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Winding up our Prague trip

Published Mon 08 October 2007 12:13 (+0200)
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Nothing too much to report from the next day; we had only a few hours before Mary and Charles had to head out to the airport to catch their plane. They wandered out to see if they could see the famed Cubist architecture streets, meanwhile I was trying to sort out the accomodation cock-up in my next destination – more about that tomorrow.

Checking out was odd – we handed over the keys, stood about to see if anything else needed to be done… ok, nothing else, we head out the door.

We're just about to get on the tram when the front-desk lady comes running out, all panicked. Turns out that they'd only taken my credit card prior to arrival to “confirm” the reservation and not charged it, and she was all freaked out that she'd forgotten to check – it sounded like they would charge her for it, and she was saying “that's a month of my salary!” in a really upset voice – she was shaking a little, after!

So… if they take your credit card to secure the reservation, and the account isn't settled as usual, why wouldn't they charge the credit card? I can't see any reason they should make her wear it.

Anyway, so that confirmed something we'd read in the guidebooks: despite Prague not being a cheap city to live in, the people who nominally live there can't really afford it – there's no way they can afford to eat out etc. in Prague. To give you some idea, our two rooms for the four nights cost about 450 EUR, so her annual earnings are in the ballpark of 5000 EUR!

So anyway, after sorting all this out, we did our respective things and then met up to say fond goodbyes, won't see them again till back in NZ at Xmas time!

Train to Regensburg

So, having partially worked around the forthcoming accomodation problem, I jumped on the train to Regensburg.

Armed with a litre of the rather good burčák from the train station stall, I quickly got into an interesting conversation with the expat Czech lady sitting across from me, who turned out to speak 4 languages fluently… you know, as you do….

Well, I don't, I speak one, and I was definitely starting to feel a bit of a thickie in that respect, on this continent :).

Incidentally, Czech trains are a bit skody. Interesting that I got a nicer German train on the way in, but a Czech one on the way back – I think they go in big loops around, so that German would go on somewhere else rather than returning empty, but that still means it must be possible to find nicer trains on some segments… dunno how easy.

BTW, you wanna watch out with the burčák, it'll ferment fairly actively when out of the fridge – so a) it builds up pressure (be careful to avoid leaks!) and b) it'll get you more drunk as you go along :). Thankfully the Czech lady warned me that I should make sure I drunk it all that day, a requirement I was more than happy to comply with ;).

Sightseeing the next day…