So I’m back in Poland for the second time this year, but things haven’t exactly gone according to plan. I was supposed to be staying with a family friend who is now in Hospital, having broken both her feet, leaving me to check into a hostel awaiting news. But rather than worry, I’m taking the chance to explore Łódź and enjoy the Polish culture and history.
Yesterday morning at 6 am, I took a 4 hour coach to Stansted Airport, followed by a plane to Łódź. This is my first time in a foreign country completely by myself, and I’m so relieved I speak the language. Even learning a few key words like train station, ticket, food items .etc can be immensely helpful when travelling.
I took a taxi to my hostel, but I could easily have used public transport. The bus and tram system in Łódź is super cheap and reliable. The only downside is tickets have to be purchased in a kiosk or from a machine before boarding (unless you just want a single ride ticket which can be bought from the driver for exact cash only).
If you don’t want to rely on public transport, walking is an option as most attractions are located in the centre. Otherwise, taxis are relatively cheap and can be ordered from any hotel reception.
First steps, since I don’t know how long I’ll be in the hostel for, were gathering some basic provisions and locating nearby Kantors (places to exchange money). I arrived on a Sunday so most places closed early, but I found my way to a Lidl and bought drinks and stuff for sandwiches for under £5.
I also knew that today was a bank holiday, meaning EVERYTHING is shut, so I searched around and found a single store that said they would be open for a short period.
The rest of yesterday and today were spent getting to know my surroundings and figuring out where I would like to go. Lodz zoo is definitely on my list, along with quite a few museums and the Park of Survivors. I spent the afternoon wandering up and down Piotrkowska street – the longest commercial street in Europe with a length of 4.9 km. I noted down several cheap food places and settled down in a cafe called Green Way which sells a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan food for 8 – 15 zl (under £3).
I’m now back at the hostel sorting through photos from my trips to Windsor and France, which I couldn’t blog about due to internet access problems. But I will be posting details soon! I’m also planning my route to the zoo tomorrow. Google Maps street view is your best friend when it comes to this – being able to walk through your journey and note recognisable landmarks is a great help.
Fingers crossed for good weather.