Monthly Archives

July 2014

Travel

Interrailling – Prague, Czech Republic

July 15, 2014


 The train to Prague was probably one of the hardest but most beautiful train journeys I’ve ever been on. Hungover and exhausted it was definitely an experience. And likewise for the Czech couple who held the curtains open as I took all these lovely pictures 🙂
The trains have little rooms with sliding doors, each with 6 seats, which you would think would make it really easy to sleep in. But with all the movement, plus how gorgeous it was out the window I barely got an hours sleep. Unlike Eamon who slept the whole way like a baby! Our view from our hostel made it all worth it though.

Prague was our first experience with a different currency. We hadn’t taken the time to figure out the rate of conversion, so we thought we were paying a bomb for everything when in fact when converted to euros afterwards, it was next to nothing! Well that was before we went to Budapest where we may well have been making money every time we bought a drink.

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The old town square was the first place we went to and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such a gorgeous place. The buildings are so detailed and beautiful. It felt like Disneyland. There was such a lovely atmosphere and the weather was amazing to top it all off.

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Our next stop was Petrin Hill. This is the highest point of Prague with gorgeous views of the city. Underneath the tower which is on top is a big park with walkways and fields. Such a fun, but long walk – But even as hungover as we were we somehow managed it haha!

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Day 2

After a traditional Czech dinner of duck, cabbage and dumplings we had a stroll around the city again. I couldn’t get over how amazing all the buildings were. I’ve never seen a city so equally pretty everywhere! It just looked so expensive and lavish, Berlin is like a different world. There was such a nice summery vibe with outdoors restaurants and street music.
Day 2
We started the morning again by strolling around and taking in all the architecture and beauty. My feet were about to fall off from all the walking but there really was so much to see. I think it’s fair to say that we didn’t waste a minute on this trip and we really did stick to that exhaustive to-do list, but how we did I don’t know as even thinking of all that walking is making me tired all over again!!

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One thing I noticed that I never expected was the crazy weather. It went from being pure blue skies and heat to thunder, lightening and rain. Here is a video of a storm we experienced while walking to dinner in Prague, luckily we made it into a doorway and weren’t stuck outside in it. Thanks to the kitchen staff who didn’t mind us blocking their entrance but I swear there was a bolt of lightning literally right outside that doorway and I was not going out in that!

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We said goodnight to rainy Prague with some Czech beer and a final look at that Old Town square, before heading off to catch our first full night train from 11.45pm until 6.30am: Praha > Wien. Little did we know then what was in store!

Travel

Interrailling First Stop – Berlin, Germany

July 14, 2014

We arrived in Berlin late on Friday the 4th of July, staying in the coolest hostel either us had ever been in. We had swimming pools you name it, but the location was the real highlight as we were just a couple minutes walk from the East Berlin Wall gallery. So that’s where we started our travels off, with a stroll down the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall that’s still standing. It’s gorgeous, covered in hundreds of paintings, each telling a story of this reborn city’s history.

In Berlin it’s (apparently) legal to drink on the streets, I don’t know if it was because it’s summer or because of Germany’s success in the World Cup but every second person I passed was drinking beer, no matter what time of  day it was –  all in all there was a constant energy about this place.

 

We stayed in PLUS hostel Berlin. With an indoor swimming pool, games room and huge garden it was filled with fellow interraillers and a really fun atmosphere. Also the staff were typically efficient!!

We started our first full day with a walking tour. Difficult in the heat, and while hungover, but it was really worth it. First stop was the Brandernburg Gate which I had been so excited to see for a long time. But between walking over Hitler’s bunker and trying to discover the mysterious meaning of the Holocaust memorial we got a feeling off the old Berlin, but also of the intentions to move on and build a new trendy and diverse one. Hitler’s bunker for example is now just a car park!!

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The Berlin Cathedral

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The Holocaust Memorial

 

 

Berlin really has two different sides, the east and the west, but also the poor and the well off, which is obvious by the buildings, and how well kept it is. Berlin is one of Germany’s poorest cities, which is strange as it’s the captial.  But while one side mightn’t be as rich it’s equally full of life and very popular among backpackers – we were a bit torn on which side we preferred in the end!
We ended our second night in Berlin by watching the quarter final World Cup game in an outdoor screening.

I met a German friend and got emotional watching my first World Cup game, It was a really fun night and we ended up in a very alternative nightclub watching future X Factor contestants dance – Don’t ask!
Our first train trip, to Prague, was leaving at 4:30am so we planned to go out until then and sleep on the train haha. Sounded like a good plan when we made it. One of us got more sleep than the other needless to say!