A Travellerspoint blog

Day 51, Prague

storm 22 °C

We appeared from our room in our spanking new outfits around the same time as everyone else this morning. We ate a nice breakfast Anna made us together. (Not actually talking, we were at a different table.) Feeling good we left our place for the attractions. We hopped off the tram in front of a camera store. Sweetest camera store ever! We bought a new camera battery charger for 880 Czech crowns. That is 35.2 euros for those who are not good at math, myself included. Far less than we thought it would be, we were pleased.
We sauntered over to the Astronomical clock, the start of our free walking tour. At 1100 sharp the clock started whirling and we saw the quick show you’ll be talked into seeing if you ever come to Prague. I’m not saying it was bad, but for such hype I would think there would be more to it. Anyway, the glory (in my opinion) isn’t in the show but in the history. It’s an astronomical clock from the 1400s meaning that the sun and the moon positioning are calculated around the earth. There is also a clock naming the apostle day of the year. Notable is the popular myth, the maker of the clock, Master Hanus, had his eyes burned out with a hot poker by city councillors after he finished it making it, to prevent him making another more remarkable one in any other city. Hmmmm.
The tour took us around to all the desirable sights and was, once again, a wonderful tour. In the end I came away admiring the Czech spirit and determination. Our tour guide’s mother has lived in 8 different countries in her life, all without leaving Prague. How about that for world traveller! We ended with lunch in the Old town square where we spotted some delicious spit roasting pig. We ended up paying an exuberant amount of money for two pieces. I’m not actually going to tell you how much, it is very embarrassing. Suffice to say that it was a mistake and we ate cereal for dinner. We went (and stayed) home with our tail between our legs.

Posted by s-a 17:01 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged prague Comments (3)

Day 50, Prague

overcast 27 °C

The train pulled into Berlin Central at 0615 and we hopped off. We found our platform and some coffee. When our train departed at 0645 we settled in for a long ride. The train took us through Germany along what I believe to be the Elbe river. Picturesque little towns peaked through the trees and terraced farms sat along the hillsides. When we crossed the boarder from Germany to the Czech Republic the distinction was immediate. The buildings were bigger and run down, the communist era apartment blocks are visible from everywhere. The signs all have little accents here and there and the people look a little more worn.

We got off the train at 1145. Prague looked sunny and cute from the train station so we ventured outside after picking up some Czech crowns. Instead of metros everything in Prague is accessible by tram. In our haste bought really expensive three day tickets and got on. The trains are a mix of old and new and every station is labeled thoroughly (thank goodness!) We made a transfer and finally got to our b&b. It’s not actually classed as a b&b, but as a hostel, however, there are no dorms only private rooms, the breakfast is included and the owner is a very cute little old lady named Anna who is very eager to please. She showed us around on a map and brought us to our room.
We were so happy to be able to unpack! We left to find a quick lunch and some one euros beer! (1 euro! for 500mL!) We came back and showered and left around 1600. We went to Wenceslas Square to do some shopping. Four hours later, at 2000, we finally left with an outfit each. We dropped off our bag and went back out to get milk and eat dinner. While at dinner, as Shane was finishing his last beer, a guy asked to sit down beside us (in an empty restaurant.) Not wanting to be rude we let him and he proceeded to ask and answer incoherent questions. He was very drunk and awkward. Shane said afterward that if he had told us to “chill” one more time he would have punched him. We left quickly.

Unfortunately one bad thing led to another and upon returning home I realized I had left my camera charger in Copenhagen. I swore I wouldn’t be that unlucky person, but here I stand, dumb as a mule. I might have cried myself to sleep.

