Friday, 12 July 2013

Mittel Europa

Prague is a wonderful city with many delights to offer.  As a break from trains we took the metro, a tram and the funicular up to the park followed by a stroll to Mrs DD's favourite pub, the Black Ox. A couple of convivial pints later we took the tram back down the hill to the Charles IV bridge amd found an alfresco restaurant for a real sit down meal. What luxury.

All too soon it was time for train 14. A Hungarian 6 berth couchette to take us to Prague. Very cozy. The steward ran his coach absolutely to the book and held our tickets hostage to ensure good behaviour. The night passed without incident although we discovered in the morning that the bag of shot glasses has gone missing somewhere.

Vienna's Metro system is very efficient and took us rapidly into the city centre for a quick look at Stephanplatz and its impressive church. Vienna smelled of ordure amd it wasn't just us. We rapidly moved on to the new (unfinished) Hauptbahnhof where our shuttle to Bratislava in Slovakia awaited. This was  a short and painless ride  back into the mid 20th century.  It is difficult to give a clear assessment of Bratislava.  The station was OK and there are trolleybuses. Our next train was the Prague - Belgrade Eurocity express for a two and half hour hop to Budapest. This has old fashioned 6 seat compartments and we quickly settle into the two that are allocated to us.

The journey is uneventful but there was a bit of scenery along the Danube. The rail route into Budapest is a bit grim and the station has seen better days.  In the spirit of the Grand Tour of Europe we headed for the Spa which was wonderful - swimming, saunas, plunge baths and an ice rub down. It's great to feel clean again. Even better we went by vintage metro. Back to the central market for roast goose leg, cabbage and potatoes with an excellent glass of beer. Budapest seems like a place to come back to.

Hopefully Paul will have some more photos on line at

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