Not to be undone by a minor setback like "all our stuff is closed on Monday", I dragged Frank out of bed early again today and back onto the train to Malbork castle. The scene today was about the same as it was yesterday, lots of spacious, empty, cold stone courtyards. The swirling flurries of snow were new though. Completely empty of people, just like yesterday. Also completely empty of helpful signs, just like yesterday. We finally settled on the method of trying every single door we could find. Did I mention this is it he largest brick castle in Europe? Sometimes the door would be locked, sometimes it would open on to the face of a startled office worker at their desk, sometimes it would open onto a museum exhibit, each one staffed with an innately suspicious local who watches you carefully the whole time you're there. At one point, after having looked through the amber trinkets in a little gift shop, we went out the ack through a little door tha t was clearly marked "wyscie/ausgang/exit" only the be yelled at by one of the exhibit watchers for having come into her exhibit from the wrong direction. We turned around to leave by the same door we'd entered by only to find the other side of which was also clearly labelled "wyscie/ausgang/exit".
We somehow managed to find the dormitories, a major set of rooms, the only entrance to which was a small four foot doorway halfway down a long unlit corridor.
Lunch was in a beautiful period room with a roaring fireplace and little window seats. I am sure I ordered the house special, pointing it out on the menu, which was to consist of soup, pork knuckles, and like two other things. My soup came, followed by a long, long lacuna. I thought I'd remembered something on the menu about a twenty minute wait, but I wasn't sure, so I bore it patiently. We read on our kindles. A half an hour later I finally asked the waitress, "Everything? Yes? Ah, ok, can we have the bill then?". And then I paid 62 zlotys for a bowl of soup, Frank's main dish, and a beer. I'm almost sure I got shafted out of something, but who knows?
Although we'd originally planned to be back by noon, the desultory method of exploring the castle meant we didn't get back to the train station until 1:30, which happened to be right in the middle of a three hour gap in the train schedule. So we didn't get back to Gdańsk until 4:00, by which time all the museums were closed.
We finished off the day with an orgy of multi cultural ism, eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant and then watching Jet Li's "Hero" on DVD at the hostel, in the original Chinese, subtitled in Polish. Another exercise in opacity, that movie makes absolutely no sense without the dialogue.