Prague and heading to Vienna
Prague Travel Blog› entry 12 of 32 › view all entries
After that fantastic fireworks at night was over, we had chat so much during the night. In the morning, again we started our gorgeous breakfast, and it should be enough to walk around until lunch. Surprisingly, the memories of the second day of Prague is totally in clouds. I have to say that somehow we still walked around downtown, and spent another day. The only thing I remember is that we went to downtown and stopped by one good restaurant, and actually it was too good for me and my friend. Didn't mind and got used to cheap prices of Prague, we didn't even look at price range, and then sit down and having peacefully laid pistacchios as appetizers. Well, we never really seriously thought that those pistacchios were for sale and expensive. We placed order, perhaps the most expensive chicken plate in that restaurant, and they served pretty good with sparkling water. Later on, we found out that something went wrong, and it was late. We have paid quite some of money because of that, but still it was way better than if we did it in Germany or England. Annoyed by those pistacchios, we got out of restaurant, headed for exchange office to get some souvenirs in the marker nearby. Unfortunately I had 100-dollar bill at that time, and I had to exchange it. I was the fourth in line, and finally the officer took my 100 dollar bill and said it is a fake. It could not be true, I said. But she insisted so tenaciously, and she claimed that either I should go to police station to have that fake note, or I have to leave the bill there. Having an unpleasant meal just before that, I got exploded. It was directly from my hometown and the same 100 dollar bills were used in England. Even they confirmed that it was a genuine US notes. Now, this woman says that all I have done is fake and I should go to police. No Way. Already there were more than 50 people were behind me for money exchange. These days it is virtually impossible because you can know the rate right away, and those note reader is not necessary. Finally I gave up that 100 dollar note, and decided not to go to police. Not knowing even whether they can speak English, being under arrest wihtout any clear reason was too much for this trip. Then she took that note with all satisfaction on her face, and later I found that sometimes exchange office claims that genuine ones as fakes so that they almost rob you. I realized that how much Czech was unstable country including those armed cops, and decided to leave a bit earlier than scheduled. The travel agency later explained to me that ths same thing happened about 2 months ago, and they took the money same way. After all the hassles of the day, we finally came back to the hotel, and it was still the best hotel we ever had.
Before the night of the last day, I told girls to get ready by 6 30 am, to get on 8 15 am train to Vienna. Seriously you never have any time to make up or do cosmetics on your face if that is the case, or you have to get up much earlier than expected. BUT, it never went that way. Girls woke up 7 am, and they were ready at 7 30 am. We only had 45 min. With 60 pounds (origianlly it was 50 but I got 10 pounds more) in the backpack, I started running and hence everybody was running to the station. After 15 min, girls started to be exhausted and I took their bags. One in left shoulder, the other in right shoulder and finally another one in the front. I almost carried 60 pounds more, and it was close to 120 pounds and I was still running. If you tell me to do it now, I will never do, but the only thing made me run was I did not want to get lost in a country which robbed 100 dollar legally. We ran about 40 min, and the train was started moving. Like a scene of movie, we jumped on the train and barely managed to get in the compartment. From beginning to the end, Czech was never an easy country to travel with in 1997. But being in the Eastern Europe (I would be very clear about this, Czech is not "central" Europe) was a very special experience, obviously different from western Europe. This trip helped me a lot much later to understand people from Eastern Europe and especially Czech republic.