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sharondippity



Joined: 30 Dec 2012
Replies: 12
Location: Conyers, Georgia USA

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:21 am      Post subject: Driving in Krakow/Tarnow area
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Dzien dobry, I am in the midst of planning a trip for 3 to the Krakow area later this year. We are considering renting a car to travel around the area at our leisure.
We would not be renting a vehicle the entire stay but rather for a day or two to visit outlying areas. We would love to see wooden churches and perhaps travel to Jasna Gora -Czestochowa. I have read travel blogs warning about the difficulties driving in Poland. Please share your thoughts on this. I am not a timid driver and handle large US city traffic well. Also, some have suggested the hiring of a personal driver for day trips citing that the cost for this is less than renting your own vehicle, an upside is that they know the area. I would appreciate any comments and suggestions.
Of course we will be taking the Polish Origins Genealogy Tour - the most exciting part of the trip.
Dziekuja, Sharon
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James
PolishOrigins Team


Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Replies: 226
Location: WEST VIRGINIA , USA

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:53 am      Post subject:
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Hi sharondippity,
I have visited Poland 3 times, and there is no way that I would drive myself, and I drove a vehicle every day, for over thirty years in my career. I never even looked into what is required for obtaining a permit, or what ever I might need , if anything, to legally drive.
In 2006, took the train from Krakow to Czestochowa and it was a pleasant trip, and not overly expensive. I've also traveled by train from Warsaw to Krakow and back, and again , and it was very nice. The train stations now contain English on most major information boards, which was a great help . (at least in Warsaw & Krakow)
I have also used a Polishorigins driver and vehicle, on all three visits, and was very satisfied.
The roads in Poland are undergoing major restorations, as they have been in varying stages of disrepair, thanks in part to 50 + years of communist rule. This was a source of concern , as I considered renting a car. How would the vehicle hold up on these roads, especially when I would be held responsible for any damage.
My feeling was that the less I have to do myself, the more I could enjoy my visit.
Have a wonderful time visiting Poland, regardless if you yourself drive or not.

james
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Elzbieta Porteneuve
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 09 Nov 2012
Replies: 3098
Location: Paris, France

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:15 pm      Post subject:
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Hi all,

First observation: do you drive an non-automatic car? I had my driving license in France, and I can handle an automatic US car, but it takes me always few hours to get used to it. I know from US friends traveling to Europe that the opposite may be, and often is, the biggest hurdle.

Concerning driving in Poland - a lot of things had changed. Just look on google maps, and tick traffic to se roads in Poland, you will be surprised.

My personal experience in driving in Poland is very small - until 2012, I have not been driving long distance (only few kilometers in Warsaw suburbs).
In 2012 my brother and I we were travelling from Warsaw to Przemysl and back, and he wanted me to drive.
The most tricky is, that you may think to be on a road, but actually that road accross cities without clear signs you enter the city, and all of sudden you have few meters to slow down from 90 km/h to 70 km/h for pedestrian crossing section (and you get scared because everyone knows that 70 km/h is far too high to stop if necessary).
Another tricky and unwritten rule is that on a road with one lane each direction you push to your right, to leave the space in the middle for passing by.

Driving in different countries is always a challenge.

Bon voyage!
Elzbieta
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sharondippity



Joined: 30 Dec 2012
Replies: 12
Location: Conyers, Georgia USA

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:23 am      Post subject:
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Thank you Elzbieta and James, I do not think I will be driving while in Poland. The train sounds like a good solution. I experienced trains in Paris and Hong Kong and had few problems. I believe there is a website for them which I will find to familiarize myself with routes. For those areas not covered by train travel I will consider hiring a car with driver. We do want to visit the lovely wooden churches in the Krakow/Tarnow area. I appreciate your responses.
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Zenon
PolishOrigins Team Leader


Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Replies: 1477
Location: Poland

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:05 am      Post subject:
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Sharon,

The website for Polish train system is here: http://rozklad-pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en .

For Sharon and all, see the 'Wooden treasures of southern Poland' series of articles in our blog: http://blog.polishorigins.com/category/wooden-treasures-of-southern-poland/ . Also, as a licensed tour operator we can help you not only in your genealogy tour but also in organizing such one day trips with guides who will give you background of these architecture treasures or just drivers, who will get you there.
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