Tag Archives: Prague

Budapest

I was looking forward to Budapest. To travelling alone again. Moving on from hostels and back to couchsurfing. This was the trajectory I had set myself on for this trip, and although it had been nice to meander into the realm of travel buddies and hostels, I was happy to return to my original path.

I climbed onto the sofa pallet bed, stepping over Stuart to lie down and give him a hug. It was 8am.

“Goodbye Stuart. Maybe see you in Budapest.” Continue reading

Guns and coffee

We got up, packed and were on our way to Cesky Krumlov by 11:00am. We took the number 16 to just outside of the coach station. We had six minutes before our coach was due to leave.

We couldn’t find it.

We found a yellow bus with “Cesky Krumlov” written on the list of stops on the side of the bus. “Could this be us?” I pointed.

“FlixBus are usually green. But they do sometimes contract out… I’m not sure.” We asked the driver, he nodded, or at least we thought he did, until we showed him our ticket before trying to board.

“THIS IS NOT FLIXBUS!” he shouted, pointing dramatically at the bus logo on the side, placing his hands on to it for extra emphasis. “NOT THIS BUS.” He took our bags out of the hold with dramatic exasperation, sighing loudly.

We wondered what to do. If this wasn’t our bus, then our bus wasn’t here. Had we missed it? Continue reading

Travel Buddies

The previous evening, chilling in my PJs, I met Stu. He was from Canada, had been travelling for seven months, with another three to go. We chatted and laughed. Went for a beer and bought takeaway pizza. It was nice to feel a connection with someone. I’d been sad to leave that behind in Berlin.

In the morning we exchanged numbers. “Leave your data on so I can message and come find you when I’m ready. Check your phone, like, every five minutes.”

I laughed, “Every five minutes? You’ll be lucky if I check it every hour.” I wasn’t joking. Travelling alone, separated from everyone, I was enjoying it. I didn’t want to feel attached to my phone waiting for a text. I wasn’t even sure I wanted company.

The weather was brighter but chilly, the sky had cleared. My plan was to cross the Charles Bridge, visit Prague Castle, and then go to the monastic brewery.

I caught the number 22 to Narodni Trida and from there walked the streets until I found the Charles Bridge. I wasn’t in a rush. I was happy to see where the roads took me. Continue reading

Portishead in Prague

I got back from PAX BAR the night I arrived in Prague, and went down to the hostel bar. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone. I was safe in my bubble of being alone. But that’s not the point of staying in a hostel. You’re supposed to talk to people. Meet other travellers.

I sat in the bar, alone, and thought, Why isn’t anyone talking to me? And then, Well shit Hope, you might actually have to be the one to start the conversation. The prospect was horrible. A pub quiz was taking place and everyone was sat round tables in groups already. I spotted one table. Kept telling myself to just go over and join them. It felt so unnatural. Continue reading

Goodbye Berlin. Hello Prague.

I woke up on the morning of my departure early. I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of time along the way to Prague to get lost, be confused, and make mistakes. The train journey was only four hours, but I had to catch the tram there, and then a metro and another tram on the other side too. I was really nervous that arriving in Prague would be just as frightening as arriving in Berlin had been.

Anders, true to himself, sent me on my way with a packed lunch fit for a queen. “It’s a long journey,” he asserted as he carefully placed a slice of blueberry cake first on a cardboard plate, wrapped it in baking paper, and then placed it carefully in a paper bag (all recycled and reused might I add).

When I arrived at the train station to catch my Eurostar I was suddenly so excited. I jumped up and down a little on the spot and grinned manically to myself. I’m doing this! I’m travelling! Interrailing here I come! “There’s a room over there if you’re cold ma’am.” The voice came from an American man waiting on the same platform as me.

“I’m OK, but thanks.” I smiled. He raised an eyebrow and nodded. Continue reading

Cookie dough and coffee

Sunday morning. I lay in until 9:45am. No real plans for the day ahead. I would see what happened.

I got up and went into the kitchen to see Anders. I felt chirpy and could hear him boiling the kettle (a permanent state of being where Anders is concerned: he is always boiling the kettle and always drinking tea). He had already started making breakfast. We were having a fry up. Cati, Claudia, Slvae, and Mel were all coming over to join us from the other apartments in the building. Claudia brought coffee for everyone, Slvae and Mel brought juice, Cati brought porridge (a tasty but odd addition to a fry up).

We sat round and food was served.

Pans of bacon and eggs were passed round. A tray of fried potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions were divvied up. A basket of bread. Butter. Jam. We feasted and talked. Continue reading