Sunday, October 6, 2013

Prague in 3 hours...

After our finding-the-right-compartment fiasco and heaving a great sigh of relief on finding our seats, I was really done with all the running around. We settled in our seats (no berths in this train) for the night. The train was O-V-E-R-F-L-O-W-I-N-G with teenagers, students and groups of people who were taking their party from one party land (Budapest) to another (Prague). And our train, which was supposed to reach Prague at 6:30, reached at 4:00am. We now had 5 hours to spend in Prague before we get to the airport to catch our flight, back to Stockholm.

4:00am - 5:00am:
Freshened up and got ourselves a cup of coffee and a croissant. That was basically our proper meal since the night before we couldn't get much to eat on the train. Over coffee, we dug out our worn out Prague map and discussed what to do the next few hours. We had one place which we hadn't covered the last time. it wasn't that we hadn't had the time, it was more to do with the fact that we had gotten lost trying to find the place :D heehee yeah... the last time in Prague, we had started to go to this place, got down at the wrong stop and then took the tram to yet again, get down at the wrong stop, walked around and found nothing. This place had evaded us and so, we put it as a backlog item to be conquered when we came back here! Guess that's enough build up for this place - Vysehrad!

With "what to see?" question out of the way, the next thing to be discussed was how to conquer it! (You might wonder what's the big deal about this place and why am I obsessively using the word conquer but what would you call a place which according to the map is right in front of you but you cannot find it! Vysehrad was like that, we walked in circles trying to find this place without any result.) We decided to lock up our luggage and take the metro this time. There was a metro to Vysehrad from the Central station.

Travel Tip: Most of the railway stations have huge locker rooms with hourly, daily sometimes even monthly rental. Its completely automatic. All we have to do is walk into the locker room, find a free locker (ensure that its fully functional), place your luggage inside and lock it with the key and enter the amount mentioned. 

5:00 - 6:00am:
We had to change some currency, did that and then stored our luggage in a locker and went to get our metro passes. We decided to get the 30 minute pass so that even if we had to switch metros it wouldn't be a problem.

Note: Time based passes are quite convenient. Once validated these passes can be used any number of times within that stipulated time period. Sometimes if its a travel pass, then once validated you can use it, not only in the metro, but also in buses and trams. 

We took the metro around 6:30am and reached Vysehrad station around 6:45am. We felt a sense of accomplishment that we had finally made there. The air so clean and the sun had just started to rise and the day was so clear and beautiful.  

The catch was, we still hadn't found the Citadel of Vysehrad. After capturing a few photographs of the sun rise, we were back on our mission to find this fortress and the citadel. We walked around for quite sometime through lonely parks (was a little creepy without anyone around so early) before, finally getting back on track to find this place.   

Finally, we had reached Vysehrad!

It is an awesome experience to see a place so early in the morning. Very few people around, just a few morning joggers and a couple of them walking their dogs.

As much as I hated the walk trying to find this place, the views from this place really blew it all away! No words to really describe the feeling of walking through a citadel so early in the morning with very few people around with such stunning views all around you.

Church of St Peter and Paul

After capturing some lovely photographs, we decided to walk back. It was around 7:30am and we still had a lot of time, at least an hour and a half. So we thought we could walk down the hill and go back to our favorite spot, the Charles bridge and old town.

From Vysehrad - Charles Bridge - Old Town - Winceslas Square! A complete walking tour of Prague in 3 hours. At around 9:00am, we bought a couple of 90 minute travel passes and took the metro at the Museum, back to the Central Station. We then collected our luggage from the locker, found the next metro to Dejvick√° and took the bus 119 to the Airport.

By 10:15am on 18th August 2013, our East European Marathon was over and we were totally worn out and ready to get back home! When we started this trip, 9 days back, we didn't know we were going to drink hot wine at the Royal Cafe in Prague, or listen to a concert in Salzburg, or go on a sound of music tour, or watch an opera in Vienna, or cycle from Melk to Krems in Austria, or walk through a labyrinth which dates back millions of years, in Budapest or cover Prague once again in 3 hours!!! All we knew was we wanted to travel together. But this trip like many trips before this taught us a lot, not only about the world but about each other. What a week it had been!

Getting back to Stockholm had the same feeling we always get when we get back, "Home Sweet Home" and then it was all back to normal, cooking, laundry and work!

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