Bus Route 666 to Hel in Poland Is Being Renamed to 669 to Calm Naysayers
‘Highway to Hell’ or Hel in this case sounds like a perfect destination for people with a good sense of humor and a taste for rock music. But things are about to change in northern Poland where the popular bus route numbered 666 is being changed to 669 after protests and complaints from conservative religious groups in the country, says BBC. This particular route was taken by tourists and locals to reach the sandy beaches in the seaside resort city of Hel and over the years, it has become a bit of a joke for Polish people and English-speaking tourists as well.
According to BBC, this is where religious communities stepped in to spoil the fun moniker and reference of the route, claiming that it is “spreading Satanism.” Since Bible identifies the number 666 as the “number of the beast” and Hel is just lacking one letter to become the English word “hell,” the route was frowned upon by the religious people of Poland. After receiving numerous complaints, the bus company PKS Gdynia made an announcement that they were turning the last 6 upside down to make it 669.
Can't have people having fun, that wouldn't do at all— Martin Wellbourne (@MartinWellbour2) June 15, 2023
Woke madness!— Leirbag Uicniram (@uicniram) June 15, 2023
Surely the tourists should be using a hand-cart rather than a bus…🤣🤣🤣— Alan Britton PG Dip (@alanbritton) June 14, 2023
The firm’s designer, Marcin Szwaczyk explained the reason behind the switch and told the trojmiasto.pl news website that changing the route to 669 from 666 was “less controversial.” The relation between the cursed number and the word for Satan’s lair might get lost in translation to Polish people since the English word “hell” is actually “piekło” in Polish. But that has not stopped netizens hailing from the country to condemn the unnecessary change.
Important to know now if there is a town called Heaven that can be reached by bus # 69.— Joffan (@Joffan7) June 15, 2023
That's right. Allow religious zealots to brutally murder a good time for everyone else.— Bunnyhug Bandit (@BunnyhugBandit) June 14, 2023
The bus company has announced that the switch from 666 to 669 is set to take place on 24 June, 2023. Some people on Twitter argued that this is possibly the “worst example of how not to do marketing.” Per The Guardian, a travel website called Staypoland.com’s description of Hel’s resort town read: “After the aggression of Germany on 1 September 1939, Hel became famous as one of the heroically and long-defended regions of Poland. The city was liberated in 1945 and after the war, it grew not only as a fishing port but also as one of the most popular Polish holiday resorts." However, Poland is predominantly a Roman Catholic nation, where the Church has traditionally been influential, per BBC. That can be the prime reason behind the bus company getting forced to change their bus number which used to attract a vast number of foreign tourists. Well, now that the fun part is ruined, people won’t be able to take the infamous bus with the special number to Hel which usually runs in the summer along the Baltic Sea coast.