Ljublana to Prague
I stocked up on Paprika flavoured crisps and bananas, charged the ipod and got books ready for the 11 hour train journey to Prague. I will be happy if I never see paprika flavoured crisps again after this trip.
It was another rainy day, perfect for sitting on a train. I spent the first few hours reading and had the compartment to myself until Graz in Austria. When we crossed into the Czech Republic it was pissing with rain again. Then the ticket inspector, who looked like a Russian Shot-Putter came round and said something in Czech to the other girl in the compartment, who then explained that, at the next stop we will have to transfer to a bus for part of the journey. Rain and rail replacement buses. It doesn't get more British than this.
But since it was such a long train, we had to get off before the tracks, and climb down and walk along the tracks to the station in the pouring rain wearing flip flops. All the passengers on the train emptied into four or five battered coaches, the drivers of which then raced each other down country roads until the next train station. We then had about three hours left until Prague. In my compartment were a couple of Aussie girls who had been to Cesky Krumlov for the day and got very cold and wet, and an American couple. When we finally got to Prague we agreed to meet up the following night, and as it would be my birthday, we'd have some fun.
Since it was late and I was alone (the others were staying in different hostels) I went to get a taxi to the hostel. I knew it was really near, so when the first taxi driver told me it's cost 22 Euros, I nearly choked. He wasn't very keen to negotiate. "It's my taxi I make the prices," he said. I asked at the information booth what it should cost, and when I said where I was going he insisted I could walk, and that it was safe. What? At 10.30pm by myself with bags? I wasn't convinced at all and one look outside the main door told me everything I needed to know. I wasn't even going to try and get to the main road to hail a cab. Its well known universally that train stations attract the dodgiest looking characters imaginable, and Prague train station, with a dark scary park full of winos outside is no exception.
So I decided my only option was to go back and pay the rip-off taxi price. But the arrogant taxi man wouldn't even acknowledge my presence. Finally, I managed to pounce on a couple of Swedes who were getting into another taxi and convinced them "take me with you please?". So finally I arrived at my hostel, right in the old town. Nobody was around particularly to talk to. So I made some random American lads wish me happy birthday at midnight, then went to bed. Its amazing how tiring sitting down all day can be, I was exhausted! I fell straight asleep, only to wake myself up laughing out loud like a maniac at a funny dream. Weird.