On the buses
I’m never too sure whether I like to plan too much on holiday; but I do like to wake up with a rough plan of action. Today’s plan (such as it was) was to take the hop on hop off bus tour. The bus stop is less than 100 metres from our apartment and we had seen the buses drive past. (We are on the first floor so they can potentially look into the bedroom which faces the front. I think, knowing my propensity for inadvertent public exhibitionism (just read any of my blogs, I inevitably end up flashing a plane or some commuters on the train) Karen wisely chose the bedroom that faces the side street).
As I say, the bus stop is a mere 100 metres away; but instead of just walking to the bus stop to read the timetable, we went back to the apartment and Googled it. We discovered that they ran every half an hour from 10:00. Of course we didn’t know where they started. Once again dear reader, I tell you, the bus stop with a full timetable is a mere 100 metres away; but instead of walking to it, we came up with a much better system. As we were eating our breakfast we kept an ear out for the bus. At 10:25 a bus passed us. Brilliant, the next bus will run at 10:55. So we dutifully plodded up the road for 10:55.
When we arrived, I looked at the timetable (why we didn’t do this last night I’ll never know.. It would appear the Warsaw buses don’t run every half hour but every 2 hours. There are 2 lines and if we hung around, we could get the other line in about 30 minutes. As we were hanging around I was approached by a taxi driver who wanted to sell us a tour.
“You waiting for the tourist bus?”
“No, we are just stood here freezing our bits off by the piercing wind coming off the river for a laugh” I thought.
“Yes” I actually said.
“I take you on a tour. You go everywhere (lists a lot of places that I had never heard of). Only 50 zl each, the bus is 70 zl each”
“I’ll think about it” I said. “Bog off” I thought.
Not content with this, he turned to the rest of the family and did the same pitch. Oh I see, not content with dealing with the monkey, he went to the organ grinder(s). Being the master of dealing with unwanted attention, mum said:
“I like to be able to see from the top deck of a bus”. Boom! Deal with that matey.
“But you will see nothing as they take you nowhere. I take you for 3 hours in my taxi”. 3 hours! Are you mad! 30 minutes in an Uber from the airport did for me, I really don’t want to be stuck with you for 3 hours (I thought). He eventually left. Only another 25 minutes to wait for the bus.
We discussed whether we should abort the bus idea and go to Polin, which is the museum about the Jews in Poland instead (FYI Brilliant museum but allow a full day. We did it in around 5 hours with a break for lunch). We could get the ordinary bus. We haven’t used the normal buses yet and mum and dad travel free. We walked up to where I thought we got the bus from. I popped into the office for the apartments which we were staying in and a man kindly told me that the 118 took us to the museum. We just get the bus from outside.
We walked to the bus stop. No 118…but there was a 180. Did I mishear him? (I had). Hmm, what to do. We decided to walk. Half an hour later we arrived and still hadn’t managed to embark on a bus. When we came out of the museum we tried again to get a bus. We gave up and got an Uber back. Well, it was going to cost Karen and I 7 zl on the bus and the Uber was only 10 zl. It arrived in under a minute and was a trip down memory lane. I have not smelt that much Kouros in a confined place since I was a teenager in the 80’s.
Tomorrow the Warsaw marathon is on and it runs past our apartment. We are going to attempt to get the tram to the city centre. I’ll let you know how we get on tomorrow.