Next destination on the chart was Auschwitz in Poland. Since the global Eurail pass was not valid in Poland, I had three choices – buy full fare train ticket, take the Eurail pass for Poland or use any other mode of conveyance. I employed a travel hack. Cesky Tesin is a small town in Moravian – Silesian region of Czech Republic which extends to the other side of the border, on eastern bank of river Olza, as Cieszyn.
My travel hack included travelling in train to Cesky Tesin and then crossing border in Poland on foot to Cieszyn, and take one of the mini buses to Krakow, the base town for my Auschwitz tour. This is the best way I could come up with at the shoestring budget. Since my Eurail pass was valid in Czech Republic, I had to pay no additional charges for train to Cesky Tesin and the mini bus ride from Cieszyn to Krakow Railway Station cost me 20 Zloty which was roughly 5 Euros at then exchange rate. Route from Cesky Tesin Railway Station to Cieszyn Bus Stand was pretty simple and less than 2 kilometres. Nice cool breeze, light drizzles and amazing view about Olza River welcomed me in to the Poland.
It is advisable to keep a map handy if you are planning to walk it, as you are very less likely to come across anyone whom you can ask the way. Even if you find someone, it is very less likely that person would understand and speak English. Below route map could be of help in such daunting hours.
There is a large shopping area just opposite the Bus Stop/Railway Station. Yes, there is a railway station there but I don’t think any passenger trains runs from that. At least none did when I was there. In the shopping area there are multiple banks & their ATMs, and currency conversion can be done. Tickets for the buses are given on board. There are both, big coaches and mini buses, running on the route and ticket price is almost same. Though the big coaches can be more comfortable, but the frequency of mini buses are higher and it was told to me that they take lesser time.
Make sure you do not fall asleep on the way to Krakow. It was the most beautiful landscape I witnessed while travelling across Europe during the winter. Lush green fields are treat to eyes and if it is raining, it has only gotten better.
10:11 AM – Praha Hlavna Nadrazi (Czech Republic) – EC 147 to Cesky Tesin (Czech Republic) at 02:37 PM
03:00 PM – Cesky Tesin (Czech Republic) to Ceiszyn (Poland) on foot – 3:30 PM
04:30 PM – Ceiszyn (Poland) – Mini Bus – Krakow (Poland) – 7:30 PM