We’re a week into this trip and we just arrived in our third city and country. The time, as usual, is flying by so quickly! We really have had a great time so far though and are looking forward to a great second half. 🙂
After wrapping things up in our Berlin apartment this morning, we used public transport for the one and only time in Berlin as we caught an S-train from Alexanderplatz to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (the central station). Given all the walking we had already done on this trip, we could have just walked directly to the station, but since we had our suitcases with us (only one each and they aren’t huge), we knew it would be easier to take the train. As I’ve said before, use public transport as often as it makes sense for you. When you’re carrying luggage though, it will almost always make your life easier! After a few minutes, we were at the central station, where we quickly made our way to our platform. Because our travel for the rest of the trip (minus our flight home) involves Germany (Berlin->Prague, Prague->Munich, and Munich->Zurich), we were able to book all of the travel between those cities through the German national rail company, DB Bahn. Today’s journey to Prague was a five-hour train ride, which doesn’t sound spectacular, I know, but I enjoy traveling by train. You don’t have the hassle of plane travel (getting to the airport early, waiting for your luggage, etc.) and you get to see the outdoor scenery throughout the journey. We paid a little extra (€4.50/$6 USD per person) to reserve specific seats to ensure we could sit across from each other at a window and it was worth it. Travel tip – look for those kinds of extras when booking international travel! Things we take for granted as automatic in the US (seat assignments, luggage allowances, etc.) aren’t always automatic in other countries, so be sure you read the fine print and exclusions so you know exactly what you’re getting (and not getting).
After a mostly-pleasant ride (I say mostly because, for a short time, we shared our compartment with a particularly smelly traveler who could barely stow his bag, then proceeded to drop bits from his luggage on us while he dug through said bag, and then spilled his beer all over the floor), we arrived in Prague to more sunny and warm weather. Lovely! As a side note, the weather on this trip has been really great. In looking at the long-range forecasts before we left, we knew we would have some sun, but not as much as we’ve gotten. Not that we’re complaining about it! It’s just been a little warmer than we expected. 🙂
We met our Airbnb host at our apartment and got a thorough education in places to go, things to eat, and public transport to use while in Prague. The apartment is another good one! The building is definitely old, but the apartment is comfortable and spacious and as a bonus, it has two fans in it! I always sleep with a fan on at home (both because I like the noise and I get hot really easily), but I never expect to find one when I travel. Needless to say, it was a nice surprise to find two here. The location also seems to be great – near a couple of markets and bakeries, an ATM, lots of places to eat, and almost everything we want to see while we’re here. Although I’ve never had a reason to doubt information from Airbnb, it’s still nice to get confirmation when seeing a place in person for the first time. And having a host who is clearly knowledgeable and passionate about the city is a big bonus. Travel tip – if you’re using Airbnb (or something like it) to book your accommodations, be sure to glean as much info from your hosts as possible. Chances are, they’ll have great recommendations, language/culture tips, and more.
As with most of my first-day posts, I don’t have a lot of pictures to share yet, but take a look at what we’ve seen so far to get a feel for the city.
Since we’ve only got today and tomorrow to explore Prague, I think we’ll be pretty busy. It’s already proving to be a very beautiful, European-feeling city, so we’re looking forward to getting into it tomorrow!