Euro Trip With Friends (Part 1 Prague and Munich)

We (Shastha, Abhishek and I) had been planning a Euro Trip for quite sometime and now that Shastha has moved to Prague, the plan finally materialized. It took some hectic planning, a few conference calls and we were all set. Out itinerary looked as follows:

  • 21 August – Arrive in Prague
  • 22 August – Explore Prague
  • 23 August – Drive to Munich / Explore Munich
  • 24 August – Drive to Interlaken/ Explore Interlaken
  • 25 August – Explore Lauterbrunnen and Jongfraujoch
  • 25 August – Drive to Venice / Stopover at Lake Como
  • 26 August – Explore Venice
  • 27 August – Drive to Vienna / Explore Vienna
  • 28 August – Drive to Budapest / Stopover at Bratislava
  • 29 August – Explore Budapest
  • 30 August – Drive to Prague
  • 31 August – Fly back to home

As is evident (hopefully) from the itinerary above, the trip was a pretty hectic one with lots of driving and lots of places to cover. I am happy to report that we were able to make the most of the places we intended to visit.

My flight to Prague was via Vienna with a 90 minute layover. Things got a little crunched when you consider that in these 90 minutes, I had to get my immigration done (Schengen port of entry) , clear airport security again and then board my flight. It was touch and go but finally I was able to make it with about 10 minutes to spare at the gate. It is a short 50 minute flight from Vienna to Prague and my friends were waiting for me at the airport by the time I had collected my baggage and stepped out of the airport. Abhishek came from behind and lunged at me (that’s always been his style) and that’s when I noticed them. A couple of hugs later we were talking to each other and were already on the way to Shastha’s apartment. There was only one problem. We had boarded the bus from the airport and I didn’t have a ticket. We had gotten so busy talking that the thought of buying a ticket for me ( Shastha and Abhishek had already got a ticket for themselves while coming to the airport) didn’t occur to any of us. The ticket machine on the bus wasn’t working. Shastha kept telling me that the fine is equivalent to around 400 GBP. I will conceded that behind my calm demeanour (best effort ) was a very anxious mind. I did not want to start my trip with a fine! After the longest feeling 30 minute bus ride we finally got down at a place where we could get the subway. If I remember correctly, the place was called I.P Pavlova. The first thing we did after getting down was buy a ticket for Prague’s public transport. After the metro, it was time for us to board the tram. Shastha’s place was a good 1 hour 30 minutes away from the airport and as soon as we entered the apartment, I was asked to freshen up in 20 minutes. In those 20 minutes, I bathed, changed, ate a kebab roll and off we went to see how Prague looks like late in the night.

Prague did not not disappoint us. We went to Wenceslas Square. Prague is a city known for it’s architecture and old world charm. This side of Prague was on full display as we saw the brilliantly lit-up National Museum that stands at the head of Wenceslas Square. The cobbled street lined by beautifully lit-up shops, restaurants and clubs was quite a sight. It is the kind of place where one would just like to walk slowly and try to soak in all the beautiful vibes from the place. We had some coffee and fries from a street side outlet and just strolled around for a while. We sampled some establishments there before we returned to Shastha’s apartment.

The Majestic National Museum at Wenceslas Square

The next morning we set out at 10 am for Wenceslas Square again. We had a hearty breakfast at the McDonald’s outlet at the square. Wenceslas Square is a place of incredible beauty during the day. The grandeur of their architectural traditions is on full display and it only keeps getting better as once walks towards the old town square. The Old Town Square feels like a place that is set in time centuries ago. It is surrounded by beautiful medieval architecture and also boasts of the world’s oldest clock tower. As one walks from Old Town Square towards the Charles bridge on the Vltava river, we realized that Prague only keeps getting better. The view of the calm Vltava flowing beneath, the milling crowds, the Prague castle on the other side and the street culture, all combine to create a heady cocktail that probably isn’t possible anywhere else. It is a city where one would just love to walk and explore. Any other mode is too fast to genuinely appreciate the beauty of the place. After crossing the bridge, we walked towards the Prague castle. It is an uphill climb, but the sheer beauty that Prague is, made the walk enjoyable. The Prague castle is grandeur personified. Large courtyards, imposing walls, beautiful cathedral with even more beautiful stained glass windows. It is a bit too much to be explained in words.

Wenceslas Square in daly
Old town square at Prague
Charles Bridge
Prague Castle from Charles Bridge
The world’s oldest mechanical clock
The Prague Castle
The Prague Castle
Beautiful stained glass window
The cathedral
Prague from the castle

After spending sometime marvelling at the castle, it was time head back. On the way down, we stopped to have Trdelník (a special Slovak ice cream). It was really tasty but very heavy as well. For the evening, we decided to have dinner at one of many boats that serve as restaurants by the Vltava. It was a really lively place with lots of spirits and music flowing. We also got into the groove (or maybe the place got to us). We reminisced the good old times, how our lives have been treating us and what the future holds. After a while decided to head back to Shastha’s apartment and started walking to the nearest tram station. During the walk we realized, we wanted to eat more and found a nice pizza place. We ordered two pizzas between the three of us much to the waiter’s astonishment. We realized the cause of his astonishment when we saw the size of the pizzas. However, we were upto the task and polished the two pizzas off in no time. That finally got us a nod of approval from the waiter. Tired and satisfied, we finally headed back to the apartment.

Evening by the Vltava
Pizza – two by three

The next morning we got up early and head to the airport to collect our rental car for our drive during this trip. Car keys got, we started for Munich. After a four hour long largely uneventful drive, we reached Munich and checked-in to our hotel. The first thing we noticed that the shower room did not have a door! But I guess that was German genius at play. We changed and freshened up and left for Marien Platz by train. As luck would have it, the train station was 20 steps from our hotel. Marien Platz is a place bustling with shoppers and tourists. It is very vibrant and there is a very beautiful cathedral there. We walked from Marien Platz to Karl Platz, just soaking in the energy of the place.

Marien Platz
Karl Platz

We did not do anything much in Munich. We were tired and headed back to our hotel as we needed to conserve energy for Switzerland!

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