Saturday, May 06, 2006

More about Prague

It’s amazing how quickly I’ve adapted to life in Prague. That may sound sort of cheesy, but it’s true. Yesterday I started out completely lost. By the time I got back to the hostel twenty minutes ago, I felt fairly confident in my ability to find my way around.

After I updated the blog yesterday, I grabbed a sandwich from one of the train station vendors, had a bottle of water, then went back upstairs to my bed and slept. A lot. But I felt a lot better when I woke up this morning. I got up around 6.30 and took a shower – the first in couple of days – and quietly got ready to move out. I found a brochure for a company that does all kinds of walking tours in English and it turns out that it’s the same company that runs the Old Town Pub Walk I’m scheduled to be on this evening. I joined their “All-in-One” Tour this morning. It was excellent. I think we walked about 20 km in 4 hours, but the guide covered a lot of the history of the different towns that make up Prague. I got some great shots of the gargoyles in the Prague Castle area (which is actually more of a group of history buildings rather than one big castle).

One of the other people on the tour was a girl named Evelyn from NY. She goes to Norte Dame but is studying in Innsbruck this year. It turns out she is also going on the Pub Walk tonight. So I’ll know at least one person there :-D. Now I have to go to Innsbruck (I wanted to anyway), since I now have someone to show me around.

Incidently, there are a couple of interesting things I’ve observed about my current location (in the Hostel Vesta above the Hlavni Nadrazi train station). 1) The issue of noisy trains is not an issue at all – I can’t even hear them. The birds are louder in the morning than the traffic. Of course, we are on the fifth floor (thank God for elevators). 2) The little chime that plays in the station before announcements sounds an awful lot like the first few bars of the Inspector Gadget theme song. I keep finding myself singing it every time there is an announcement (If only I spoke enough Czech to know what the announcement was about).

Anyway, I haven’t eaten a real lunch yet – we had a coffee break on the tour, but the food in the restaurant was a bit pricy – so I’m going to grab something light to tide me over until the “traditional Czech meal” I’m getting with the tour tonight.

Here are some of the pictures -

Friday, May 05, 2006

Frustration in Prague

I had my first frustrating experience of the trip this afternoon. While it only took me 30 minutes to get from the airport in Prague to the main train station, it took another 2 hours to find my hostel from there. This was particularly annoying since the hostel is IN the main train station. I can't decide if it was the lack of sleep or just my mindset as a "stupid american" that caused the trouble. But I did find it and am now safe and sound. I'll be in touch.

Having a pint with Frog

Frog pointing out the proximity of the Goethe-Bar

Frog looking out the window

Flyin high again

Flyin High

The flight from DFW to Frankfurt was surprisingly pleasant. The babies didn’t begin to cry until we began our descent, and I do believe I got at least 5 hours of sleep. That’s exciting considering I usually can’t sleep on planes. Hopefully (if I can stay awake until a reasonable hour) my sleep cycle won’t be too whacked out.

I have a small confession to make. I took a stowaway aboard the plane with me. Katharine gave me a little green Frog to keep me company and I couldn’t in good conscience leave him behind, even with my limited space. I think he enjoyed the flight though and wasn’t too much of a nuisance. He spent most of the flight sitting in my drink holder and looking out the window.

I did have a cognac after dinner, but other than that I decided to play it smart and not arrive in a foreign land completely smashed. Of course, we all know that I never get drunk.

Well, I should get up off the floor and go get some breakfast. Frog has kindly pointed out that we are sitting right next to the Goethe-Bar – Jordan would be so proud. Oh, and Iris, for some reason they sell Caipirinhas in the Frankfurt airport.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

That's right, I'm on the plane right now...

I officially love Lufthansa. For a "nominal fee" I am connected to the internet as we fly above Newfoundland. It's too weird. I'm talking to Abram on AIM, and am about to call some of my peeps on Skype. I feel like I'm cheating.
Of course, I can only afford to do this for about an hour. But I couldn't resist the temptation. It's definitely a first for me.
I will of course update later once I get landed and settled in Prague.
Do Svidanya!