Monday, September 17, 2007

Wrocław, the first night

This was supposed to be a quick sequel to the first instalment about a short trip to Poland, but The Sensational Steel Orchestra got in the way - and before that Valerie's new book Watery Ways, of course.

But here goes.

Maybe arriving at Wrocław is just like any other place on earth. Where are the pitfalls? I should have looked them up on the internet but failed to do so.
A fellow passenger and I find a taxi that takes us downtown through areas that can be described as mostly decrepit, but nearer the centre things brighten up slightly. Coming from a country where every square meter is used, I look in amazement how much land lies fallow here in Poland.

Public transport is good, and I wonder why I'm in a taxi. There is such a good bus connection between the airport and Wrocław, while nearer the centre we come across more and more trams.
Here is how the tramway system in Wrocław works, or is it? Anyway this video is a must see:

This seems like quite an effort, so maybe the taxi was the right choice after all.
In the end the taxi driver (sorry, no English. Nein, kein Deutsch!) understands my destination as I have it in print and delivers me at the hotel I booked in Holland.

The receptionists are just wonderful (blushing when I tell them so) and before I know I am at ease in the hotel room.
This doesn't last long, so I go into town as described earlier.

At ease? After such an exciting journey into the unknown? Don't think so. Just after midnight I'm wide awake an decide to go out and roam a bit. The camera is my best friend at the time, the light is sodium-based, so the colours are horrible and I change to black and white.
Here are the images.

The liveliest place is Wroclaw central station, but not on this platform at 2:20

Sleepless night
The only rain (and I mean rain) occurred during the first night, when I was supposed to be asleep. The rest of the time I had the ideal weather.

Another black and white picture:
Wrocław, Poland

See my complete set of night pictures from Wrocław


Cerulean said...

Koos, LOL! That video is just hilarious! Loved it.

Koos F said...

So glad you like it.

Funny thing is that they are real Wroclaw trams in street scenes that I recognise from my recent visit to the city.
Everything is real until...

VallyP said...

Hehe, love the video Koosje, but the photos are great! Definitely a Third Man feel to them, you know, wet streets and lamplight. Lovely description.

gypsy noir said...

Haha! that vid was funny and the trams are so the picture at the end, such a beautiful building and atmospheric too..

Koos F said...

Thanks Gypsy.
Yes the trams are very retro, but then public transport is incredibly cheap, about £0.15 takes you all the way across town.
If trams can last that long, I wonder why we have these hyper modern, sleek contraprtions, that cost so much.

grace said...

Your night pictures are fantastic. I really enjoyed looking at them, you are right, we do like looking at others photos. Interesting to see each others view on the world, huh?
crazy video.

Koos F said...

Wonderful comment, Grace. You are a very true friend.

Erik-Jan said...


Koos F said...

Dank je E.J. How's the new home?

Anne-Marie said...

Koos, the video was the perfect morning giggle. The trams just look a bit shorter and older than the ones in Amsterdam, but I do remember the stripcarte system.

I have to say, your black and whites have such a great quality to them, especially the one with the rain. You can just feel the shininess of the road. I always love seeing the photos of others, such as yours, Grace, Val...


Koos F said...

Thanks Anne-Marie, lovely comment an a great compliment coming from you.
It is fun to combine Blogger and Flickr. A comment just came in from a Flickr user in Wroclaw about the funny tram movie, that I really need to share here:
" Yeaah ! I remember doing the same in a trams when I was a student at Wroclaw Technical University :)))) It's called 'bobsleigh ride' "

gypsy noir said...

Your pictures put me in mind of Brassai, i'm sure Margie would agree..

Koos F said...

Gypsy said:"Your pictures put me in mind of Brassai"

That is a HUGE compliment (fights back a tear).
Hope Margie finds the time to come and have a look.

MargieCM said...

I have absolutely no time at all Koos, so here I am! And yes, I certainly do agree with Gypsy on this. You have an unfailingly good eye for composition, but more than that; what makes Brassai's pictures so special is the atmosphere he captures, and the sense of humanity that comes through even when there are no people in the photos. I know that sounds strange, but it's true for me.

I think you too have that gift, and I honestly don't say that lightly.

Koos F said...

What can one say after comments like this?
I'm lost for words - but not for images! ;-) Watch this space.

Erik-Jan said...

Hi Koos,
The new home is great! Only 200 metres from the (former) seelock in Muiden. What more can a man wish ;-)
And...I do have a garden...but really dislike gardening.....

Koos F said...

There must be low maintenance plants.
I suppose you distinguish between disliking gardening and disliking gardens?

Congratulations for living so near a place of history.

Erik-Jan said...

Hi Koos,
I was looking for low maintenance plants and all they come up with are tiles and bricks ;-)
Sure there is a difference, I really do like gardens to be in as long as I do not have to maintain them.
I'm still looking forward to see the 'Vereeniging' and the 'Luxor' in those historic locks. Hopefully for a visit to Naarden.

E.L. Wisty said...

Sorry I've not checked here earlier.

The video is absolutely, outstandingly hilarious. I thought, too, that it was an ordinary tourist video about riding on a tram, UNTIL... :-)

Koos F said...

I suppose you have read the 'bob-sleigh' comment higher up, or in Flickr land?