We are back home now. But before moving on from the topic of Wroclaw I should say a few words about where we stayed.
I hadn’t really given too much thought to where we were going to sleep for our three nights there until a day or so before we left. I knew a place had been booked but the fact that it was a hostel did not really register. As we got closer to the day of the flight out vague ideas to do with bunk beds and dormitories started to float up from the back of my mind. I was was reassured by the fact that where we were staying had top billing in the only guide book to Poland we had been able to find.
Less that 24 hours out I was told to bear in mind we were all to be sleeping in the same room. I thought back to the Cottage in Ireland and how the bedrooms all run into each other so every grunt could be heard from the other. This wouldn’t be too much different.
Arriving at the airport it quickly became apparent there were no taxis big enough to take five. So we split up and I found myself in charge of the taxi in which no-one spoke Polish and no-one knew where we were going apart from the taxi driver who had apparently been told. It transpired that did not matter as he had also been told to follow the taxi in front. This instruction had not been passed on to the driver of the taxi in front. So we had a mad chase from the airport to the centre of Wroclaw in which one or two roundabouts were cut up on the inside edge.
Eventually the two taxis pulled up short in an unprepossessing street, we were ushered out and pointed in the direction of a small square. We walked into the square and looked for a hostel. In one corner busy chairs and tables spilled out of a door and were filled with people having a good time. The sign over their heads read Mleczarnia. There was no obvious way in from the bar so we walked back out to the street and after some peering at various doorways came across a bell for hostel that seemed to back on to where the bar. We pressed the bell and were let inside.
There was a chair outside of our room and for most of our stay it was inhabited by an elderly man who wore an ever differing combination of pyjamas and dressing down. There was always a laptop on a small table in front of him which flickered and spat out its light. He hardly seemed to notice as we passed in and out although he did acknowledge our goodbye when we finally moved on three days later.
The room itself was almost big enough to fit in all three bedrooms from the cottage with a ceiling as high as its roof. There were large double glazed windows that opened out to the square and the bar underneath, three single beds and a sofa bed that had been made up from an awkwardly shaped sofa. As a sofa I suspect it was very comfortable. Unfortunately my half of the sofa made up the less comfortable side of the bed. I made up for this with late night explorations of the bar downstairs.
Sunday night and the bar was still busy and we sat at a table with a candle and after a beer and glass of wine we passed round a shot of vodka.
In the morning the bar was swept out and made up the room for breakfast. There was a small menu. Coffee (very good and strong) came with everything. After that it was scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs and bacon or sausages. I had sausages both days. Two thin fingers of pork with mustard, bread and salad.
As we left late on Tuesday afternoon we were told about the parties they had on New Year’s Eve. Each year was fancy dress and they went on until 7.00 in the morning by which time everybody was too tired to dance but could still talk and laugh and all of the beds in the hostel were full. New Year’s Day was the only morning they didn’t do breakfast because of the clearing up and sleep that was needed.