Monday, August 29, 2011

Just Czech'n it out

Well the 4 of us left Berlin in one piece and took the train down to Prague for a little taste of eastern Europe.  Drink it up.

Prague is really nice as it would be.  We arrived on a hot and humid day and all walked to the hostel with our bags strapped to our backs.  Tiring but we survived.  Celebratory dinner and beer were next followed by a quick night walkabout of the city itself.  The old city of Prague reminded me of Copenhagen somewhat in that the buildings are old and scattered almost randomly.  Very disorienting.  I think we almost immediately got lost.  Caitlin and Brandon failed on their attempt to walk home and ended up cabbing it.  Shaun and I failed as well, ending up walking in the complete opposite direction of our hostel.

We spent the first (extremely hot) day walking around being tourists.  We took pictures of anything and everything, saw the old Prague castle, visited a beergarten, and even ducked into the Communism museum during a rainstorm.  All in all a good day.  We ate at an authentic Czech restaurant (potatoes and beef please) and Shaun and I checked out some of the Prague nightlife.

Shaun, Caitlin and myself taking a break from being a tourist

The next day was again spent walking about, trying to take in as much as the city and culture as possible.  Another Czech dinner down, and a "somewhat" successful pub crawl of Prague followed later in the evening.

Hungover as hell, we got a shuttle to the train station for our trip south to Vienna.

The next 48 hours (for Shaun and myself) go by quite quickly so I'll try and capture it all.

Caitlin, Brandon, Shaun and myself make it to Vienna.  The train station we're at, isn't the one we thought we should have been at.  Caitlin and Brandon are going their separate way at this part, so we all say our byes and they take off.  Shaun and I have booked an overnight train from Vienna to Venice, so we don't miss an entire day traveling.  So we grab all our gear, metro it to the correct train station where our train will leave later in the evening, and we set off to explore Vienna in 4 hours.  Lots of pictures, a few pedestrian streets, and a subpar chicken sandwich later, we had to rush back to the train station to board our "double" sleeper cabin.

We were dumbfounded when we looked into our cabin.  It was a small seat in a 5'x7' cabin.  We had absolutely no idea what was going on…so in our nicest American-Italian we asked someone working onboard what the hell was going on.  He quickly showed us how the bunks folded out of the walls, but that he had to unlock them…so before bedtime, just flag him down and he'd tuck us in.

Shaun and I sat side-by-side, sharing a pair of earplugs, watching Captain America on his laptop…it was awkward. 

So bedtime it was; we flagged down our friend and he unlocked our beds.  No bedtime story though, unfortunately.  It wasn't all too comfortable, it was hot, the train was really rocky, it was loud, and I had a green service light in my face the entire night.  Not to mention the knocking at some hour of the night by 2 Italian chicks who swore that we were in their bunk.  After simple explanations on the premise of a reservation and the reading of a ticket (in Italian), they seemed to realize that they had made the mistake. 

What felt like minutes later, the cabin door knocked again, this time it was our friend again…it was time to get up!  He even brought us breakfast.  Shaun and I stumbled around our closet and packed our stuff and pulled into Venice around 8AM.  And by 8AM it was already pushing 90 degrees and ridiculous humidity.  Not a problem, we only had to walk to a boat taxi terminal, take 2 boats and walk a little more before we could put our bags down officially at a campground on Fusina.

It was actually a really cool place and I'm glad we stayed there.  We showered the sweat off, and immediately ferried back to the islands of Venice were we sweated some more, walked and walked and got lost, and walked, and drank water, and got lost some more. 

That city is amazing, but is a labyrinth.  And when it's that hot, it adds a little more to the fun.  Shaun and I wrapped up our day with some pizza, beer and mingling amongst our fellow travelers at the campground and called it a night….because, we have an 8AM shuttle to the train station so we could head on to Nice, France.

Just keep moving.

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