Kolín – Day 1

Once we rolled up to the Vienna station, we waited and organized our bags. It was a long ride. I slept from about 1:30am until about 4:30am when the bus rolled into a gas station for a break. We all boarded the bus again, and I was asleep by 5:00am until about 8:30am. I felt quite proud of myself for being able to sleep so well, considering the circumstances… 

We walked out of the bus station, and hailed a taxi. We arrived at the large train station, and there locked our bags and luggage in huge lockers. We then set out for the big city of Vienna– okay, maybe not, Bridget really wanted to go to the zoo, so we went. It was a hot hot day! We spent most of the day there, and after we had seen our fill, took a tram to a close friend of Bridget’s. There, we were warmly welcomed, and I slept and slept and slept. Dinner was served around at 6:30pm, and I ate and ate and ate. Wow! You really lose track of how tired and hungry you become while traveling  

Once dinner was over, we made our way to the train station, where at 21:00 we were to meet a woman named Tine who we found on a site called “Blabla Car”, which is carpooling from major cities to other cities within Europe. At 21:00 we found Tine, and in we went into the car and drove and drove and drove. I was in and out of sleep… Finally at 00:30 (12:30am) we arrived at the Prague train station, and tried to find the taxi which Bridget’s aunt had gotten for us. We knew it was a AAA company, but we couldn’t find the taxi for about 15 minutes… Finally we found it, and an hour and a half later, we got to a house, which was pitch black and thanked the taxi driver. We were safely in Kolín. 

We entered the house, and it smelled of years of abandonment. It looked as though someone left what they were doing, and ran! Things were all over the kitchen, even a drawer full of bread, mid-baking was there. The flour was still in a bowl and bit of baking stuff was still present. Old newspapers crowded the hallways, spiderwebs and cobwebs were of abundance. Other examples of sudden abandonment were present: the toilet still had some “stuff” in it, knives mid slicing were on the table… really, it’s like poof, they suddenly left!

We snooped around a bit, before finding sleep. I slept and slept and slept. I woke up at 2:00pm, with a bit of a headache. There were sandwiches with a note left on the table in the kitchen. I ate one out of desperation. It was fine. I lived. 

Bridget woke up a few minutes later, and we got to cleaning. The house is a mess! There is no water, no electricity and no gas. After we hung around the house a bit, we went to the Tesco, which lookes like a big Walmart or Target and bought water! And lots of it! “Voda” means water in Czech! That much I knew… When shopping, we had to keep in mind that we couldn’t buy anything that needed to be refrigerated, anything that one mixed with water, or had to heat up and certainly nothing that you could cook. Once we got back to our house, after our Tesco expedition, we went to the old couple next to ours and filled up buckets of water. We filled up 6 buckets and are very mindful what amount of water we will use, and which buckets will be used for what. I am very thankful that I have had experience with living with no electricity and water when I was growing up, as I knew what it was like to haul water to and fro. But this time, it’s not the dead of winter! It’s summer, and we don’t have to worry about being cold! 

Back in the safety of our home, while out, Bridget’s brother had bought cleaning supplies and the moment we got back, he went on a cleaning frenzy! We picked up two small pizzas down at the local pizzeria and ate. It felt good to be eating something normal, and not living on chips. 

Once dinner was over, we went for a small walk to scout out the town of Kolín. It’s very European, and very quaint. Things close very early, but open very early as well! Bridget’s brother is cleaning again…

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