[I had trouble posting this so I emailed it to myself, and only just now got back to it.]
I really wanted to take one last train trip here before going home to the Land Of The Car, I also wanted to try one trip without the wifeandkid, just because.
So yesterday morning I was on the 6:30 to Lublin, expecting about a five-hour trip. First class cabin all to myself. Both my cellphone and my Kindle had given up the ghost the night before. The cellphone was bad because it's also my alarm clock, so even though I'd grabbed the clock from the kitchen, I was freaking out about waking up in time for my train, so I ended up getting up about 4:00am. The Kindle was bad because I was looking forward to that long train ride to catch up on my reading, so I used the extra time I'd gained by getting up early in loading books onto the iPad.
I also brought along like four dead-tree books. Didn't have room for a jacket or a clean t-shirt, but I have as many books as I can carry.
So I get onto the train heading east, I have a first-class compartment all to myself, the sun is shining in, I read for a while, look out the window for a while, nap for a while, sooooo relaxing.
In Lublin on Monday everything is closed. From what I could tell from our guidebook that was the case, but I went to the tourist office anyway, and asked him, "so, everything is closed today, is that right?" and proceeded to listen to him go through all the options one by one, "...or you could do the castle, oh, no, that's closed today." You'd think it would have come up before for him. Maybe it was the first time he'd worked on a Monday.
So after a long beer-and-pizza fueled nap at the hotel, I rambled along the narrow winding cobblestone streets of the Medieval old town, peeking into alleys and courtyards, admiring crazy combinations of uneven rooftops. For dinner a place called Maggie looked alluring and mysterious from the outside. I didn't do the research deeply enough though, it turned out they specialize in steak tartar. What the heck, I thought, Anne likes it, I might as well try it. So I ate raw beef and raw egg while reading my book of Wisława Szymborska's poetry "Tutaj/Here".
Followed that up with a Guiness at a table on the street watching the people walk past and reading "High Performance Postgresql" on the iPad.
Follwed that up with a trip to Między Słówami, "Between the Words", a sweet little bookstore, where I put on headphones and listened to the recording of Pani Szymborska read her own poetry while I sipped hot chocolate. Sooooo pleasant.