Day15: Krakow to Przemsyl, Poland, by train: Saving a few days by not repeating a ride I did a few years ago

My day started with a superb breakfast in Krakow. The best breakfast of the tour, it had no meat, no cereal, but four kinds of good bread, two kinds of cheese, very nice hummus, avery good sort of scrambled eggs served with sprouts, good jam and real butter, and lots of coffee. After breakfast, the young woman that checked me in yesterday afternoon helped me find out what trains were available. Polish trains internet system has been upgraded to work, and look, a lot like the German system, so it was easy for me to understand. It turned out that I could get a direct train to Przemsyl for 42 PL plus 4.5 Pl for the bike. That totals about 12 E or $16. Polish trains are not fancy, but they are very functional and cheap. The ride took 4.5hours. My other option was to go to Lublin, which was what I originally planned to do, but that took several hours longer and required at least one train change. I decided to take the train to Przemsyl. Note, if you aren't Polish, you can't pronounce that name. I hurt my brain just trying to correlate the sound and the letters.

This wasn't much of a riding day with only half a dozen km of riding to/from train stations at both ends. The part on the train was the hottest day of this tour. I'm writing this on the train, just after leaving the station at Debica. I know that town because Robert Mink used to live there and I visited him there several times. The last time I visited him there, I rode pretty much the route my train is taking today. I rode on from Debica to Przemsyl and then rode into Ukraine.

At that time Ukraine had on recently stopped requing visa for US citizens to enter and cigarette and vodka smuggling was a major problem at the border. It took me several hours to get into Ukraine and, the next day, several hours to get out at another border crossing. I just dipped my little toe into Ukraine on that trip. I had planned to ride to Debica and then head south into Slovakia. When I was in Krakow, I met a group of missionaries on their way to Ukraine and they told me that I could get into Urkaine without a visa. I had a few days to spare so I went for it. Ukraine is not Europe, which makes it both more interesting and more challenging to tour in. I've been looking forward to getting back there ever since I left.

It was easy for me to find the main train station in Krakov. They built a a lot of new stuff since I was there, but the old part is still where you get your tickets, etc. After I bought my tickets, I needed to find, and get to the right track. The platforms were in the new part, so I headed down there along the tracks. /there was a no bicycle sign, but I was pushing my bike so I ignored it. Then I reached a stairway down to a tunnel under the tracks. The path around the tunnel entrance was blocked by a big ticket machine, so I headed down the stairs. They went down pretty deep and then I got to find the platform - #1 - and get back up to it. The only way up was stairs, The had two resting places on the climb and I used both of them.

When I got up on the platform and found the track - #11 - I also found an escalator coming up and going down to another tunnel. I didn't know how get to them from the old station.

Waiting on the train in Krakow

A full train leaving Krakow

My bike before the train filled up
I sat behind my bike, two men sat in front of it - with the wheel turned 90 degrees

5 sweaty hours later - it was very hot on that train - I was in Przemsyl, looking for the inexpensive place I stayed the last time I was here. I remembered roughly where it was, but it was on a steep street above the old city. Searching for it required climbing a lot of very steep cobblestone roads but, even after climbing some 20+% grades, I failed to find it. I stopped at a nice bike shop near where it was, but they sent me to pizza place owned by friends which rents out rooms cheaply. Following their directions, I found a pizza place, but wasn't the right one. There was, however, a big hotel across the road. I headed over there and go a *** room, with breakfast, for 45 E.

Folks crossing the tracks - glad I didn't have to do this today!

I did however, have to go down stairs to a tunnel and back up stairs again at both Krakow and Przemsyl. At Przemsyl, the stairs had 'wheel tracks' for bikes and wheel chairs which made it easier. At Krakow there was an escalator, buy I couldn't get to it today.

Random image take out of train window at speed

I have a nice view of the river, a very nice bathroom, and a comfortable bed. I also have about as much space as I had, totaled up,for the three previous night. The bathroom here is bigger than the 'Polish Microtel room', including its bathroom.

Tomorrow night, I hope to be in Dobromyl, Ukraine where I stayed the last time I was in Ukraine.

The view from my hotel window