Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Prague

Monday

I had no problems getting to Stuttgart even with the problems I was expecting. Apparently on Sunday there was an accident at the Stuttgart train station and there would be delays coming and and going out of the station. When I arrived I went to my platform and waited, my next train was late but when it arrived, I got on and went to Nuremberg got off and went to the front of the station to catch my bus to Prague.

I showed the woman my ticket and got a tag for my bag, grabbed out my food and passport, threw my bag in the back and was on my way. On the bus there were some super cute Australian guys and next to me was an older German guy also behind me was a Swedish girl.


We talked for a while, with me initiating most conversation, all in English of course. As we drove we fell into silence and many people slept but the German guy next to me gave me commentary on things like the iron curtain which we crossed and later in the trip he gave me some info on things to do in Prague for my family's visit for new years.

When I arrived in Prague I wandered the train station a bit and couldn't call my host but when I went back outside in the opposite direction, there was my host Jitka and one of her roommates waiting for me with a sign with my name on it. We walked back home but on the way we stopped to get me a map for my visit.

When we arrived in the apartment, we talked and they made me coffee and we shared a traditional Czech honey and nut cake made my one of my host's neighbors. Jitka showed me some things to see in the city on the map and then we went toward the city to buy me tickets for the tram, I took the tram into the city and saw Wenceslas square then walked to the old city and wandered around until I found the Charles bridge completely by accident and I even saw the Prague castle all lit up over the river.


 After wandering and getting lost a few times I found and caught the tram back and went to Jitka's apartment but I didn't have a key so I waited and she showed up. Perfect timing. We went inside and blew up my air mattress and cooked dinner.

One of the girls I was staying with had a date we, for some reason, we all went.

video

Of course, a few drinks turned into us going to a club and coming home at 2:30 am, we all went to bed. (I apologize for bad quality of the video, but hey, it's working now!)

Tuesday

I got up and showered at 7:30 AM and the girls had class so they left and I was given a key, I finished getting ready then went into the city by tram.

I went to the national theater then to Charles bridge, I walked across the bridge which surprisingly was no full of tourists and went up the hill to see the castle. Since I had plans to meet up with Jitka and friends for lunch I didn't take a tour but I should have because once I was half way back down the hill I got a text saying they were still drunk/hungover from last night and they couldn't do lunch with me.

I continued across the bridge again and this time it was full of people, I didn't have a plan for where to go then so I just wandered and looked for the restaurant that Jitka suggested but I didn't find it so I wound up buying some grapes from a vendor and eating them while wandering the streets. I felt like a true European doing that and it was cheap and easy!

I went back to the apartment and I was tuckered out from such a short night of sleep and a long night of dancing and drinking so I went back to relax a bit around two, Jitka was in bed and her roommate and I hung out for a while, I was really tired but I knew if I slept I wouldn't wake up until the morning or if I did wake up I wouldn't sleep at night so I relaxed some and read a book.

After a while, I was asked if I was going back into the city or just staying in and it seemed like that was my cue that I should leave so I went back into the city. It's OK though, I still hadn't seen the astronomical clock. I also needed dinner. So, I took the tram to the main square and walked to the clock surprised by how easy it was to find, while there I stopped at a restaurant outside near the clock and had some pasta for dinner.

I wandered some, well, OK I was lost and couldn't find the tram I needed but I found it eventually and went back home. I talked to Ida and Jitka for a bit but then showered and laid in bed, I couldn't really sleep because Jitka was doing homework but I relaxed and somehow passed out.

Wednesday 

I woke up at about 6 AM and grabbed my things. I wound up throwing things in my bag at the last minute making it feel like I had more than I really did. I had a note from Jitka not to wake her but that I was welcome to visit again. She detailed what I should do to leave in the note as well. I grabbed the key and went downstairs, unlocking the door I propped it open and dropped the key in the girls' mailbox and was on my way down the hill to the tram.

Unfortunately, I just missed the first number 9 tram so I waited for a few minutes and got the next one, it is only one stop to get to the station so I hopped off there and went in. I had to wait until they announced which platform my train would be on so I bought a coffee and waited by the board for the announcement. After what felt like an eternity, the board finally said I would be leaving from platform four and I went up to board.

The train was mostly empty and I was on it until 10:18 AM when I arrived in Ostrava. Again I didn't know where I was leaving from so I had to find the display board and found the platform and went back upstairs to board.

After a bit the conductor came by and asked for my ticket but told me that my InterRail pass isn't valid in Poland so I had to pay for a ticket. Which wasn't bad. For all my travels in Poland I paid less than 50 Euros so, compared to Germany it was SUPER cheap.

I had to change from a train to a bus in Katowice. I went and bought a ticket but they weren't helpful with telling me where to wait or which kind of bus. I waited for more than an hour and finally just got in line for a bus. There was a nice Polish couple and as I was putting my bag in the back of the bus, I asked a guy if my ticket would work and he said it wouldn't but I told him I didn't have any cash so him and his girlfriend gave me the money for the ticket.
 
Since I was going to be later than planned I called Aleksandra and told her since she didn't respond to my text and she said that was OK.

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