morning here and then when I'd had enough, I checked the long term weather forecast; raining again on Friday, but sunshine from Monday onwards.

It rained all morning and by one o'clock, I'm fed-up and restless and think the rain at last is beginning to ease, so decide to go out to the café to have some lunch; but, it is still raining. The large crowd of people that usually hang out and loiter around the square of a sunny day, are funnelled into fast walkers, with umbrellas up lurching into the rain, making bee-lines across the square.

I reach the café, hair dripping and glasses steamed up making it hard seeing what is on today's menu in the display-counter. I open with one of my few Polish words "Prosze...." when I get the woman behind the counter's attention. She speaks some English. I think it's sweet the way Poles speak broken English. She says "The meat is pork. You like?" I nod confirming I do. "It and potatoe?" I nod again "Salad. What salad you like?"

When I've eaten, I walk back cross the square and along Florentine street, avoiding umbrellas, my jeans getting damp through and sticking to my thighs. I make for the big shopping centre by the train station. There I go into the bookshop where I've decided to buy a map of Europe. The girl crouched down stocking the shelf with books, rises and kindly shows me to where the English language books are, as I just want to browse before returning to the map section where I must decide from a choice of three maps.

I open up each map in turn and see the geographic lay-out of eastern and south-east Europe. There are roughly two stretched forefinger to thumb measures from Vilnius to Krakow, the last stretch which took me nine days, and two stretched forefinger and thumb south on the map takes me roughly to Belgrade. The map'll be only for general oversight planning as the scale is 1cm=25km, meaning only principal roads are shown; it may even be necessary for me to resort to navigating using the sun where I don't find a more detailed map for an area.

I weight up the pros and cons of each map in turn and chose. The girl that was stocking the shelf earlier, is now at the cashdesk. She smiles and asks do I speak Polish as I'd already tried some Polish words on her. I reply "No, but I would like to learn."

It was still raining when I got to the revolving doors and my jeans had dried out in the time I'd been in the bookshop. I decide to have a coffee instead of getting wet again walking back to the hostel, so go up on the escalator to the third level. I walk past a few cafes, then come to a Starbucks. There's quite a queue....I spend most of the rest of the afternoon sat on a sofa with my Americano grande and my new purchased map on the table in front of me, looking at south east Europe.

I'll make it to Istanbul sometime...
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Post Scribe: after editing this page this morning, I took some pictures in the afternoon.

Carol Wa...something; better known as Pope John Paul.
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A back garden in Kazimeirz
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Alkohole.
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Florentine Gate.
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From opposite side.
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Inside the oldest university in Krakow. (I'd smudge on the len and no way of cleaning it.)
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