Day 68: No room at the inn

Trip Start Oct 17, 2013
1
69
158
Trip End Mar 22, 2014


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Where I stayed

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We spent our last morning in Prague climbing a hill. It was slightly colder than yesterday morning but sunny none the less. We made our way across town without getting lost this time. We took possibly the steepest, and at times, the muddiest path up the hill. I swear, I do not know who designed the path up this steep hill, but it had no switchbacks and it really did just go straight up. We were afraid for our return journey because we did not want to slip and fall. (We ended up taking the stairs down... I wish we would have taken them up in the first place). 

We took in the views from the top of the hill and strolled through the gardens. There was not much to see in the gardens because everything was winterfied and bundled up. We made our way over to the lookout tower that looked like the Eiffel tower. We were going to go up the tower but they charged a rediculous amount to enter the observation room and you had to pay extra to use the elevator to get up to the room. We figured that the views could not possibly be that much different a mere 50 feet higher up. Besides, we had a train to catch. 

We fully expected the train station to be packed with travelers and we were shocked when we walked in and it was almost empty. At first I was worried that the trains were not running but a quick check of the board told us we were leaving from track 4J. We only stopped by the first class lounge again because we had about 10 minutes to kill. They could have at least put out some peanuts for Christmas. 

The ride out to Pilsen was short, just an hour and a half. The countryside became way more interesting. It was filled with forests, cliffs off in the distance and hills. We would have liked to stop and trek through some of the woods that we saw... maybe some other time. At one point John saw a man rock climbing by himself on a pretty steep rock face. I don't think that is something I would enjoy doing alone... what if something happened?

We arrived in Pilsen with low expectations for the hostel that we had made reservations for. We made the reservations about a month before becuase we thought that this would be a cute town to spend Christmas Eve in. Also, if you book a month in advance you get a good discount on the room. We even got an email confirmation from the company saying that we had a reservation made for tonight. Printed reservation in hand, we started walking into town.

Our expectations were dead on. We showed up to the building that was indicated on the website and went to reception. First off I would like to say that these buildings looked like the projects of any major city. Building after building was the same, they were painted in bright colors (some sort of attempt to make it look less ghetto and more cheery I guess) and we could hear people yelling at each other from pretty much every open window. Back to reception... the man spoke NO english. Nothing. Not even hello. He looked at the reservation print out that we handed him, got a super confused look on his face, shook his head no and pointed to the road and then to another building. Ugh. We walked to that building and met a woman in reception (who may or may not have been associated with the first building) who also spoke NO english. She looked at our print out and motioned for us to go back to the building that we just came from. She did not seem to understand that we did not understand her and she just kept talking to us. Finally she walked us back over to the first building, talked with the man, they both shook their heads no, and we walked back to her building. We are guessing that he knew nothing of the reservation and did not have room for us. She tried to tell us that we could stay with her but at this point I was getting so sad about spending Christmas Eve in the projects with potentially a stinky sleeping situation that I just looked at John and said "There is a Marriot in town, do you want to stay there?" Two seconds later we making our way across town to the Marriot. 

We feel a bit like sellouts for spending the night as such a nice place. In reality it is right around $100 and we get a buffet breakfast for Christmas morning. We have a huge, clean king sized bed, a nice shower, no roommates and a television. It almost seems like a dream being in such a nice place. We both feel like we deserve it after staying in some pretty dodgy places for the past 67 days. Don't hate : ) Still, no nice hotel or good breakfast could replace being home with family right now. I am really missing home but I know it will be there when we get back. 

In Pilsen we set off to explore the town and to get a Pilsner beer on tap. The beer is made right here in town and is the original Pilsner beer in the world. We quickly noticed that everything, and we mean everything, was closed. Only the shady casinos are open and they do not have the beer on tap. We must have walked around for 2 hours looking for a place to serve a beer and to get some dinner. No luck. We returned to the room after seeing the town church and synagogue (3rd largest in the world) and had a gross dinner. We had waffles, yogurt, olives and peanuts. I have heartburn now just thinking about it. We came across a bar that supposedly opens soon and we will venture out there to see if the sign on the door is true. Really though, I just want to go curl up in the nice big bed waiting for me. 

Merry Christmas Eve!!
 
Next stop: Berlin, Germany

 # of countries: 19
# of cities: 42
# of bus rides: 11
# of taxis: 2
# of trains: 82
# of flights: 3
#of monies found: 6.60 Euros, 8.05 soles, 5 cents American, 10 cents Bolivian,1 cent Canadian, 15 swiss francn'cents , 11 Czech Republic things, 5 cents Croatian, 2 Hungarian fillers (no longer in use), 10 Romanian lei cents 
# of New beers: 50
# of times we did laundry: 3
#of languages we know how to say Butterfly in: 15
# of holes in Amberīs sneakers: 3
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

cowlady18
cowlady18 on

I hope you check Lonely Planet for quirky places to stay in Berlin!
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/germany/berlin/hotels/quirky-places-to-stay-in-berlin

Cheryl.Peter on

It was wonderful to Skype with you. It is still snowing here. Cheryl shouldbe in the air returning home. I hope you are able to find a place to get a local beer to drink. Enjoy the room you deserve it. Merry Christmas. Hope to Skype with from Berlin.

Josh on

We all are with you in spirit! You will have some surprises from home in less than a week! See you soon ...

cowlady18
cowlady18 on

Ein gesegnetes Weihnachtsfest!

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