A Travellerspoint blog

Day Trip

Prague, Czech Republic

Today I took the tour around the city, which was very good and interesting.

After the city tour was a tour of Prague Castle, which I also took. I said I'd gone to the top of Prague Castle yesterday, but that was to the top of the monastery in Prague Castle. I'm tempted to re-edit the last post to fix my mistake but I'm resisting.

Prague Castle is actually an area of buildings that are just surrounded by a castle wall. We went all round the place.

One really interesting point was a spot on a small raised circle in the middle of a semicircle of steps. When someone is standing on the spot they hear their voice as if it is being amplified and they are standing in a huge tin can. But their voice is still normal to everybody else. It is really weird.

Accoustics.jpg

Even though the two tours took the entire day, and the day has been really good, I've got not much to post about since most of it is a stream of small things that are muddled together by now.

One thing is that I've had a sore throat for a couple of days, which today has turned into a runny nose. So I must have the flu.

I needed to do laundry either tonight, I know I've been doing that alot, but I only have three pairs of pants and in Berlin there is smoking in pubs and clubs. That with drinking myself makes me only want to use pants for one day in Berlin. So today was the second day in my last pair of pants.

Unfortunately tomorrow is a day tour that isn't every day of the week, so I wanted to get a load done for tomorrow. Otherwise I would need to do it tomorrow morning and do the tour later.

Fortunately, there was a laundry place open after the second tour. So I went there to get it done to go onto the tour tomorrow.

Unfortunately, even though there was time for a wash and a dry, it needed a second dry, which I couldn't do as the place was closing. With the flu I am especially keen about not wearing damp clothing. But unfortunately I had to wear my jacket wet and the walk back, and it has gotten cold. I've spread the clothing out on chairs and a table near the radiator (though not too close). Hopefully it should be dry then as I don't want to waste the day trip tomorrow on drying clothing when I'd already gone to the trouble doing laundry tonight.

Posted by cannon_fodder 12:43 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Prague Castle

Prague, Czech Republic

I got up too late for the day tour, but at least caught up on sleep. So spent the morning getting breakfast (takes a long time due to me wandering the city for something).

Then spent midday researching where the things on my extensive list are to be better prepared. Kind of a waste of the time but I think I should be better able to work out how to multiple things on each day better.

I then went down to the lobby for the tour that starts at 2, but I was supposed to meet them in the city center instead of the hostel like the morning one. I could almost make it but was told I could see the Prague Castle instead, which won't be part of the tour and I can take the tour tomorrow.

I went to it and the castle looked amazing.

PragueCastle.jpg

I went to the top to look out and the stairway the kind I've been getting used to, was grueling. Not sure if it was longer than usual or if there was some other factor, but it was really difficult to climb. But the view was definitely worth it. I also got to see everybody else struggle while going down the stairs.

Once again though I was too late for any guided tour around the castle. There is plenty of stuff around the castle I still want to see, so I might go to it a second time to do a tour.

Afterwards I went to The Hanging Pub for tea since it was recommended, which was really good.

I'd heard about a hackers' convention today, which I was planning to go to after tea. But the time to get food at the pub was really long, and the travel times were long, so by the time I left the pub it was about 8:45. 9:35 by the time I got to the rough place of the convention.

But I absolutely couldn't find it. I was worrying about the time, which they may have finished anyway, but I found the spot anyway and htere was nothing there. It was almost like the secret buildings in Harry Potter where it just isn't there, and the neighbor buildings seem to be up against each other, unless you were invited by the secret keeper. But in any case, I missed it, which I'm kinda bummed about.

Tomorrow I should be able to do the day tour of the city center now that I know the time.

Posted by cannon_fodder 14:18 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Transit

Berlin, Germany to Prague, Czech Republic

Got up and checked out this morning fine. Though tired.

I took the train to Prague, which took most of the day. German Border Police checked my passport, not just checking the first page to confirm my country of nationality, but thumbing through the passport pages. He was probably just looking for stamps for specific countries, but it made me thankful I hadn't gotten anything like the East Berlin stamp.

