This is not what you want to happen in a foreign city, in the middle of winter, at midnight. Fortunately there was an internet cafe in the station and I was able to check on timetables and see that there was a 5.15 am train I could catch. I wouldn't be able to make my flight from Prague though. I thought of other possibilities such as flying to Prague, but there are no
flights from Katowice to Prague.
Resigned to an overnight wait in the station I was about to make myself relatively comfortable in the only slightly above arctic temperature of the cafe when lots of police appeared. There was a bomb scare and we had to evacuate the building. Two hours of waiting in the plaza in front of the station was a unique experience.
The station plaza in a slightly livelier moment
Finally we were allowed back in. No bomb had been found. After several hours of waiting in the circle of hell which is a railway station cafe in the middle of winter I was able to board the first of the three trains to get me back to Prague.
Again - not an easy procedure. The timetable showed the train as going to Ostrova - where I could connect with my next train. But the information boards showed that it was going only as far as Bohumin. This was a deliberate lie. It really was going to Ostrova - and stopping at every
station on the way - all 26 of them.
The plus side of early morning rail travel is watching the sun rise
Warm and on a comfortable train at last
At Ostrova I was able to make some phone calls to alter my flight reservation without too great a penalty fee - and eventually, two other trains and then a metro and tram ride later I was back at the Capuchin Friary in Prague in time to see the camels arrive.
They were sent by the Spanish Embassy and brought their three riders and gifts to where Joseph, Mary and a real baby were standing waiting in front of the friary walls. (January 5th - the eve of the feast of the Epiphany).
Today (Sunday Jan 6th) it's snowing. I'm waiting here until Monday morning when I can catch my flight to London.