BootsnAll Travel Network

Out of Vienna, On to Prague

Written at 9:00 PM on 10-10-06 in Prague, Czech Republic

My second day in Vienna can be quite easily summed up. Nothing really happened. I got up at about 9:00, showered, and headed to the nearby camera and macintosh store to check out the prices of power converters. Eighty euros later, I had a working power adapter for my computer that wouldn’t send out sparks. It was a painful expense, but a necessary one. I still have three weeks left in my trip, much of which will be spent writing (this is the relax-in-coffee shop part of my trip) and I would have to buy a new adapter when I returned. That’s just how it goes.

I met Julie outside of her hostel and we headed off to a grocery store to find some breakfast. Mine consisted of a baguette, cheese, and the always exciting orange juice. Julie’s stomach was still giving her troubles to her breakfast was even more mild. We caught the bus to the train station; we needed to get Julie a ticket to Prague for the next day and we wanted to make sure we would have plenty of time to get there.

By the time we arrived though, neither of us were much feeling like making a day trip to Brataslava. I was feeling a bit out of it, for whatever reason, and her stomach was giving her troubles. So instead, we decided to head back to the main shopping center of town and just cruise around. She did a bit of shopping and I chilled in a café and did some writing. We caught a movie in the afternoon—Cars—which was really good. And it was in English to boot! I didn’t really picture myself spending quite so much time in coffee shops and movie theaters before I went to Vienna, but to be honest, there just wasn’t much to do. I didn’t have the money to go shopping and without knowing much about the culture or history, I didn’t want to see the museums. (Although maybe that’s the point of the museums, I suppose? I think Rome just burned me out a bit.)

After the movie, we headed back. I had a dinner to rival my breakfast in splendor. This time, the baguette and cheese even included some salami!! We ate back at my hostel and talked about what we wanted to do. We decided when to head out in the morning and then we cruised around the area near my hostel, looking for a good café. After like half an hour, I found one to my liking. We sat there talking for an hour or two, and eventually Julie headed back to her hostel. I stayed out for a while longer before wandering back to my own hostel.

I will give Vienna one thing. It has a lot of these really cool bar/cafes that stay open way into the night. And even though a lot of the cafes double as bars, they’re all still really mellow and laid back. Despite not finding much to do in the city, I could really see myself just hanging around there for a few weeks and doing some good writing.

But there are still so many other places to see, so come morning, Julie and I met up and headed to the train station. I got a ticket for the Czech Republic leg of the journey (Eurail doesn’t cover the country). The train was pretty nice. We had a table to ourselves, and the seats were comfortable and clean, which was always a good thing when traveling for four or five hours. Even better, the train ride was direct so we wouldn’t be jumping around at stations.

They checked our passports as we crossed into the Czech Republic. My passport wasn’t where it was supposed to be, but I kept cool and after searching through my backpack, I found it. I did a bit of writing on the train, but I soon became tired of that and retreated to my music. I drifted in and out of sleep for a couple hours, but once we came within an hour of Prague, I began to look out and enjoy the Czech Republic’s countryside.

In a lot of ways, it was very like Oregon. Outside the cities it was all rural farming communities. Farming fields divided by fences and streams and trees checkered the land. The terrain was a whole lot more level than in Oregon, I will say that. There was definitely a certain charm to the whole area. I was enjoying it; I could almost feel the train fade away before me and could picture myself driving down the lonely roads with the smell of dirt in the air. I stared outside for about an hour until we arrived into Prague.

Prague is a great city. It was immediately easy to navigate. First, I withdrew 2000k from the ATM. This translates to about eighty dollars or so. Julie and I didn’t have any trouble navigating the city. She’d already been here once, but she took the train in. Still, we easily got on to the metro, hopped off, and then caught a tram to our hostel. The hostel was called the Czech Inn (get it?) and it was awesome!! I’ll tell you about it before I get into actually describing Prague.

So I paid about 800k for two nights in the hostel, which came to about 15 euros or so. The hostel is completely new; the rooms and bathrooms are in great condition. They’re clean, and there are lockers and two showers for a single eight-bed dorm. There’s a bar/café in the coffee shop, and relatively cheap internet. Plus there’s all kinds of resources on where to go and what to do. All-in-all, it may shape up to be just about the best place I’ve stayed at. Only time will tell.

Prague is filled with cafes. It’s cheap and chic. There’s not the hustle and bustle of a lot of the larger tourist cities, and because we’ve arrived just at the end of the tourism season, things aren’t too crowded. There are a lot of great places just outside of the city, and from what I gather, the historical part of Prague is pretty cool as well. I’ll be going there tomorrow, as well as taking a day trip to a nearby village. Prague is not as cheap as it once was, but it’s still a pretty damn good deal. I had the best meal of my trip. I’m not kidding. This meal was even better than my savory, mouth-watering chicken at Oktoberfest. For what I wager to be about 15 US dollars, I had beer, with a mozzarella and tomato starter, a basket of fantastic bread, and this amazing chicken dish. It was like chicken, folded in half and stuffed with mozzarella, peppers, tomatoes, ham, and mushrooms. On top of that, there was this Old Bohemia Sauce, or something to that effect, that just made it all the more amazing. I was completely content after the meal. (Understand that all I’d had to eat that day was part of a baguette, some orange juice, and four cookies).

After dinner, Julie and I returned to the hostel and hung out in the bar/café playing card games. Things were pretty mellow; it was still early. This guy from Auckland, New Zealand joined us. His name was Desmond and he was weird. We talked, or rather, he talked at us. He played cards with us, but eventually he wandered off and Julie and I got to talking about her travel plans for the remainder of her time in Europe. She leaves a day after me, on October 28th. We’ll probably stay in Prague until Friday or so, but after that I’ll be off to Amsterdam and she’ll be off to who-knows-where. That’s really about all there is to say for the last couple days. It’s been a relaxing couple days and unfortunately for all of you—my readers—that doesn’t make for much interesting writing. Hopefully there’ll be better to come while I’m in Prague. Cheers.

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One response to “Out of Vienna, On to Prague”

  1. Miranda says:

    You *better* go see the clock. And the guards are always fun too. 😉

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