Wrocław declawed

I have wanted to visit Wrocław for a long time, and as it is situated in the South-Western corner of Poland, it is fairly nearby Prague. Nearby geographically at least, it is quicker to get to Oslo from Prague than to Wrocław. There is only one daily train going directly to Wrocław, but it runs so slowly that IDOS will always find some other sequence of trains to intercept it, saving an hour or so for the trip. There is also a much quicker bus, but it leaves late and arrives in the middle of the night. The cross-border connectivity is poor.

My route was a slightly later sequence of trains, five of them in all, each one smaller than the previous one, until the shuttle train going from the tiny village on the Czech side of the border to the tiny village on the Polish side. It was a 10 minute ride and 15 minutes wait on the other side, more convenient than the 4 minute connection I had just done, but it was also a 20 minutes delay, to the consternation of myself and the other two people on the train (plus the driver) that were about to miss the train to Wrocław too. The connecting train had stayed, so we ran across the tracks not to push our luck, but in the process drew the ire of one of the customs officer whose passport control post we had neatly bypassed. A year from now we wouldn’t as the Czech Republic and Poland both should be in Schengen by then. The Polish train arrived in Wrocław as it should, so all in all it was better than my previous crossing. Taking in in the first hotel I could find (hotels near the railway station are often cheap and sleazy, the way I like them), I got my surprise.

I hadn’t come to Wrocław for tourism, but because we had just opened a new office there and I wanted to visit. Also Norwegian had opened a Wrocław-Stockholm route, making Wrocław a possible transit point when I had some business in Sweden.

This was my second attempt to get to Wrocław. In December, when I heard of the new office, I bought a Wrocław-Stockholm ticket in addition to the Prague-Oslo ticket I had bought earlier. Unfortunately I got the dates for the two tickets I had mixed up and only realised that while sitting on the slow direct train heading for the border, leaving me to jump off the train and head back for Prague instead so that at least I got one flight. That was one time I missed Outlook. I would never trust its mail client, but as organiser it isn’t half-bad. In particular it could hold the few pieces of information I need together: From where and when is the next flight I am supposed to take (where to is less important), where and when is the following flight, preferably also how long will I be away and which countries will I be in, for packing reasons. Without that information I make mistakes like that.

I’ve found that I am not so unusual, most of the travel details are figured out on the journey (most, however, order hotel rooms in advance, something I’ve been loth to do as it limits my flexibility, but I have realised the benefits of planning here).

A couple days before leaving I got a mail from Norwegian about a schedule change, my plane went a day earlier. That was a little harsh, on an earlier trip I had gotten a message that the plane left half an hour earlier, fine when you know it, but this would cut my Wrocław stay in half, but that was still OK. But I hadn’t read the message thorough enough until the next morning on the hotel, planning my itenerary. The plane didn’t just leave early, it left from Krakow, an entirely different city. As Poland goes it was a nearby city, again in geography, the time to get there was the same as getting to Oslo. By the time I had gotten the information on how to get to the airport I had half an hour until the last train that would make it in time left.

Checking the web pages it turned out the Wrocław-Stockholm route had been cancelled, presumably not enough people were using it. Even so I was disappointed that they hadn’t gotten seats from one of the two or three other airlines going to Stockholm (as there couldn’t be that many people to reschedule). I’ve never encountered a change of city in any flight, and while they may have the right to do so, it was very poor service. It was also annoying that I didn’t discover it until just before the train left (of course it would have been more annoying afterwards), giving me no time to yell and shout. If I had seen this I would have demanded a ticket from Prague, saving me two days on the train with barely any Internet connection.

I guess what I really want would be for the date and place for each leg to be marked up as such, using hCard or similar, so that my calendar was automatically updated. This would also need a reference to the original itinerary so that it is updated, not a new one added.

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  1. 🙂 might be useful sometimes, yes.By the way, have you seen lots of Poland already – or just Wrocław and Kraków airport?Greetings,Maria

  2. Hi, I just noticed your page for the first time tonight. Wroclaw is a beatiful city. I studied there in August of 2002 at the International House. I also went there in 2003 for New Year’s Eve. My ex-girlfriend is from Poland. I live in Duluth, Minnesota U.S.A.

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