Click here for photos from Day 6.
The day started by going to the Hauptbanhof one final time to return the rental car, and leave for Prague. It was a stressful morning because we could not figure out the precise location to return the car, which caused tension and unhappiness. We had two trains to take: one to Dresden, which would take us across Germany close to the Czech border, and another from there to Prague. With a one hour wait in Dresden, the total trip was about six hours.
We had a 6-seat car all to ourselves, which gave us lots of room to stretch out. We read, I worked on photos and the diary. Beth napped.
The ride to Dresden was wonderfully picturesque. It was difficult to choose which photos I should publish on-line, so I published a lot of them.
In Dresden we had time to kill. Like Würzburg, I couldn't help but think how the beautiful train station was, in contrast to how the city was demolished during World War II.
I looked for an English language book or magazine. I had no luck but I skimmed some of the German technology mags. I read a Java magazine and an Eclipse magazine. There were articles about the Google projects Android and Google Web Toolkit, and one about Mik Kirsten and Mylyn. I was sorry I couldn't understand them.
However, by now I had gotten pretty good at being able to pronounce German phrases, and I finally managed to say "Vo ist" to get most of my queries across. Maybe this will come in handy later on.
Beth found a lovely market in the station called Marché, the freshness and quality of the food was truly amazing. It was great to have a nice healthy, primarily raw salad, and Beth's golash was very good. Beth also got yeast almond rolls that she claims were "fabu". I agree.
We boarded the next train to Prague. Nobody asked to see our passports when we crossed the border. When we first entered the Czech Republic, Beth gave me a kiss and said "Welcome to the Czech Republic!" I said, "Maybe we should play some czechers! Maybe we should czech it out!" And Beth said: "Czech, Czech it, yeah" We are original.
We arranged in advance for a car to take us to the hotel. This is generally considered a wise move in Prague because the taxi drivers are notorious for ripping off tourists. Our driver was an aggressive driver, even to go so far as drive the wrong way down a one-way street. This street turned out to be the one where our hotel was. I'm still sort of puzzled by it.
Hotel Josef is a 'boutique' hotel. Indeed it is. Plastic and bare and clean. It seems to cater to the Americans (given the large number of Americans in the hotel) but then again, so does Prague in general. Don't get me wrong, this is a fabulous hotel. It amazed me how we really did not need to know any Czech to get around.
We took some photos of the view from our room and went out to walk the streets. We went to Staroméktske to kill some time. We watched the Astronomer's Clock tick 7 and then got dinner.
Back to the room, and then to sleep.