July 23, Krakow to Prague
We packed up this morning and headed off through the square to the train station. We got to platform 4 and boarded our train. The trains here are definitely not like the fancy high speed trains of England and France. They are quite old, only go about 25-35 MPH and stop quite often for no apparent reason. I'm sure I could almost ride my bicycle faster. We eventually arrived in Katowice late where we had to change to a connecting train for Prague. There was not one sign around in English and I couldn't see which platform we needed to be at. Thinking that we were going to, or had already missed our connection, panic set in. I asked a couple people but they didn't speak English. We found the information counter and there was a line up. When we got to the front of the line we found out the train would be half an hour late. Phew. We were in luck. We went to our platform and waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually the train arrived 70 minutes late and then we were finally on our way once more. We were in a 6 seat berth with Alex and Will, a couple of young American brothers from Colorado who are travelling for 1 month. They were friendly and good to chat with to pass the time. After a short nap, our train reached a small town just inside Czechoslovakia where it made a stop. We were delayed again here at least another hour maybe longer. Finally we started moving again. The train now went a lot faster and made fewer stops. The 8 hr 20 min trip from Krakow took a little more than 10 ½ hours and the countryside wasn't that spectacular. The first day of our trip with clear skies and we spent from 9:15 until 8:00 pm on a train. Once in Prague we grabbed our bags and headed to our 650 year old hotel which is located just a few dozen steps from the town square. We then grabbed a drink and snack and set off to look around the square and check out the different menus for the cafes. We chose one with Czech food and sat with a view of the lit up Tyne Cathedral. Brenna had goulash and dumplings with iced tea and I had some ribs and potatoes with sauerkraut and a black beer. The beer was cheaper than the iced tea, about $2.90 CAD. For dessert we ordered some apple strudel with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream. Next we took a stroll down to the edge of the river and walked along the river walk and over the Charles Bridge which has a spectacular view of the lit up castle on a hilltop overlooking the town. By now it was closing in on midnight so we decided to call it a night a get rested for tomorrows walking tour.