Friday, 3 August 2007

My voyage in pursuit of illumination has been long and arduous of late.Since I was last writing i've experienced 4 countries, 4 trains, and 6 different beers. So, the journey thus far, the route already trodden is as such:

London - Brussels - Koln - Warsaw

And I sit here now penning this at 5.26AM on a packed coach as we cruise steadily through the sun-kissed plains of the Lithuanian sountryside/ Our destination, the capital city of Vilnius.

Before Vilnius though i feel a need to inform people of the trials and tribulations of three wary adventurers cutting a path though the Eastern states to the orient.

We used Brussles and Koln as mire change over port, in one end, quick bite to eat, couple of pints, out the other side. Am they worked a treat for these intended means. The purpose of our trip is further East so we refrained from making a longer stop, which is not to say we wouldn't return in the future, I for one was very contented with my Croque Madame in Brussels. As for the continuing seach for improved weather I'm with-holding jedgemtn, there was a cool breeze in Koln to note, it was much cooler than most of the other breezes who wouldn't of been out of place in the chess club.

Between Germany's Koln and Poland's Warsaw (not to be confused with Birmingham's Walsall, i got a few quizzical looks when I asked for chips and gravy I tell you) we travelled by overnight sleeper train, and to say this was an experience would be an understatement. I've done sleepers before in Asia but never before have we had big armed soldiers storm our little cabin at 4AM shouting something about a fish he'd landed earlier that day. "Bass Caught" he would shout, "excellantly done" we all thought, "now bugger off so we can sleep." I personaly feel sorry for the poor aquatic dweller that recieves Das Boot from this behemoth. It turned out after 5 mins of discussing the best ways to steam cook a nice bass that "Bass Caught" was in fact "Passport" and I had come dangerously close to being extradited at the first hurdle for acting fishy.

We made it to Warsaw. Warsaw being "the city of the thousand smiles"... that is if you happen to walk around upside down. It was 6 hours until we saw our first display of dentures when a kind receptionist at out hostel greeted us. This could be down to a poor show on the weather front (nippy in thwe wind and overcast, not dissimilar to Cornwall), or down to the very prominent Communist hangover this country appears to carry, some 15 years since independance. The buildings in the capital are a mis-mash of traditional Soviet style blocks or new swanky capitalist built sky-scrappers. By far the nicest, most impressively ornate building is the Palace of Culture, as an outsider this enormous Palace dominate downs town Warsaw in a grand and majestic fashion. Locals, however despise this structure as it is a very real reminder of the countries Soviet past. The Palace was built in 1955 as a present to the Polish people from Moscow and the USSR. We dispured the local claims and visited the top for spectacular panoramic views of the city.From there we could quite clearly make out the "eye-sore" of Warsaw (wanted to get that in in ages) The abandoned national football stadium stands as a giant empty concrete bowl devoid of anything except overgrowth and an eery post-apocoliptic atmosphere. We ventured to the staium as we were told there was a flea-market near by, we'd been lied to... Unperturbed by this disappointment (I need a new flea, i keep sitting on mine!) we trudgd around the city, old and new, soaking up atmosphere, history, and the odd alcoholic beverage!

It was from there we joined this coach, bound for the city which lies in the city of Europe, so I'll save my report on that for another day, in the mean time, hope everyones well back in Blighty,I hope to bring news of the missing Sun soon.

Ta Ta


Pops said...

Today, 3rd August has been a smily sunshiny day here in little old Duffield. It would appear that your quest for the elusive sun has led you to pastures where, in fact, it terminally fails to shine. Warsaw/Walsall what's the difference? Both are places where it is very difficult to understand the local dialect and good advice says move on to the next port of call, but Vilnius? Wasn't he a Roman leader? Tallin? Clearly a place for tall people - hence the Poom. Where next in the East? They say Skeggy is very nice at this time of year but the Jolly Fisherman doesn't have the same ring as the Trans Siberian Express - although Bass is sampled more successfully in Lincolnshire than it is at 4am on an Eastern European sleeper. Hadn't realised you were on a real-ale-way trip across Europe! Bass Bought is the sound of a contented man in these parts! Aha!

Anonymous said...

Big Brother Daniel said...

Little 'E', you Micheal Palin you... Very much enjoying your tales of travel to the end of the earth and back, reminds me of a film i saw resently which gave me nightmares for a week, 'Hostel'. Watch out for scandally clad young ladies offering suspitious achoholic beverages which whiff of something more sinister than a heavy hangover or else you could find yourself with electric drill holes in your knee caps, and slashed achiles tendons! (if you havn't seen it, don't until you return to the safety of sweet old Duffers!)

Anyways, i was wondering if you have thought of writing an 'idiots guide' version of your tales as i keep having to get Nelboy to explain some of the big word you so frequently use, and it is proving quite embarasing! either that or add definitions at the end of each story. Just a sugestion for us lesser interlectual readers.

Well as i write this (which has taken me 45mins typing already byda way,) i am skyving work in Wellington with my fine lady, and currently using her university library comp! i am surrounded by GEEKS!

Right off the chess club now, then a spot of lunch, so much luck to you and your travelling comrads, i look forward to hearing more soon.
Love dearly,

p.s. Billie says Whhooff! (aka... HI)