Today was a travel day from Ceske Budejovice back to Prague, where we planned to spend several days. The train ride should have been a simple 2 1/2 hour trip, but was disrupted as we had to change from train to bus to train again (I’m assuming due to trackworks or something). Luckily we had the nicest train conductor in the Czech Republic, who managed to communicate this to us, in spite of speaking basically no English, and even came back just before we needed to leave the train, to make sure we’d understood. Top man.
It turned out to be harder getting from the Prague railway station to our hotel, even though I had written directions from GMaps, and it was only about a mile. I’d somehow never been to Prague railway station, probably a good thing as it is well dodgy – you see the same people going around and around and around, and they don’t look like bored travellers killing time before their trains. There was a definite seedy atmosphere, even at 1pm.
We managed to head in all sorts of wrong directions leaving the station, and when we did get on the right path it turned out that there were no footpaths, or we needed to cross major roads, or the footpaths were broken up and hard to walk on, and always there were seedy guys hanging around (or possibly we were paranoid). We took at least an hour to go 1500 metres.
Luckily the hotel itself was really nice (I actually felt a bit out of place and I’m struggling to remember how we got it – Prague isn’t super cheap, and this place was targeted at a more business crowd, but we didn’t pay much for it at all. Got lucky I guess).
By this point we were tired and a bit fed up, so we decided to use the rest of the day for errands – we went looking for a barber for me and did some washing – we managed to find a laundromat that targeted itself at tourists and at expats (the laundromat not really being a Czech custom, apparently). The place had computers with free internet access and was full of American college students (mostly female, gossiping) and a handful of Australians (male, planning which pub crawl to join). Nice place though, better being online than doing nothing while the washing finishes.
I think (writing this a week or so later) that today was the day we completely broke with our plans to only eat local food, and went to McDonalds. It was actually really good (you would hope so, seeing as it cost about the same as it would anywhere else, which makes it very expensive by Czech standards).