Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Day Two Prague, The One With the Ice Bar, the Unnecessary Reservations and a Sausage in a Box

Our first morning in Krakow began as the first night ended, with loud Germans. Throw in what appeared to be a dying bird and you don’t exactly get a pleasant wake up call. But we were up and ready to head off to Prague, one of the good things about our Krakow hostel was that they left out breakfast, typically the Germans had eaten the majority of it, but there was enough food for a good meal.

When we arrived at the train station we realised a flaw in our plan, we had to reserve to get onto the trains we needed. Now we did know that we would need to make reservations on the long distance trains but we didn’t think that we would have to reserve seats to get onto the smaller trains. So we joined the long queue of confused looking Brits waving around their Interrail passes and made reservations for our first two journeys. We then went to buy some snacks for the train however left this a little late and ended up running through a shopping centre with our massive backpacks on, luckily we made it with seconds to spare (this may be an exaggeration.)

Updating the twittering world!

I'm pretty sure that the first train was the Hogwarts Express and we managed to secure a cabin for ourselves, something that rarely happened on later journeys. This was one of the nicest train journeys we had, barely any stops and the time flew by, although when we did stop i'm certain it was because of Dementors. The genuine Hogwarts Express experience.

On the way to Hogwarts
Our next train ride of the day was an entertaining one, I hadn’t laughed so much for a long time. It started off innocently when the man that runs the food trolley came into our cabin and asked if we had seen his crocs. Sure enough the missing crocs were underneath my chair, a little later I went to buy some food as I hadn’t bought anything at the last station. When I got to the restaurant carriage the man working there told me that they didn’t have any sandwiches available but he could make me a “frankfurter with bread” which I assumed was going to be a hotdog. But when you assume you make an ass out of you and me, and I tend to do that a lot. What I was handed was two hotdogs in a box with five pieces of bread. Not even an equal amount of bread to make a sandwich with. After this entertained Karl and Dan for a while and I had constructed several mini sandwiches the trolley man came with complimentary snacks, juice/water and a biscuit. However not the nice biscuits, they were for first class only. This was also our first encounter with unwanted sparkling water, something that would haunt the rest of the trip.

My unexpected meal

Free Juice (Although I asked for Orange)
The downside to the journey between Krakow and Prague was the fact that our reservations were not checked on the first two trains leading to a very irritated Dan. Because of this we decided to get on our third train without making a reservation but as we got on we saw the signs on the doors stating that we would need  a reservation, thankfully they did look at them on this train and it wasn't a complete waste of money. If you are Interrailing read the small print carefully, i'm sure most people know and we were just optimistic but if its not a regional train make sure you reserve! 

The hostel in Prague started off our long chain of having 0% luck in finding the hostel. It wasn’t that the instructions were bad, we did actually manage to find the street it was on at one point but we didn’t realise we were on the right street and walked right past the hostel. About 30 minutes later, after several stops to relieve our backs and a trip into a bar where 3 overly helpful men raced to show me where to go on Google maps, we found it. The hostel we stayed in was Hostel Arnosta, it was a big place with helpful staff, there were plenty of showers and although there were only two toilets there was never a queue to use them. The only minor issue was that the wifi didn’t work in the rooms and only seemed to work if you sat on the stairs near the reception so there was a constant group of people sitting around there and making use of the wifi.

A similar room to the one we stayed in.
That night we decided to try out Pragues famous night club Karlovy Lazne. It’s the biggest music club in Central Europe and with five floors really had something for everyone, at 180czk its about £6 to get in and it was worth every penny since there really was something for everyone there. When we went in we went to an ice bar, you pay 140czk (About £5) to get in and it gets you  a cocktail (which comes in an ice glass.) The walls, bar, tables and sculptures were all made of ice and it was kept at -7 degrees so was pretty freezing but we were given big coats and gloves so it was unlikely that we would get hypothermia. I would happily have spent more time in there but i'm not sure how my body would have coped with the cold.

An Ice cold drink.

Looking cool.
Ice Queen

We spent a long time in the club going to all the different floors and finding out what the music was like on each. There was Radio Hits (which was basically a selection of odd foreign songs,) dance, oldies (cheese,) R&B and chillout. It was a really good night and definitely worth going to if you are ever in Prague. After we had tried out all of the floors we headed home and although Karl steered us off in the wrong direction when he didn’t think I had taken us the right way we all got home safe and sound after having an amazing night. 

Practicing my Rocky
For more information on Hostel Arnosta Click Here

For more information on Karlovy Lazne Click Here

For more information on the Ice Bar Click Here

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Credit for most of the photos goes to @dan_magid who had a much better camera than me and is pretty good at this photo business.

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