Wednesday, 29 August 2007


28 August - Had a slightly bleary morning and the decidedly excessive weight and bulk of the rucksack Chrome combination meant I was heading as directly as possible (subject to navigational constraints) to the train station. Had an hour to spare - long enough to get a coffee but too short for any more meaningful tourism so remedied myself in preparation for the journey and had an almost violent encounter with a rail station toilet attendant, i'd managed to reduce my EU coinage to a minimum in preparation for exiting the country so my meagre coin collection was insufficient for the 1 euro turnstile to relieve myself - the attendant would have none of it when I tried to explain that the coins in my hand were the last I had of the realm and I really needed to go to the toilet, which is a human right. Deciding that official antogonism would be unwise at this late stage of the journey took my place on the train and went there. Had the first of what will quite possibly a repeat action of negotiating Czech border guards - the Slovak passport allows relatively seamless transition through the border but the fact that I can't understand the conversation they try to engage me in (a bemused smile, 'No, you are Slovakian?) gives them cause for a more intense scrutiny of the passport and its holder. Upon arrival in Prague I had a little bit of a jourey back ad forth through the statio tryig to fid the Wechsel that offered the least crap exchange rates for euros and also had to seek out some form of non dorm like accommodation. Eventually managed to solve most of the problems and went for a bit of a wander - the maps i'd managed to acquire were not of the best calibre but the city was somewhat familiar (after all, its only been a decade since I was last here) and I managed to make a fairly decent circuit with some local refreshment on the way. Also found myself sharing a beer with a couple of the local messengers - very nice, completely unaware of what was going on over in ireland last month but all relatively pleasant in the end. During exploration had to try to avoid looking at the hundreds of cambio-wechsel stations, half of which were offering much better ratts than the one I went to. Methinks a fair number of small bidnesspeople are not looking forward to full EU integration. Did a bit of night exploration as well, this city is so full of tourists - wonder what's so special about it?

No comments: