Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part Ten: A History Lesson at Prague Castle

I started my second day in Prague quite early so that I could (as my guidebook suggested) get to Prague Castle before all crowds. My friend (for reasons still unknown) decided that he didn’t want to go to Prague’s primary tourist attraction and instead went for a long walk along the river.

To get to Pražský hrad I caught the metro from Můstek Station to Malostranská station. Finding the entrance to Můstek Station was easy, however, finding the platforms and working the ticket machine was a whole different story. I’m sure that on any other day it would be simple, but on a sleepy Saturday morning it was one of the most difficult things I did on my entire trip. When I got to Malostranská station I was also a little lost, as I had assumed that the metro would have gotten me to the top of the hill that the castle was on, not the bottom.

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Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part Nine: Culture Shocked in Prague

I spent the second weekend of my Central Europe Adventure visiting Prague. Prague was on my to see list because I’ve had friends visit it before and loved it. I did not know what to expect, I knew nothing about the city, other than it was old and they didn’t speak German and I’ve never met anyone who was Czech before.

The train from Vienna to Prague took four hours and I used this time to write up some of my trip notes and read a guide book on Prague. I was still in culture shock from my visit to Bratislava the day before and instead of being excited I had built up a little bit of anxiety about the unknown language and culture.

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Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part Eight: Bratislava

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia is an hour from Vienna and an easy day trip from the Austrian capital. Arriving at the main train station in Bratislava is like stepping into a completely different decade or era.

The train station is extremely small and you get between platforms by literally walking across the tracks. When we arrived we managed to accidentally walk around the main station building instead of through it, so we headed back inside to try and find a tourist information booth which was hidden down a long corridor.

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Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part Seven: Repeatedly getting lost in Vienna

Wondering “where am I?” and “how do I get to my next point of interest” became a recurring theme in the few days I spent in Vienna.

After getting lost trying to find my way back to the Vienna Hauptbahnhof following a day exploring the city surrounds, I met up with my friend who had just arrived from Berlin. Our first task was to get back across the city to check into our hotel. We travelled on the U-Bahn to Schottenring station which has exits on either side of the Donau Canal. Naturally, we exited on the wrong side and were unable to find the exit for the other side of the canal. After ten or so minutes of looking like muppets trying to figure a way across, and after deciding that swimming across wasn’t a great idea, we jumped on a tram that went over a nearby bridge.

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Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part Four: Bavarian Adventures

After two and a half days in Innsbruck I caught a train back to Munich, first for a business meeting and second to spend the weekend with friends.

After my meeting had finished I had a few hours to kill while waiting for my friends to finish work. The great thing about Munich is there are so many great roads, buildings and shops to get lost in around the central city. Once my friends had finished work we went to the Hackerhaus for dinner where I had a great Sauerbraten (pot roast). We then rounded out the evening at a small hipster bar.

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Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part Three: Skiing at Axamer Lizum

On my third day in Europe I was up early enough and awake enough to go skiing. Each of the ski fields around Innsbruck runs a free tourist shuttle bus from various areas around the city directly to the ski fields. Find the area where the ski bus departed from was a little tricky even though it was essentially across the road from the hotel as it wasn’t very well sign posted, however, the buses had very clear labels on them and made the hour long ride out to the ski field very comfortable.

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Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part Two: Innsbruck

Arriving in Innsbruck after almost 40 hours of travel, one would expect to fall straight into bed, but as it was such a beautiful afternoon I decided it go up to the top of Nordkette instead.

To get to the top of Nordkette you catch a very modern Funicular from the edge of the Innsbruck city centre to the suburb/village of Hungerburg. From here you switch to two cable cars which take you to the top of the mountain. At the top I walked around for at least 30 minutes in snow that was literally knee deep. The ski runs off the top were the steepest I’ve ever seen. After deciding against trying to get to the absolute summit of the mountain in the deep snow I headed back down one cable car to grab a traditional Austrian lunch – Apple Strudel and Red Bull.

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Central Europe Adventures 2016 – Part One: Sydney to Innsbruck, Austria

For the second February in a row I jetted off to Europe for a holiday. Unlike last year this trip had a little more planning and was close to twice as long. Over the month of February I visited five countries and caught up with many friends.

To get to Europe I chose to fly on Etihad, whom I have flown to Europe with twice before. However, getting to Europe this time around was slightly different to previous trips, while I could take the usual Sydney to Abu Dhabi flight I chose instead to go first to Perth and then to Abu Dhabi. This allowed me three hours to stretch my legs in Perth and reduce the length of the ultra-long haul Australia to Abu Dhabi leg of the journey.

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