After going to bed at 2:00 am, I briefly woke up at 4:45 am to notice that is was completely bright outside. With the latitude of Madrid relatively equal to that of New York, Berlin is a bit further north and gets a lot of daylight in the summer and but only 8 hours in the winter. I woke back up at 6:00 am, packed my things, and then took the metro to Berlin’s main station. While waiting for my train, I killed some time in a bookshop and browsed the photography magazines. One of them had a 3-page article about taking pictures in Venice that I filed away in my memory.
The train ride from Berlin to Prague was pretty uneventful except for the people in front of me not having a ticket. The conductor came by and the card they had wasn’t valid. They went back and forth for about 20 minutes before she took his ID card and then charged him what looked like a heavy fine – he didn’t seem too happy about it.
I got to Prague around 1:30 pm. It’s a pretty strange feeling to walk into a train station and not understand anything and just relying on the pictures of the signs. I then had to find an ATM to get some Czech currency (still not sure what it’s called). I got 5000 Kc (about 200 USD) but it gave it to me in 1000 bills. The kiosk for the metro only took coins so I walked into a small store and got some candy. The lady wasn’t too happy that I was using a 1000 Kc note to pay for a 20 Kc piece of chocolate, but I told her that’s all I have and she eventually took it. I grabbed the C line and got off two stops later at the closest station to my hostel. I could have gotten a tram from there, but didn’t know if I needed another ticket, so I just did the 15 minute walk instead.
I got to my hostel around 2:30pm, checked in, and then watched a couple soccer matches while I used the free Wi-Fi in the bar. After eating an early dinner, I slept for a couple hours and then woke up around 8:30 pm just In time to watch the USA – England soccer match. I went back downstairs to the bar and it was pretty packed, but I recognized someone I know from Clemson through a mutual friend. I sat down and watched the remainder of the match with him and his girlfriend, along with another American (who happened to be from Clemson too) and an Australian. It’s pretty crazy that you can be halfway around the world and run into someone you know from such a small town like Clemson.
Prague is pretty cheap. During the matches, there were happy hour prices for draft beer: 25 Kc or about 1 USD and we ended up getting some pizza around 11:45pm (about 8 USD for a 45cm Salami pizza). I believe the further east you travel, the cheaper it gets so these next couple weeks should be good. After Prague, I’m going to Krakow, Poland (and seeing Auschwitz) and then to Kiev, Ukraine.
Tomorrow, I’m going to take a couple of tours in Prague and then try and take pictures of the castle at night if the weather is good.
Oh, and no pictures in today’s post. I think this is the first day since my trip started on May 15th that I haven’t taken any pictures.