Czech Republic – Prague to Austria – Vienna, 18 June 2004

I’m now on the train to Vienna (I think). This is really a very adventurous ride for a first train ride. This is one of those trains that split towards two different directions at one point, and in this case, part of the train will be heading to Vienna (where I intend to go), while the other part of the train will be heading towards Budapest.

Firstly, standing on the platform that wrote “WIEN”, I naturally assumed that this is where my train was heading towards. However, when I saw the sign “PRAHA-BUDAPEST”, my alarm bells started ringing!

And indeed, after asking a nice local, it turns out that I am indeed in the wrong carriage! Well, great that I found out early, or I’ll be in Budapest, deported, and summarily packed by to Singapore with love.

Today, I intend to visit the Museum of Fine Arts. Looks like I might just have only two days in Vienna afterall, since I will have to catch a flight at Klagenfurt. Oh well, I guess it’s nice to be away from the crowds for once.

Walking towards my hostel (Wombats City) made me think I would rather die than walk again. However, I was greeted with an EXCELLENT room, and when I got to the RING, a gorgeous view awaited me! Just when I thought the ornate museums were all Vienna was about, I turned round to see a gorgeous palace inviting me to walk further.

Nightfall, it’s the first time I enjoyed so much privacy in my life.

Train in Prague Train Station

One of the several ornate buildings of Vienna

Another ornate building in the ring in Vienna


Czech Republic – Prague, 17 June 2004

Today is castle day. I visited Hradcany castle on the West bank of the river. Beautiful as anything in Prague, what amazed me most was the nooks and crannies for exploration, and the spectacular view I got from the tower of Prague (yes, after a gruelling 200-I-dunno-how-many steps)! I must have taken over 50 pictures from the tower alone!

After the castle, I basically started wandering round Prague, though to my horror, I ended up at Charles Bridge again!

Post-Charles Bridge, I was back at Stare Mesto. With my very light purse, the only thing I could do was to stare at all the windows of good food! Thankfully, I managed to wander into a market, where I got a huge slab of pork cutlet (schnitzel) for a mere CSK 17.50.

After the late lunch, I managed to find a cheap internat cafe to peck out two mails before returning to my hostel.

Though I initially intended to watch the sunet on the Vitkov Hill, the plan was abandoned, when I realised how deserted this hill was! This plan ended up being a jog round the Husitka neighbourhood.

On my little jog, I finally realised where the metro station near my hostel was (yes, that’s after three days in Prague), and I also discovered a mini flea market of sorts. It’s only unfortunate that I had no money whatsoever left to buy anything. But well, sights and experiences come free!

(That’s the trouble with having maps, especially lousy ones. You dare not venture out of the confines of the map for fear of falling off the surface of the marked boundary)

Looking Back Down on the Steps I took to Get to Hradcany Castle

Part of Hradcany Castle

View of Prague


Street Performers

Cafe in Old Town Square with Coal-Burning Warmers

Czech Republic – Prague, 16 June 2004

I’m proud of myself. I negotiated almost half of the heart of Prague on foot today, seeing most of the sights in the Stare Mesto; the Jewish Quarter (Josefov), Old Town Square, National Museum, Muncipal House, Powder Tower, Charles Bridge etc. I was even persuaded to pay for a performance of Mozart where the musicians performed in traditional costumes!

Praha is a beautiful place for its architecture, pace of life and people. There’s an array of architectural styles, and I really wished I knew the subtle differences. Not only do some buildings have the most exquisite carvings and paintings, but the way the town is somewhat haphazardly laid out actually makes it more interesting to explore than the straight roads of Singapore. Furthermore, cars do stop for people at pedestrian crossings, and so far, I haven’t heard anyone honk! The Czech people are a pleasant bunch, always ready to help, and to return a smile!

The much anticipated Czech dumplings are quite a disappointment though. It just tastes like flavoured bread! I must say it’s pretty filling for the stomach though! However, their sausages are quite another story altogether! It is very juicy and tasty! I’m simply looking forward to another one!

Hopefully tomorrow wouldn’t be as damaging to my pocket as today, since Prague is a shopping paradise for its ceramic products, the wooden toys, the mugs, etc. You get the picture.

Tram Car

Municipal House

Czech Museum of Cubism

A Child’s Dream

Haphazard Alleyways

Western Europe, 14 June 2004 – 11 July 2004


14 June 2004: London

15 June 2004: London – Prague (Plane)

16 June 2004: Prague

17 June 2004: Prague

18 June 2004: Prague – Vienna (Train)

19 June 2004: Vienna

20 June 2004: Vienna – Klagenfurt (Train)

21 June 2004: Klagenfurt – Rome (Plane)

22 June 2004: Rome

23 June 2004: Rome

24 June 2004: Rome – London (Plane)

25 June 2004: London – Paris (Overnight Bus)

26 June 2004: Paris

27 June 2004: Paris – Versailles – Paris

28 June 2004: Paris

29 June 2004: Frankfurt

30 June 2004: Frankfurt

01 July 2004: Frankfurt – Wurzburg – Augsburg (Train)

02 July 2004: Augsburg – Munich (Train)

03 July 2004: Munich – Fussen (Schwangau) – Munich (Train)

04 July 2004: Munic – Dachau – Munich (Train)

05 July 2004: Munich – Antwerp (Train)

06 July 2004: Antwerp – London (Overnight bus)

07 July 2004: London

08 July 2004: London

09 July 2004: London – Oxford – London

10 July 2004: London

11 July 2004: London