We jetted into Munich from Perth Australia in the winter of 2012-13. This was the start of our back-packing adventure taking in six countries or Europe as we approached our sixties. Our family and friends thought we were very brave - and so did we!
Accommodation for the first part of our travels was booked in advance. On the internet we had discovered that vacancies over Christmas/New Year were getting tight. We joined Hostelling International and pre-booked hostels in Munich, Prague and Lucerne.
We spent a most enjoyable three days in Munich taking in Marienplatz with its Rathaus and the Christmas markets. The snow was beautiful, the gluhwein warming, and not for the first time we wondered why Australians don't travel to Europe in winter.
Travelling on from Munich to Prague by bus took us through snow-covered rural districts, pine forests and small villages. It seemed strange to notice many paddocks full of solar panels when there was little sun. There was an incredible amount of traffic especially trucks carrying freight in both directions. As we drew closer to Prague we could see a lot of heavy industry with high-rise apartments to house the workers.
Our first introduction to Prague at dusk wasn't good. There was no signage and we had trouble being understood. We struggled with our luggage out of the dismal Central Bus Station in light rain down a dimly lit backstreet where the dirty cobbled footpath was partly broken up and littered with rubbish and dog faeces. We had booked for eight days over the Christmas period and initially thought that was a big mistake.
New Town Hostel
Eventually we worked out how to change our Euros into Czech Crowns to buy public transport tickets and caught a tram to our Hostel. The Hostel was in New Town, very affordable, and on a main transport route. We discovered that the European hostels that we visited didn't have kitchens or laundries as in Australia. We never did get an answer to the question of where to do our laundry, so used the bathroom and heaters to that end.
Meals out, like everything in Prague, were very affordable and delectable. In fact, just over the road from our Hostel we had the best pizza ever. One meal we had at Karlstein Castle included spinach penne & grog (hot water with spiced rum, lemon and sugar) for me - and vegetable soup, pork schnitzel on potato mash and beer for my friend for a total cost of AU$10.50!
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