Saturday, October 14, 2006

Travel Bit: Prague

I completed the Berlin marathon about 12:45pm on Sunday September 24th. At 7:10pm that evening my friend JK and I were on a flight to Prague. Because if you stand still, you risk spontaneous human combustion. Or something.

We checked in at the Intercontinental Hotel. Here we were treated as highly valued guests as part of American Express' fine hotel and resort program; a comedown from exploiting JK's exalted "lifetime Diamond Club member" status at the Hyatt, but still much better than I live my regular life.

For dinner we caught up with one of JK's consulting clients (on vacation from North America) who also had a friend in tow. After JK and I slept late on Monday, we all played tourist through to Tuesday night.

JK and I didn't tour the castle; having visited Prague extensively he has already toured it, and I was happy enough just to see the structure (the largest ancient castle in the world, according to Guinness World Records). It certainly is a dominant and imposing sight - no wonder that Franz Kafka wrote The Castle.

The things all four of us did tour:
o the Jewish Quarter;
o the Veletrzni Palace (the modern art permanent exhibition of the National Gallery);
o Wenceslas Square; and
o the Old Town Square (we did watch the astronomical clock strike the hour).
We also attended a string quartet performance in the Church of Saint Martin in the Wall - I was surprised by how good the acoustics were.

Amongst some of my friends I'll have bragging rights for dinner on Tuesday night. We all ate at Franz Kafka Restaurant; it's off the Old Town Square in the building where Franz Kafka was born. Didn't spot any roaches, though.

JK and I left Prague on a 7:15am flight to Stuttgart on Wednesday September 27th. Interestingly, all the flights from Prague that morning left in a block from 7:00am to 7:20am. It seems that Prague is an inexpensive place to store airplanes overnight, so there's a burst of flights out in early the morning, with those jets fanning out on multiple-hop routes.

The downside for us was the handling of lines for passport control. We were at the airport at a reasonable hour, but emigration control was not staffed to smoothly cope with the morning surge of people for those clustered flights. So on the third morning after the marathon I did a baggage-laden airport sprint as the intercom speaker called for JK and I to make it to the gate or be left behind. Good times! And I guarantee that I made a new personal best. :-D

3 Comments:

Blogger Wendy said...

You see, it sounded so lovely. The sights, the sounds ... and then there is the whole airport sprint thing. I wonder what Garmina would have said?

10/14/2006 05:10:00 pm  
Blogger Brent Buckner said...

Garmina would have said, "Personal best in an airport, baby, personal best!" Of course, she would have said it in numbers, but I would have understood her meaning.

10/14/2006 05:34:00 pm  
Blogger EuropeanTop said...

Hello and thanks for the opportunity to read and post on your blog.

I’ve just posted an article related to travel tips for seniors on my blog and I thought maybe you’d be interested in reading it. Here is short preview of some of the areas I covered:

- Prefer a backpack on wheels instead of a suitcase, you could pull it behind you when your back hurts or you are exhausted.
- Consider checking your bag in with the airlines, because it would become an unnecessary burden to be dragged all over the airport or the city if you are going to have a short visit.
- You could stay outside the city, in a hostel maybe, because it is cheaper, less crowded and the air is much fresher, but you have to walk or use the transport more, to get in the city or to the station.
- Most museums, some concert halls, railways, airlines, bus lines, ferry and shipping lines have a discount policy for seniors.
- Electronic devices are useful but sometimes they can give you a lot of headaches. You could help yourself with a micro-tape recorder to record your notes. It would be easier than to write and you would put them down on paper later, to share your notes with your family.
- If you bring a camera with you to keep the beautiful images alive along the time then make sure you know how to handle it or you might fail to record them not only on that camera but also in your eyes.

For more resources on travelling to Europe you are welcome to visit my blog, where you can also get acces to some excellent maps of Stockholm and maps of London, together with information on hotels and restaurants.

Best regards,

Michael R.

11/19/2006 01:32:00 pm  

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