Mike, Darren and I had dutifully gone out last night to toast our arrival in the German capital, resolute in our shorts and shirt sleeves. All three of us are having trouble booting up this morning.
We check out, the last of the gang to do so, and force Darren to execute some token sightseeing and come to the Brandenburg Gate. When we get there, Albert and I note the absence of either a Soviet or Union flag to compliment the French tricolour and Star Spangled Banner.
We return to the enormous three tier Hauptbahnhof. We arrived last night on the upper level on our train from Hamburg. We depart from the lower underground level on an international City Night Line train to Prague.
The ride through the Elbe valley south of Dresden is rated as one of the most delightful train rides on the continent. And indeed it is. Our train also boasts a restaurant car, with high quality cooked food, affordable beer, and huge observation windows. The views are divine. We are in bliss. The term Bohemian is originally a French reference to Romanies, many of who migrated to France from the area in the middle ages. The term is fitting for our current lifestyle.
On arrival at we perform the first of what is to become a well drilled bag drop routine. Having dispensed with all that onerous luggage we launch an attack on the local transit system. Day passes bought, we score a tram and then a funicular up the hill. At the top we visit a famous pub which I am loath to repeat here. It’s not quite The Slaughtered Lamb but it’s not far off. The Velkopopvicky is probably the finest amber nectar available to humanity, and they’ve been serving beer here for centuries. They don’t really need your custom though, and you might get your camera stolen.
We then get the tram back down the hill and, via a great pig out of a restaurant, soak up Prague by evening. I was last here 22 years ago and I had forgotten how spectacular this great city is. We stroll over the Hogwartsian Karlovsky Bridge and through Prague’s dazzling Old City. Everyone is impressed. It’s probably the cultural highlight of the entire trip.
We return to the station for our just-past-midnight departure. One of our two six-person cabins already has an occupant, a young lady. She will have boarded somewhere in Germany and thought “great, a whole cabin to myself” before snuggling up for the night. She is soon to be awakened by a sound akin to a Saturn V at take off. Five middle aged blokes snoring their man tits off.
Start: In a dorm in Berlin
Train 14 – 12:46 Jan Jesenius Berlin to Praha
Finish: Full of beer waiting on Prague station for the sleeper to Vienna
Also on this day
Paul’s Photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_clarke/sets/72157634617447645/
Lloyd’s Blog http://www.lloydshepherd.com/2013/07/11/day-six-the-other-switzerland/
Darren’s Blog http://blog.darrenf.org/2013/07/shouting-prague-er-prague-er-lager.html
Dave’s Blog http://disorientateddave.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/back-on-track.html