On Friday, July 5, after we were done teaching, eight of us piled in to a van we had engaged from the hotel and went to Krakow. Seven of them planned to stay in Krakow for the weekend and I planned to take a train to Katowice in order to see a new location in Poland.
We arrived in Krakow a few minutes after 4 and then I walked over to the train station. I was so happy to be there already thinking I could catch the 17:25 train rather than having to wait until 18:30. I looked at the departures board and couldn't find any train to Katowice. I explored and explored and kept looking in my guide book to make sure I was reading the Polish word right for departures, not mixing it up with arrivals. When nothing had appeared for the 18:30 as other train departures were being announced on the digital boards, I went to a ticket booth. The woman there spoke only Polish but I surely understood that she said I had to take the autobus. At this point I called Dorota and said I thought I had a problem. She told me to take my phone with me to the main information booth and when there hand the phone to the attendant. No need this person spoke very good English and again told me I had to take an autobus. Well, I had not interest in tackling the bus stations on both ends.
I decided to walk over to nearby hotels to see if there was a vacancy. After last summer I had become a big fan of Andels, so I walked in there and asked if there was a vacancy. Yes! Once the receptionist had my name she entered into the computer and said, "Oh, we have all your information. You have been with us before." Yes, but actually my stay was with the one in Lodz I checked into a lovely room. I truly like the modern design in this hotel chain. The first thing I looked at was the bathroom and I was disappointed.
On the opposite side of the wall, here's what I saw in the bedroom area.
I phoned the hotel in Katowice to share that I would not be coming there due to some kind of problem with the train. (Dorota called information the next day and they said the 18:23 was to go by bus -- we remain mystified about what happened -- probably some temporary problem with the track or equipment, for the trains to Katowice were running on schedule the next morning.)
Then I wandered over the nearby shopping center and had a sandwich.
I followed this up with a drink at an ice cream shop. This drink has very sharply flavored citron sherbert with orange juice poured over it.
Went back to my room and just crashed and didn't wake up until 8 AM the next morning.
Since all this happened I've been in touch with StayPoland, the organization through which I booked the hotel in Katowice. I was advised by e-mail that I did not owe for a night in Katowice even though I cancelled quite late -- almost 7 PM.