Czechmate

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, July 30, 2012

     It's been a long time in the making, but finally, here is my blog on the Czech Republic.    

     Unfortunately it's been tough lying in the Greek Islands and motivating myself to write a Czech blog, however I did manage to write a football blog about the Czech League when I was in Athens.    

     We arrived in Prague after one of the worst night train experiences imaginable - but hey it's all part of travelling right?    

     We left Krakow at 10pm, in over 30 degree heat, humid and cramped on an overnight train with no fans or air-con. Cool, huh?    

     We knew there'd be 6 of us in the little sleeper cabin, but with no fans or air-con it was unbearable.    

     For the first 2-3 hours before it called down, our whole carriage had their heads out the window, trying to get whatever sort of breeze we could. You'd think that'd be all? No.    

     Our train was due to arrive in the Czech capital at around 7am, so when I woke up at 9.30am and we were still moving alarm bells started to ring.    
    
      When our train left Poland it was joined by two others, one going to Budapest and one going to Vienna, and during the middle of thing night each train would break off and go its seperate ways.    

     We found out that when a train breaks off it needs two train cars to pull it. Only 1 turned up. We had a 5 hour delay in the middle of the night waiting for the other one.    

     So basically we arrived at midday. 14 hours. No biggie.    

     It was all forgotten once we had a good look at Prague. A beautiful big square and fantastic churches, town halls, the usual.    

     Then there was the Charles Bridge, in it's own special way it rivals the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

     Old, beautiful, markets as you walk across as well as gargoyles and Christian sculptures.

     Beautiful, except when a torrential storm hit when we were halfway across the bridge.    

     We met up with 3 English blokes who were in the cabin next to us on the train, and we went on the Clock Tower pub crawl around Prague.    

     Organised drinks and venues, pretty good value and night out. I'd say around 50-60 people at least, most be very loud English...

     Chanting as they went from pub to pub, certainly got the attention of the police.    

     The next day was one I was most looking forward to. A recovery lunch, a quick look around town before heading off to the Czech football match. Slavia Prague v Jihlava.    

     I've written about it in the match blog, but the general jist was:    

      Got bogus directions. Turned up at half time. 0-3 down at half time. Fantastic second half fight back. Finished 3-3. Former Sydney FC man Karol Kisel was strong. Small but crazy atmosphere.    

     And that was basically it for Prague. We had an early flight the next morning to get to Athens and to get ready for the heat and the sun.    
  
      Prague was beautiful as we'd come to expect from eastern Europe. A shame we couldn't see more of the eastern bloc, but hey, the sun of Greece is calling.
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