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Trip Start Dec 06, 2009
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Trip End Feb 05, 2010


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, January 18, 2010

Daniel:
This morning we caught the train from Vienna to Prague in the Czech republic.  The train took around 4.5 hours which we spent sleeping and watching the scenery fly past outside.  The snow continued to fall for most of the trip and although there were no mountains we were still treated to some nice scenery.

Arriving at Prague train station we could tell straight away that we were now not only in a different country but we had also entered eastern Europe.  Do my ignorant ear the Czech language sounds very much like Russian and when the Czechs speak English their accent is definately easten European.  The Czechs are still not using the Euro so we had to get some koruny out.  I got out $125 which came out to be 2000 koruny which the ATM gave to me as a single note.  A pain when a drink costs 10 koruny and you need change for 2000!  The money system seemed a bit unorganized with both a 50 koruny note and coin.  A great thing about being in eastern Europe though, things are a lot cheaper.

Walking in the thick dirty snow outside the train station and getting into an ancient tram made me feel like I was in Russia 20 years ago but Ly assured me it was a nice city as she had already been there.

After changing trams and a bit of a walk we finally got to our hostel which was around $30 a night for a private room.  The place was really modern but the old lady who worked there was bizzare.  She laughed pretty much the whole time she talked and said 'yeeeeeeesssss' a lot. Plus she had crazy eyes.  Our room was in an attic which means that I have to walk around with my head ducked. It makes me feel a bit like a giant in a small room and I have smashed my head a few times already.  Can't complain for the price though!

We caught another tram back into the city to have a quick look around before dark and saw some of the many crystal shops of which the Bohemia region is famous for.  Everyone seemed to speak at least some English which was good as czech is not an easy language.  Even trying to remember or say our tram stops was difficult to do without sounding like a try hard Borat.

The owner of our hostel recommended a restaurant nearby for some good czech food which we decided to try. One thing that we have hated about many of the European countries is that people can smoke everywhere which includes restaurants at the table next to you!  Having smoke in my eyes while trying to eat may bring back fond memories of camping but only for the first 5 seconds.

Anyway....we found an area without too muh smoke and tried some of the local food.  Having been part of the Austro-Hungarian empire the food was very similar to that of Austria so we had more dumplings and goulash.  We also had a potatoe pancake with pork which was great and garlic soup which is a clear broth packed full of garlic.  I made sure Ly had some too so that I would not be the only one stinking of garlic for the next week.  We also had a beer and egg omlette stuffed with a Czech cheeze.  I washed it all down with a couple of Czech beers I can't remember the name of.  The whole meal came to around $20 and we were stuffed full.  I love eastern Europe!

Our room at the hostel actualy has a spa bath which we decided would be great after a long day of travel.  The hot water ran out after about five minutes but we still enjoyed sitting in the ankle deep water warm water until our toes wrinkled.  I also drank some local rum to keep warm which was probably the worst rum I have ever tasted although it may have beena really bad bourban because I'm a bit rusty with my Czech.

While we sat in the spa Ly told me the story of 'Flowers in the attic'.  I felt the children's pain of living in an attic as I hit my head once more on the ceiling before bed.

Went to sleep dreaming of dumplings.

Daniel + Ly
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