I woke up this morning to the sound of the bus driver announcing my stop. It was 5.30am and still dark outside. I shivered awake in the cold fresh air, with too few layers on in my hasty departure from the bus and headed straight to the lights shining from a nearby cafe. A large coffee later I headed back out into the streets to walk the 2km to my hostel, and it was stunning. Warsaw is a beautifully spacious city, and as the sun turned the sky pink overhead I felt very content. I left my bag in the hostel, but as it was still only 7am, it was too early to stay, so instead I spent the day walking around the city, watching as it slowly came to life.
Joggers and dog walkers were my only company to begin with but slowly, as the day grew warmer the streets became alive, until they were packed with other tourists like me, local families, a few free live music events and even another demonstration. It was nice to see the city come to life around me, but soon I had walked around the whole city and found myself missing my bicycle. When I was cycling, I rarely had a moment with nothing to do. I was always cycling, planning my route, meeting and talking with my hosts. Stopping for coffee was a luxurious treat, not something I had to do just to escape the cold outside. I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of all the travel I have ahead of me this week, 24 hours on a bus then 3 days on a train. These will no doubt test me in ways that cycling did not.
Of course, we all have these moments, and it is easy to forget that cycling was tough sometimes too, but perhaps for other reasons. So, I did the only thing I knew, I went for a run. And it was great. I didn’t take anything with me, no map, no keys, no phone, no money. It felt great to leave everything in the hostel and to just go, and see where I ended up, quite unlike cycling when I was carrying everything and has a very clear idea of where I needed to be.
I ended up in a beautiful park, with trees changing colour all around me, and, even better, a red squirrel for company! 🙂