The trip „Time for the sea, time for the mountains” began much earlier than July 30, 2018 when together with my son we went for a summer adventure. It can be said that it had its beginning at least 15 years ago when my son Krzysztof came into the world. Although, if I were to be a more meticulous researcher of the railway gene I could go back to my childhood. At that time steam engines, truly noble machines still ruled, announcing their arrival to all by wheezing, smoke, and steam.
My house was situated close to the tracks so I had yet another attraction – at night the locomotive lamps lit up my room. The house where I welcomed my older son was not adjacent to the tracks but the passion for the trains remained in me forever so most of the walks and trips were planned to satisfy our railway hunger. As Krzych was getting older, he swallowed the „bug” very quickly and both of us were absorbed by this great passion. Krzysztof went a few steps further than me with his love for the railway. He also began creating mock-ups, build cardboard and mechanical models, recreated real train routes in the computer, collected all items related to the railway. In his school class he was known as a train travel propagator.
Photography has been my greatest passion for years and I have always taken photos during our train rituals. I have managed to document the history of the railways of the last 10 years. My son went a step further than me and apart from taking pictures, he also filmed routes and train journeys. My son says that photography lacks this beautiful music which is the clatter of moving machines. This is how our tandem of train enthusiasts matured to the great challenge which was the summer railway expedition.
This year’s holidays were approaching and we felt that our time was coming, time for something special. We live in the mountains so the first idea for a holiday is always a stay at the seaside, as Poland is fortunate to have both. So this is how the idea for an experiment was born – find out whether in our beautiful country you can reconcile these two longings and spend one day at the seaside, another in the mountains and so on. My son immediately set about checking timetables and possible connections, and that’s how our trip plan came about.
We planned a nine-day trip: four days by the sea and five in the mountains. Of course, we were documenting everything and photos were posted on social networks on a regular basis as proof of the stages of our 6890 km trip. When we announced the plan on the Internet many said that we would not be able to make it as the railway is an uncertain means of transport. We, however, remained faithful to our resolve and belief that our beloved railroad will not betray nor disappoint us. And we were right.
In every place we visited, we wanted to do or see something special. In Świnoujście, we threw the proverbial penny into the sea at the request of our friend who personally could not do it because of a long-term illness. In Kłodzko, we visited the old city and of course the fortress where the last episode of our favorite film was shot. We also visited Kołobrzeg, Wisła, the city of Adam Małysz, Szczecin, Przemyśl, Hel, Gdańsk, and Zakopane, where 16 years earlier in the chapel in Jaszczurówka I was praying to have a son. We had a prepared folder of our escapade and decided to talk about our project to every conductor and co-passengers. We wanted to share with everyone our unforgettable impressions that our beloved rail journey provided us with.
Finally, after 9 days of our longest rail travel so far time has come to go home. Now, from the perspective of a few weeks, I can say without exaggeration that it was the best of all my trips, mostly because of the great company of my son. He and I were on this trip like plus and minus signs on the battery. The expedition made us realize that we are not only a well fitted duo but a unity. Now, after our return, I must admit that I look at Krzych differently – as a partner, as a responsible, young but very mature person despite he is 15 years.
On July 30, I set out with my son on our railway escapade and on August 7 I returned home with a reliable friend and companion for the all the future journeys of life.