Judix2 travels to USOpen, Estonia & Poland travel blog

Police activity for NATO on our street

Ride to the airport - Tesla

Tesla dashboard

Relaxing in our Gdansk Apartment

Time to move on to Gdansk. Again we are transported in a Telsa. We were originally told that we had to walk to the end of the street to meet the driver since it is pedestrian only in the Old Town. But 30 minutes before the driver called and said he would pick us up at our apartment. We had noticed that taxis and work vehicles did drive thru Old Town and it would be nice not to have to drag our luggage over the cobblestone street. However, there were more black cars and police are at the end of the street were blocking traffic. Sure enough I get another phone call telling me the driver can't get thru and we will need to walk to the end of the street. Turns out NATO officials are in town for some sort of meeting and that there is a NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence which is a multinational and interdisciplinary hub of cyber defence expertise centered in Tallin. We couldn't find anything on Google about any NATO activity in Tallinn today but did find references to other meetings and conferences earlier this year and last year. We are flying to Warsaw and then taking a train to Gdansk. We'll have 2 hours to get thru the airport and to the central train station which is about 20 minutes by taxi. I was a little concerned we'd have enough time to get thru passport control, immigration, get our bags and take a taxi. There was no passport control, no immigration, our bags came off early, and there was no wait for a taxi. We were at the train station in about 40 minutes. The Tallinn airport was a different story. About 75 percent of all bags going thru security were set aside for additional screening. Judi and I had 2 purses, 2 backpacks, 2 duffel bags, and one small bag of leftover food and paper towels. One duffel bag and 1 purse made it through. Everything else had to be hand searched and one purse rescanned (for once it wasn't me). This took about 1/2 an hour. The train station was an experience. We could not find our train number on the departure board so we went to the info line. After waiting 10 minutes, the woman behind the counter doesn't speak English and points across the terminal. We find the Passenger Assistance Office and there we are told our platform number and train. She tells us as long as the train number is within 1, you can take that train. "After all it is Poland" she says. She also told us the final stop for the train which we did not know. Then on the train the conductor kind of laughed when he checked our tickets. The notation on the bottom of our tickets had us getting to Gdansk in the wrong direction. But not to worry he tells us, we are on the right train.

Marcin, the owner of our apartment, had told me it was a 10-minute walk from the train station to the apartment, so Judi and I were going to do that. I had a Google map with directions and had written down all the street names since the print is always so small. It looked really simple. However, the train station was big, there were exits everywhere, we couldn't find the street name we were looking for, and there were no escalators or elevators to get up to the street level. First we had to go down stairs when we got off the train and then up stairs to get out of the train station. As we were starting to go up the stairs, 2 young Polish gentlemen offered to carry our bags for us and then tried to help us find the street we were looking for. At this point, we looked for the taxi stand which fortunately was close. Even the taxi driver, who spoke no English, had trouble finding the place. Turns out Marcin does not speak much English either, but we got in and settled. However I was quite surprised to learn that I had rented a one bedroom not a two bedroom apartment and it was on the third floor with no elevator. But it is a very nice apartment with a really comfortable couch and Marcin carried our bags up. So of course, the first thing we did was head out to find a bottle of wine, which we did, and come back for wine, cheese, crackers, grapes and chocolate cookies. Another day of adventure for Judix2. JB

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