Anticipating the first train trip

Prague Travel Blog

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Castle hill
Tonight is to be our first train ride on this trip.  I'm looking forward to it but am also a little afraid too.  How can we find the right train, the right car?  I've had a little difficulty finding the right track and car even in England where I don't have a language barrier and can read the signs.  I haven't got a prayer of reading Czech signs and am going to need people to help us get to the right seats.  It's at 9:30 at night too.

Another hot day and we have to catch a train tonight so we slept in a bit.  After rounding up all our stuff and somehow repackaging it back into our luggage, we left the luggage with our apartment manager.  It was obviously time for food again.  Prague is marvelous when it comes to food - when you ask for iced coffee on a hot day they give you coffee cooled not with ice but with ice cream.  What a great way to start a hot day of wandering around.  As you may have noticed, we tend to walk around a lot and this requires lots of stops to figure out where to go next and what to eat next.

 

Strengthened by the iced coffee, we climbed back up to the Castle to use up the rest of our 2-day ticket.

Castle altar
  We had gotten tickets to everything so we felt compelled to see everything.  Everything included (1) The Old Royal Palace (really interesting late Gothic Hall and chapel) (2) the Story of Prague Castle (interesting building but the exhibit is missable) (3) St George’s Basilica (Romanesque church) (4) the convent of St George which houses the National Gallery  (another interesting building but most of the painting is from an era I’m not particularly fond of.  One painting of a red umbrella is striking however.)  (5) Golden Lane (interesting mainly for shopping and always really crowded). 

By now we were on visual-overload from a day of viewing cherubs and flowing gilt draperies.  Also with being surrounded by other tourists if you feel the same while you’re there look for the little courtyard with a great place to rest on large benches by the entrance to item (2).

 

We picked up our luggage and Milushe (the apartment manager’s husband) drove us to the train station and helped us get to the right train.

Castle main hall
  I’m very thankful for his help.  He and his wife both treated us like honored guests and even gave us a CD of Czech music as a parting gift.  After Milushe left, however, we were in the hands of the Czech train organization and they were straight out of Central Casting for old-time European petty bureaucrats.  Nobody spoke or understood English (or so they pretended), they frowned a lot and seemed to be saying “You can’t/shouldn’t be doing that” or “You can’t go there from here.”  We got onto the correct train (thanks to Milushe’s help) and the correct coach and seats (mainly because we knew to look for sun-faded numbers on cards posted in the entrance to each coach).  The train corridors are very narrow and wheeled luggage is too wide to pull; you have to carry it sideways.  This is difficult if you’re also carrying a backpack.  I think the train conductors viewed us as a cheap form of entertainment in an otherwise boring job.

 

The train compartment itself was fine however.  It was clean, roomy and the seats were very comfortable and could recline.  My husband and I had the compartment to ourselves (it seats 6) so he lay down and I reclined one seat for the 8 hour trip.

we made it onto the train
  I can sleep anywhere anytime and, lulled by the clacking wheels and swaying train, immediately did so.  I loved this part of train travel and even the Central Casting conductors added to the experience.  .  My husband not so much.  All our friends say he is a saint for going along with my enthusiasms.  I know I wouldn’t be so interested in jumping off into the unknown if I didn’t have his steady reassurance there to rescue me when things go wrong. 


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Castle hill
Castle hill
Castle arches
Castle arches
Castle altar
Castle altar
Castle main hall
Castle main hall
we made it onto the train
we made it onto the train
doorway near Castle
doorway near Castle
lots of stories of slaying enemies…
lots of stories of slaying enemie…
Prague
photo by: vulindlela