16 June 2011

Day 12: An expensive adventure!

Woke up at 5am in Germany to catch a 7am train. From there, the plan was to get to Munich by 8.30, catch the 9.01 to Prague, arrive in Prague at 2.44pm, and catch a cab to the hotel. Easy peasy lemon-squeezy, right?


Getting to Munich happened just fine, but when we went to board our train to go to Prague, we were stopped by a fellow passenger who told us that due to a transportation strike in the Czech Republic, the train would not make it to Prague. So, we're in Germany, trying to get to Prague. What to do?

First: confirm. We went to a ticket window, and the clerk confirmed that yes, in fact, the trains were not running in CR.

Second: explore options, preferably over coffee. We did this. We considered renting a car, buying a plane ticket, taking a bus. We tried to get online, but there was no place in the Munich train station where we could get online.

First we tried to rent a car. Cost prohibitive. We went down to the track to see if we could find some travelers to share the cost. We only found some Canadian backpackers, who were considering taking the train to Nuremberg and then hitchhiking to Prague. We found another couple who was going to train to Nuremberg and bus to Prague, but as we had heard that no public transit was traveling in Prague, we decided that the bus was a bad bet. We couldn't get online to book a flight.... So, in the end, we bit the bullet and rented a car. Before we left, we found the Canadians and offered them a lift.

The four of us took off from Munich and drove into the CR. Shortly after arriving in CR, we stopped for a rest, only to be given a citation by the cops for not having a permit to drive on the highway (kind of like a toll). It sure did seem like they were waiting for drivers who didn't speak Czech to cross the border without being able to read the signage about a big toll, but what can you do?

We finally got into Prague without much additional hassle, accepted a few bucks from the backpackers, got S checked in, the backpackers to their destination, and the car returned. When I got back to the apartment, S had unpacked, and we had a quiet afternoon of settling in and wrestling with the mobile phone. As dusk approached, we headed into town to meet up with some friends for a bite and some beer:

Brad and Lap, new best friends, enjoy some food and wine.

Harper smiles for the camera!

This restaurant is near the Charles Bridge and is so good that I ate there twice with my folks four years ago. The crazy-haired owner is still there.

Back at the main exhibition space (for sound folk), Brad, Steve, and Dodi (Dohdi? Dody? Doady?) pause for a smile.

John Taylor smirks. Where's Nancy Tobin for a night of debauchery?

We left the group to walk home. The trams were running infrequently due to the strike, so we hoofed it. Then, we got caught in a huge rainstorm.

So, here's what we got: a transit strike, an expensive rental car, Canadian backpackers, a yummy dinner, old and new friends, and a deluge.

Welcome to Prague!

No comments: