Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Just wandering the Netherlands.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Arrived in Poland... country #42 for us

I never sleep well the night before a travel day. Too many things running through my mind! And you just don't know what roadblocks will be thrown your way. I don't think I would describe it as stressful... it's more exciting to me than anything else. 

Yesterday's post ended with us in the departure lounge at Tirana Airport. Our flight to Warsaw, Poland was supposed to leave at 9:40am, but the departures board listed it as 9:20am. Turns out we didn't even start boarding until 9:20am, and didn't actually take off until 10:00am.

Here is out flight route...

TIA to WAW.

Tirana airport at 6:00am.

On the plane at 10:00am, waiting for takeoff.

There were quite a few people at our gate so we thought the plane might be pretty full. But it turned out to be a fairly big plane considering the fairly short route. It's the first time we've been on a 737 Max 8... the plane that was grounded for almost two years worldwide while they made safety adjustments. 

There were 6 seats in each row, and 31 rows... so 186 seats in total.

We were in row 6, so quite close to the front... and yet there was nobody in the row in front of us, and nobody in the row behind us! The plane looked pretty new, and the windows were probably the clearest, cleanest airplane windows we have ever seen!

Another Polish Airlines LOT plane.

We are in the air!

We both felt sad at leaving Albania. Usually when we leave a country we are ready to move on, but this time we both felt that we weren't quite ready yet. Despite almost a full three months traveling all over the tiny country of Albania, there were still things we wanted to see and do. We really enjoyed Albania.

We look forward to returning there with our motorhome!

Flying over the Albanian Alps.

It was only a two hour flight, and we both had a nap. By the time we woke up, we were over Poland!

Poland farmland.

Poland, for as far as the eye can see.

Farm plots all seem long and narrow.

Arriving on the outskirts of Warsaw.

We landed at Warsaw WAW at exactly 12 noon. There was a bit of a lineup at immigration, and it took us probably 20 minutes to get up to see a border guard. They are very strict about having one person only at the desk, so Ruth remained behind the yellow line. I handed my Canadian passport over, and was surprised when he didn't mention anything about it. 

He asked "Have you been vaccinated?", to which I replied "no". 

He said "I'll need the address where you're staying, and your telephone number".

So I gave him that information, but he never mentioned anything about quarantine. Of course I know that's why he wanted that information.

He stamped and scanned my passport and I told him my wife was right behind me and he would need the same address and phone info for her, so he wrote it down on a separate piece of paper. He never asked where we were going, how long we were staying, or anything else.

Ruth says he never said a word to her, so she just stood there and smiled!

Everybody entering Poland by air has to quarantine for ten days. If you are fully vaccinated, then there is no quarantine. Or if you test negative (PCR or Antigen) within 48 hours of arrival then there is no quarantine. They have five different test centers set up in the airport itself. I had read that results are usually received within 2 hours.

We went to one test center and filled out the forms. There were probably 25 people in front of us and it was pretty slow moving. So I left Ruth there and went to check out another test center where there was no lineup at all! Of course we moved over there.

It cost 200 Zlotys ($65 CAD, $54 USD) per person.

I asked how they send you the results, and he said "oh, just wait over there and it'll be about twenty minutes".

But he said it takes about two hours for the results to be matched up in the computer system to the information we had given the border guard, so officially we would still be under quarantine orders until that happens. Unofficially, we were free to go.

As expected, they were both negative, and we were on our way. No quarantine, no restrictions... nothing. A nice efficient system. 

We found the train to the city center and bought the tickets from a machine. Each ticket cost 4.40 Zlotys ($1.45 CAD, $1.20 USD). Cheap, fast, and easy. What a great system.

On the train to the city center.

Our Airbnb host had given us instructions to get to the apartment and when our stop came up, we got off the train and were supposed to walk to a nearby Tram stop. But I checked the map, and it was only a 3 km (1.8 mile) walk, it was a beautiful day, and we hadn't had any exercise yet. So off we went on foot.

Where we got off the train.

Scenery along the way.
Old and new buildings.

First impressions? Warsaw is an easily walkable city. Wide boulevards and wide sidewalks. We will spend a lot of time on foot here, as we usually do when exploring a big city. 

The population is 1.8 million. It's the capital and largest city of Poland.

So far, there doesn't appear to be the traffic problems we saw in Tirana. Strangely, there also didn't seem to be many people out and about!

Our apartment is located only about 2 kms from the center of the city, so it's a great location. One thing we noticed about Warsaw already is that there are lots of parks and green space. But it seems totally flat. It might be hard to get a view of the city!

The apartment is not quite what we expected. I had understood that since the host wasn't there that we would have the place to ourselves. But that's not the case. It's a two bedroom apartment, but the living room has it's own lockable door and is used as a third bedroom. Our host, the guy who occupies the third bedroom is out of town, so that's our room. There is a young guy in one of the bedrooms. We met him, but he seems to be gone for the weekend. And a young girl in the other bedroom. She came in late last night and we haven't met her yet. Still it was advertised under the "shared" listings so I guess I just misunderstood. We're fine with it, and ultimately we are paying $30 CAD ($25 USD) per night to stay downtown in a European capital city.

We went out for dinner... yet again! We have been eating out quite a lot lately! We were tired and it was a long day and Ruth just didn't feel like cooking. We found a Thai place nearby and had some relatively cheap Thai food. It was good, and we were stuffed, and it cost a total of $16 CAD ($13 USD) for the two of us.

Today we will go out and do some exploring. Calling for a high of 25C (77F), but there is a heavy thunderstorm watch for later this afternoon.

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Apple Watch Series 6. Record low deal.

And in Canada...


4 comments:

  1. One of the dreams I have from time to time is trying to get to an airport and running into various roadblocks. Weird, seeing as I haven't flown in years, or for that matter traveled on a scheduled carrier; one of the benefits of RV travel.

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    1. That doesn't sound like a dream but more like a nightmare, lol!

      We honestly don't mind flying and what goes along with it, although we do prefer traveling in an RV but in order to visit other places you sometimes need to get there by plane first. We are so looking forward to getting into our new motorhome and traveling around with our house on our back and at a nice leisurely pace. :-)

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  2. Replies
    1. Yep, more new adventures and things to explore! :-)

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