I thought the hostel was pretty close to the station and city center, but Google lied to me, making me go to the wrong place in the wrong direction. I finally got to the hostel then went out again to dinner. Ended up just getting a kebab since I had gone a long way without settling on anything else.

I passed a section of the street that had two huge stripclubs opposite each other and proceded to get touted worse than I ever have been. Possibly outdoing anything in Thailand. Or perhaps not, but it seemed like it. They needn't bother since I was really tired and had my bag with me, which I would be too protective of to actually go into any of them.

The place I booked was for a single room as a break from a dorm. I thought I'd screwed up and booked something expensive on entering. It is actually an apartment so is more lavish than anything I've been in. Though I felt better when realising that the bedrooms are the only private part, the rest of the apartment is shared with another bedroom.

Part of the fear was that I had converted some currency, so knew the exchange rate, but it is still hard since there isn't a clean exchange rate with Euros and the values are so different from each other. And so I would then do a rough conversion to Euros then a rough conversion to AUD. So I didn't know if the amount I'd paid was actually what I thought I'd booked, or a larger amount.

I have recently done a direct conversion between AUD and crowns on the internet and it was 20 to 1. So that is a much cleaner conversion and should make things much easier from now.

There is a guy here from Berlin, and he saw me come in while waiting for a pub crawl. I had to turn down the offer though since I really need to catchup on sleep and have an alcohol free night. Said I might go out with them tomorrow night.

Posted by cannon_fodder 15:16 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Flea Market

Berlin, Germany

As you can guess, a slow morning.

I went to a flea market since it was a recommended thing to do on a Sunday. I started off looking like a normal market, though after going through it a bit I started seeing a few interesting things. Nothing worth buying though.

I then walked up the huge park the flea market is next to. In the middle of which is the Berlin Victory Column.

BerlinVictoryColumn.jpg

You can get inside and climb upto the top to see out of. Which, even though the novelty has worn off after Paris and other cities, I of course did. What I didn't realise from looking at it is that the tower gradually tapers to a smaller width as it goes up. So you are going up this long, spiral staircase, which is uncomfortable narrow to accustom people going up and down. And that is at the start, gradually it grows narrower and narrower until near the top when there is a huge line since only one person can go up or down at a time. The stairs had some resting benches at certain points and it was only at the third one, which was suddenly a one person bench instead of two person, that I realised what was happening.

The vista was okay, but the top was too small for the number of people and it was horribly cramped.

Getting back to the hostel, I had a sleep then packed my bag so that there would be a minimum of mucking around before leaving in the morning since people would still be sleeping.

I went drinking at the pub but didn't go out with the other guys this time, needing the sleep for the travel to Prague.

Posted by cannon_fodder 14:52 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

A Slow Day and a Long Night

Berlin, Germany

Today I woke late due to staying up last night. As well as sleeping in a little, I also wasted time trying to get ready for the day. Looking up stuff for where I was going and updating this diary.

I went to the proper Stasi Museum, which I was a little worried about since it is off my map, so had to go off the directions I had written down while I had access to the map on the internet. But I got there and back fine.

The museum was okay, but I thought it was going to be the museum that had the interrogation techniques and the way they kept and interrogated suspects. But this was more of the stuff I'd seen yesterday. Though some stuff was interesting. They had examples of the surveillance equipment they used, like the briefcase camera and a camera in a railroad sleeper.

Afterwards I went to Checkpoint Charlie since I thought the KGB station there was where the stuff I was looking for was and I'd gotten it mixed up. But whether it was there or not I wasn't able to find it.

After going back to the hotel, I caught up on some needed sleep. I was going to have a quiet night though I thought I'd have one or two drinks with the guys but not go out with them. Ended up going to the pub in the hostel, where I started talking to a couple of people, and against my best intentions, followed them to the club they wanted to go to.

I left them there since they were staying out much later, but it was still very late. The place was interesting though. They played really hard techno in what seemed to be a bomb shelter complex. The place was all underground and all the walls were thick concrete. It was on several floors with concrete and steel staircases going between them. Regretted not carrying a camera since nothing was supposed to happen that night.

Posted by cannon_fodder 03:45 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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