Posted by s-a 16:54 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged prague Comments (2)

Day 49, Copenhagen

sunny 26 °C

We woke up early this particular morning to an old man barging into our room telling us to go clean the toilet. "Someone made a mess and they needed to clean it up." None of us had been to the toilet long enough to make a mess so early in the morning, so we denied it of course. He pointed a finger at Shane laying in bed still and said “You! It was you!” Shane got really mad and said “I TOOK A PISS!” The guy hollered that it had to have been one of us and slammed the door as he went back to his room. Shane got up right away and stormed over there. He opened the door and yelled at the guy that he better get his shit straight before he goes accusing people of making a mess in the toilet and called him an asshole in front of 5 other people in the room. What a way to wake up!
We ate our breakfast and checked out of the hostel, after we payed (!!) them to store our bags for the day. We went to Rosenborg Castle and paid an astonishing amount of money to see the interior (as well as a 2 euro photography fee.) It was a nice palace, but we ended feeling ripped off. We walked on over to Amalienborg Palace, which is a facility still used my the Danish royalty. We got some lunch and then bought a hand painted one-of-a-kind elephant as a souvenir. It’s really awesome and quite a unique piece.
there was a lot of these funny pictures
We hung out in a park for a few hours waiting for the minutes to tick by. There is always a lot to see in a park especially in the middle of a rich city. There were plenty of new mothers pushing prams (yes actual prams) and families on bicycles. There were couples holding hands and a lot of girls in their bras. Probably the most entertaining was the 15 year old snobby rich kids in their designer clothes drinking beer, smoking and acting cool. Eventually I couldn’t deal with the teenagers and we moved to a coffee shop on the worlds longest pedestrian street. We people watched, judging styles for a while, drinking our 3.5 euro coffee. After we grabbed some food for dinner we picked up our packs.
the king's throne is made of narwhal tusks!
We waddled to the train station with 230 kroner burning holes in our pockets. We tried to spend it all at 7/11 but it didn’t work! To much junk not enough room in our stomachs! We caught a train to Malmo with a detour at the airport. People started pushing onto the train we thought it would be nice to stand and give the crowded people a little more room, so the doors could close. Instead, much to our dismay, more and more people shoved on and the train stood there for 8 minutes not able to move. We made it off the train after crossing the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, where we saw a boat sinking.
We spent the last of our kroner on ice cream and french fries while we waited for the train. Our overnight train departed at 2131 and by 2230 we were at the ferry terminal waiting to be let on. We were allowed off the train as long as we were back by 0200. There was a lightening storm all around us, so we grabbed our camera and jackets and spent some time outside watching the sparks fly and the thunder roar. We got soaking wet in the driving rain as we floated out to sea. Once we were cold and wet enough we sat inside playing cards.
Back in the train car we tried to sleep but it was ridiculously hot. I haven’t missed my air-conditioned room at home more than that night.
a great dane? get it? get it??

Posted by s-a 16:29 Archived in Denmark Tagged copenhagen Comments (2)

Day 48, Copenhagen

sunny 25 °C

I guess this was bound to happen
We wanted to get out of the city for the day so we fired up Google. It turned up with a town on the other side of the island called Frederikssun and the Fjord Path. We took the train across the island. Unfortunately on Sunday in Denmark almost everything is closed including tourist information. We walked in the direction of the water, pausing once to watch the Canucks/Boston highlights on someone’s TV. The Fjord Path is 170 km long and goes in a circle through a bunch of towns. It’s not well known on the internet, but that doesn’t mean that people didn’t know about it. It seems it was well suited for a Sunday afternoon stroll.
shane and a big crab claw
jelly fish!

