After another Bratislava breakfast of sheep’s cheese toast and coffee at Shtoor, I headed back to the hostel for my luggage and walked to the train station. The people in the train station were much more helpful in Slovakia than in the other train stations I’d passed through during this trip, so I had no problem finding my platform… except I didn’t know that Prague is actually spelled “Praha” in Czech and Slovakian! I kept thinking, “Praha? Is that the name of the Prague train station? Only later did I realize that “Praha” IS Prague!
The train ride was about four hours, maybe a little less, but it was definitely a bit uncomfortable. I got spoiled with the direct train from Warsaw to Krakow, and then the private night train cabin on my way to Bratislava! This was an older train, I guess, with much smaller seats, but it got me from point A to point B, and that’s what mattered!
And then came the challenge… finding my way to the Prague Hilton. I got a quick snack and changed my money over to Czech Koruna, then made my way to the information desk, thinking that would be the place to get the best information—boy was I mistaken! I stood in line for about 20 minutes before anyone was available to help me, and then the girl gave me incorrect directions! She said to turn left out of the train station and keep on Wilsonova, but I should have trusted my gut and gone right! I ended up walking 30 or more minutes in the opposite direction, and by the time I figured that out, I was already on the other side of Prague! I went inside a hotel to ask directions again, and the woman was so rude! My first experience in Prague was definitely not a good one—walking through the “bad” part of town and meeting up with rude and unhelpful receptionists!
At any rate, I did get a map and the right directions (she gave me the information begrudgingly, but I was carrying all my luggage and had just walked a long way—I didn’t care how rude she was as long as I got the info!), and so I set out again! Back past the train station, over the bridge (it was actually not pedestrian-friendly, which surprised and disappointed me being in Europe! But after two hours (and a few tears later), I made it!
On to nicer things! The friends I was supposed to meet at the hotel had left me a note at the front desk, so I was able to check in and get my key, dump my stuff, and go to the lounge to meet up with everyone! My friends and their friend Steve (my friends’ marathon-running co-worker) were all sitting there waiting for me.
And off we went! We roamed around Prague and got some pictures, we looked around at where the guys would be running the next morning, and we found a great place for supper—hooray for Czech food!
I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but I got the goulash in a bread bowl—very Czech! It was excellent, and I was really hungry, too, from walking so long.
I also tried some of Jen’s dumplings with farmer’s cheese and fruit in them—which were so good! That was actually on my list of things I needed to eat while I was here, so that put me in a good mood and got the Prague leg of my trip off on a better foot.
Next up… bedtime! We were all pretty pooped either from jetlag or walking or both, so we walked back over to the hotel and settled in for the night. Oh, how I love a big comfy bed!