I am doing th blog early as we are off to a dinner cruise on The Vitava river through Prague and will be back at our hotel late.
A taxi to the train station this morning thank goodness. walking to this one would have been much further than we walked from the other station. The train left at exactly 8.59am and we sat waiting at the station, chatting to a lovely women from Canada. She had been away for the same amount of time as we are and was also looking forward to getting home to her things, her garden, her family and her way of life, just like us now. The high speed train took exactly it's 4 1/2 hours stopping at several stops in ghastly, graffiti ridden, smock blackened and ruined looking towns. We have never seen so much graffiti. Buildings have many broken windows and rooves falling in. There was pretty areas we travelled through also and even one town that looked wealthy but on a grey day, like today, it made me feel quite miserable really. There is obviously a lot of poverty in the Czech Republic. The forests are as beautiful as in Austria and the fields have many grains, corn and vegetables planted but we certainly hardly saw any animals except for 1 field of deer and another field with 8 sheep between Vienna and Prague.
On the dot of 1.25pm, we arrived in Prague. This is a huge town and looks, from the taxi so far, very nice and cared for. The taxi found its way up the steep hill to where the castle is and our Monestry Hotel is next door. It is still a working Monastery with Monks in one area, Nuns in another, a brewery next door where apparently, the monks can be found frequently and beautiful gardens and of course, a church right beside our room. The bells ring a lot ofcourse. This is also the area the men train to become priests. The hotel dates from 1100 as a monastery and has paintings on all walls throughout of the historic area we are in. It has only 12 rooms with a total of 35 beds so again, we are in a boutique hotel.
The Receptionist has told us we have the best room with the view overlooking Prague. It is absolutely true. She also told us the Taxi driver ripped us off. Our trip cost us 800 Czech crowns and it should have cost us half that. She will order our taxis in future at the rate we should pay. A very lovely and helpful girl, Andrea is who sat us down in the tiny dining room for free coffee and cake while she booked our transport for tonight down to the boat and dinner cruise. She also told us The ex-Govenor General of New Zealand stayed here recently. she said he was such a lovely Maori man. We explained to her, Anand Satyanand is of Indian origin.
We already feel better and think we will have a lovely 3 days here.