Train hopping

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Hlavní Mesto Praha,
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 12, Tuesday July 6

I leave Bielsko-Biała towards the border with the Czech Republic via a secondary road. Even still it is fairly busy close to town as it is early morning rush hour. The route is relatively level, but there are still up and down hills regularly. They don’t seem like much after biking through the mountains to get here.

     




I stop halfway to the border in a small town called Skoczˇw for a break. I have some delicious cake and espresso at a small little cukiernia/kawiarna.

 Somewhere along the road, going fast down a hill, I pass a.... UFO?! I stop to take a look. Someone took great detail in making it, and it sure would be a great load of fun having this in your back yard as a kid. I have some fun climbing in and around the landing pod, and then check out the koi pond next by. The fish notice me, and must be real hungry as they fight be the closest one.

I decide to head to Cieszyn as it is still the morning and I have lots of time to get to Ostrava in the Czech Republic, where I don’t expect the train to Prague until tomorrow. Who knows, maybe if I’m lucky there might even be a train leaving from the Czech side of Cieszyn, or Cesky Tesin as it is called.

Cieszyn is a beautiful town and I spend a while perusing the old town and castle before finding a cafe with wifi to check the train schedule. I’m in luck as there’s a train directly to Prague from the Czech side of town in an hour and a half.

At the train station the ticket lady understands me when I speak polish. Maybe Czech will be close enough that I’ll be able to get by in this country without any problems. There’s another train to Prague before mine, but I take the second one as it costs less, is a bit faster, and the first one takes the crowd of impatiently waiting passengers, so there will be more room for me in the second one.

In fact there is so much room that I’m all alone in the wagon for bicyclists for the first couple of stops. After that one more guy gets on. I don’t take much notice of him as I’m typing on my laptop. A little while later I’m surprised by someone massaging my shoulders. It’s the guy who got on at the last stop. I’m not too concerned at first, maybe he’s just a massagist who knows how stress can build up on a long bicycle trip. Then he starts getting a little too close. I have to continuously keep him from molesting me for the next little while until thankfully more bicyclists board the wagon at another station. I know I might be good looking, but this guy was just too much.

In Prague I wander around for a while before I find the information desk that can help me find a hostel, back at the train station. I choose to go for the cheapest place, and even still it turns out to be one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in. Large clean rooms with lots of space to put your stuff, wifi, a great bar with breakfast, and everything looked brand new.
On the way to find the hostel I pass the Saint Ludmila church, which has two steeples, each with its own clock. They don’t agree with each other though, and I have to check my watch to figure out what time it actually is.

It’s after ten by the time I clean up and everything. There are no restaurants open close by to the hostel that I can find, so I buy some extremely stale buns to finish off the last of my pasztet from Poland. Pasztet is a meat paste, and as far as I can tell it is simply cat food packaged for human consumption, but it makes for easy sandwiches when on the road. I wash down the stale buns with some Kofola, a Czech pop. I can’t really compare it to anything to describe it by as I don’t normally drink pop, but this one tastes amazing.
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