Thursday, 5 August 2010
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
This weird T.V. tower polemically stood right in the middle of this quiet residential district, due to some artistic endeavor it had sculptures of babies crawling up it, it was quite sinister.
A definite redeeming feature was the food, cheap and amazing.
When I read in a travel guide that Krakow hadn't 'done a Prague' I didn't get it. After visiting Prague, the 'heart of Europe' I understand what it means. I think Prague's heart stopped beating some time ago. The only thing that ticks is the astronomical clock which was pretty cool, but really I was more interested in looking at the crowds swarming to see it's hourly chime. The center of the city is beautiful, the ornate gate to the old town is impressive in all its Gothic grandeur. Sadly the city now seems to thrive off it's former status and decadence. The crowds are nauseating and souvenir shops have pushed away retailers that have any real use for the locals, leaving Prague feeling quite synthetic. This seems to be how many European cities could go, all their life scoured out by the tourist trade.
It all sounds very damning, but we did have a good time. It was probably one of the best backpacking hostels we stayed in. It had a thriving bar with good music constantly blaring and we met some great guys from America that we went out with. Unfortunately I can't recall much/any of the notorious five storey club but the photos show that we had a great night.
Posted by JMR at 11:03
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
If I could give any advice to future interrailers it would be, just don't night trains! It is not economical spending a night on the floor of a carriage in 35c being thrown around as a train accelerates and breaks furiously across the entirety of Germany. To top it off sometimes you are awoken throughout the night by a guard shouting to look at your documents. Don't do it. However, leaving Amsterdam on the train, as the sun was setting was rather nice.
Posted by JMR at 12:53
'Bike mountain'-The city of bikes
So next we went to the Dam, and somewhat unexpectedly, it was great. The myriad of canals were confusing, particularly after numerous visits to coffee shops. I don't think we actually did anything. With our budget we just hired bikes and cycled around fairly aimlessly, going really fast past Anne Frank's house, much to Roz's disappointment.
Cycling was harder than we thought, I don't think I've actually been closer to death than when pedaling for my life past two oncoming trams. Their bells began to become synonymous with fear, kind of like the sirens used during the Blitz. The bike etiquette was also a mystery, which we found out when an angry dutch women screamed 'why would you cycle in the middle of the road?! why?'.
We went to a cool little flea market in Waterlooplein and bought vintage movie posters and postcards and then sat in a random tree house in a park. I was sad to leave.
Posted by JMR at 12:35
Monday, 2 August 2010
For me this sums up inter railing with these guys; Chris clutching a map/train timetable, Hannah seizing any opportunity to have a cigarette/generally being 'grunge' and Roz-le fatigue
Antwerp Station! I don't know if tiredness had made me overly giddy, but when we arrived here one evening on one of many trains to Amsterdam, I was awestruck. Ignorantly I hadn't really heard of Antwerp, but it had the most beautiful train station, it looked like a giant astronomical clock.
Posted by JMR at 08:35
So summer started off pretty slow, just hung around doing anything that didn't cost much. Then in July I left and saw some of Europe. After an anticlimactic arrival into a grey, rain swept bus depot in northern Paris our trip begun. Determined to forget the horrendous year 8 French trip I ran around seeing as much as I could in three days. Drinking in front of the Eiffel Tower, The Musee Rodin, Sacre-Coeur/Montmartre, Notre Dame, Pere Lechaise and some overpiced Cokes.
Posted by JMR at 08:07