Once we found the harbour we made a few right turns and ended up in a swampy smelly mess complete with a lot of jelly fish. Did you know there were jellyfish in the Baltic Sea? I did not. We took a few left turns to correct ourselves and suddenly found the path. It went along some “beautiful beaches” as someone put it to us. Beautiful? Depends on your definition, I was just in Greece so seaweed and slime don’t really do it for me. But the Danes seemed to be loving it! The rocky path turned into meadow with tall grasses blowing and white flowers perfuming every way.
The town of Frederikssun is full of beautiful houses and wonderful views. It’s the exact place I think of when I dream of Scandinavia. Tidy yards and inviting porches with chatty grandchildren playing outside. The traffic is scarce and then sun is comfortable. And the little town is quite and quaint.
We stopped for lunch in this meadow enjoying a black pepper baguette and some Danish butter along with an apple and some toasted pecans. It was time to bring back the picnic. The meadow lead to some woods which turned into an industrial road. We questioned each other a little about whether this was right before deciding to continue. Eventually we happened upon a sign indicating we were in fact right and heading straight towards some fields filled with (really cute) baby sheep and grazing cows. This was where we turned around. The intense heat from the sun was taking it’s toll and we were getting tired.
he likes to braid me grass jewlery, I don't know why

When we got back into town we found a corner store open. We left with two beers and an ice cream bar. It was like a beer float in my stomach! We ran onto the departing train and spent the next hour in a very sweaty train car. Why can’t transit systems remember that is gets extremely hot inside train cars during the summer??? A few more windows would be nice at the very least!
look at that playoff beard! It sure is getting mangey
Dinner was a costly affair. I am really not liking this feeling of constantly being gouged at every turn. 5 euros for tap water!?!? We ate 15 euro-per-plate noodles and left. Next we turned to one of the 5.5 million 7/11s in this city, for beer which it delivered. We enjoyed it in the golden evening sunlight, watching the ceaseless stream of young, too-hip Danes biking towards home(or another party). Full of beer and noodles, we retired to repack our bags for the 20 billionth time, and get some sleep.

Posted by s-a 22:25 Archived in Denmark Tagged copenhagen Comments (2)

Day 47, Copenhagen

sunny 26 °C

beer before 1100?

When I got up to use the washroom at 0300 I looked outside and noticed that is wasn’t totally dark. We are far enough north that there is always a hint of light around the sky. I think that is rather cool. Our breakfast of (frugal) champions now consists of a delicious cereal, a piece of fruit and instant coffee. Yes. We’ve come down somewhere, I think it happened in Germany when we figured out we didn’t like paying a fifth of our daily budget on breakfast. It tastes fine and it cheap.
We toured Christiania in the morning feeling slightly uncomfortable in the hippy commune who had taken over a section of the city there. The sentence over a pathway out of the neighborhood said “You are now entering the EU” which made me wonder if someone killed me right there, would the police come?
We saw tall boats and traditional houses and couples lounging on the canals. After getting right gross and sweaty we had some “lunch” at a bakery. It was a fantastic pastry and two cups of coffee. We walked down the water to see the statue of the little mermaid, which was quite crowded. We drank a beer in the shade of a few old trees atop a hill. We walked down to the National Gallery of Denmark a free museum here.
The paintings were right up our alley. 19th and 20th century (Danish) paintings, my favourite kind. And free! FREE! It was air conditioned and we took our time. In a few of the rooms there were headphones playing nice music, so we stopped and listened a while. We headed back to the hostel to shower before dinner. Thats when the music started. It appeared Distortion was happening outside our hostel this night. We watched the crazy people all high on...drugs dancing and drinking and peeing in the streets. A resident we talked to later said that the organizers behind Distortion had promised to clean up the mess left by the visitors. This clearly hadn't happened and the residents weren’t happy about it.
I took Shane to a vegetarian buffet for dinner. You should have seen the huffing and puffing he was doing! Apparently he doesn’t like paying for food that doesn’t contain meat! I thought it was good anyway and a few vegetables certainly didn’t kill him.
espresso from a truck
The views from our ninth floor room are over Tivoli Park. You can hear the screams of people on the roller coasters all evening long. It also has a wonderful view of the sunset, which we like to look at while we wind down at night. It also requires a curtain to block the light from when we go to sleep because it’s still quite light at 2300.

Posted by s-a 18:23 Archived in Denmark Tagged copenhagen Comments (3)

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