Today we began our 21-hour journey to our next and final destination. It will take three trains and one bus to get there, finally arriving on Tuesday around noon.
Our third train was an overnighter. Remember the four-hour adventure Gene had buying tickets for this trip? Well, it continued in Budapest when we doublechecked with the conductor re: whether or not this was the right train before we boarded. The conversation went something like this:
G (Gene): Does this train go to Krakow?
TC (Train Conductor): Yes.
G: Thank you. (We picked up our suitcases and boarded the train.)
TC (from behind us): Show me teeckits. (We deboarded the train with our suitcases and showed him our tickets.)
TC: Yes. Dis da train. Come. (TC led us back onto the train and to our reserved sleeping compartment.)
G (wishing to triplecheck): This train stops in Krakow, correct?
TC: No! Dis train no stop in Krakow. It go to Warsaw. Show me teeckit.
G: The tickets say ‘Warsaw’ but it goes through Krakow to get to Warsaw. Will it stop there?
TC: No stop in Krakow.
G: I told the ticket agent that we wanted to go to Krakow and these are the tickets he gave me. What should I do?
TC: (shrugged) I dunno. Come vit me. (I stayed with the luggage while Gene and TC deboarded the train, walked along the platform past several cars, and disappeared. They returned minutes later having found a solution. Gene learned that the train would split during the night. The car with our reservations would head for Moscow! We had to move to a different car and pay an additional 42 Euros despite the fact that it was the ticket agent’s mistake. Sigh.)
Then came THE phone call. Our son called our cell phone to tell us the good news: his wife had safely delivered their wee son, Luke Timothy, 35 minutes prior! So, grandbaby #2 is safe and sound, albeit about 3 weeks early. Praise the Lord for this little life!
The night was a long one. Gene climbed onto the top bunk and promptly fell asleep. His ability to do so is truly a gift. I stayed on the bottom bunk and tried to sleep, but that’s as far as it got. My mind was filled with thoughts about the new grandbaby: What did he weigh? What does he look like? How will 15-month-old Anna respond to having a sibling? I could hardly contain my excitement.
Besides my having an emotional rush, the train rumbled and rocked, screeching to a stop and lurching to a start countless times until dawn broke and we pulled into Krakow. Within 20 minutes we’d boarded a lovely tour-type bus and were headed to Zakopane. “Thank You, Lord, for watching over us so faithfully and for giving us the blessing of Luke.”