Sunday, 21 August 2011
Day 2 - 19th August 2011 – Poland/Slovakia/Hungary/Croatia/Montenegro
Today we got early since the departure time of our coach to Montenegro had been changed from 13:00 to 8:45 in the morning – no lie-in for us! Since we had to leave before the designated breakfast time, the breakfast team upstairs very nicely did a little pack-up for us giving us a loaf of bread, some ham and cheese and various spreads and things, which was very nice, and definitely a point in the hostel's favour.
Arriving on Pl. Matejki, the coach pick up point, several coaches are dotted around, none of which appear to be ours. Asking each one in turn where it is going to, we find that one is going to Albania – little did we realise this was our coach. Luckily, I asked the woman who appeared to be standing around with a list of names if she knew anything about a coach to Montenegro. It turned out that was this WAS our coach, but we had to change in Katowice for the onward journey – the tour company had neglected to inform us of this! Luckily we got on, simply relieved that it had waited for us. Once we got to Katowice for the onward bus, we were pleasantly surprised to see Damian and Ira waiting there for us – they were on the same coach as us that had come straight from Poznan.
However, it was to be the start of a very long (not painful, just tedious) 30 hour journey through five different countries. It's hard to complain, since the coach was fairly comfortable, with regular stops (even for photo opportunities) but I think most people would agree it's simply inhuman to sit for 30 hours on a coach! Still, it's all part of the adventure, and the air conditioning was working! ~
On the way, we stopped off for a meal at a roadside restaurant in Slovakia – this was much cheaper and with genuine food compared to the service stops on long routes in the UK. We tried a Slovakian favourite – Knedlicki with gulash, which is basically thick slices of bread in a gulash sauce, but it's very filling and goes down very nicely with the tonic water I ordered. Other menu options included traditional Eastern cuisine such as chicken, beef and potatoes along with various other dishes.
Carrying on, we arrived in Hungary around midnight, so didn't get to see much, but we did get to cross the famous bridge across the river, which had an impressive view with it being night time. After this we all tried in vain to get some sleep, before being woken up for a passport check at the Croatian border to tremendous views.