Prague- Czech Republic 07/08/2011

Trip Start Jul 01, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, August 7, 2011

Prague 07/08/11  Distance travelled 3927 KM

After leaving Minden we travelled onto Paderborn and on arrival we followed the common sign for camper parking which was right in town and only €6 per 24 hours. Louise went off to find bread for dinner and came back reporting that there seemed to be some sort of festival going on….. so after a quick dinner we went to explore and yes we had stumbled upon the annual Libori festival which is a week long event and basically takes over the whole city and is a big piss up. I can compare it in a lot of ways to a mini Glastonbury but free!! We spent the 1st night wandering and didn't get to see it all, there was  heaps of market stalls (Christmas market type) too many beer tents to count, several music and performing arts stages and a huge fair complete with more beer tents and music venues. You know how the Germans love a good sausage and I saw a stall selling half metre long bratwursts so I quite enjoyed that after a few beers. We also discovered that there was a special deal going down with Paderborn Gold beer where you buy a traditional stein beer mug for €6 and then you can get it filled up 3 times but the catch is that the beer is in a huge barrel of beer and when it’s gone It’s gone so you join the queue and get your beer then head to the back of the queue and start again!! It normally lasts for one and half hours and then the same deal the next day.

After leaving Paderborn we continued our tour of the beautiful German countryside and truly stunning towns and villages. We visited Polle and the original Cinderella’s castle which had great views of the surrounding countryside. One of the best towns for the traditional buildings has to be Hann Munden which was a true picture postcard place. Travelling into Gottingen we had high hopes of another lovely town but turns out it was just a big city with the usual German high street chains which were becoming familier so we didn’t stick around long and headed for Goslar. This was quite a touristy place but well worth the visit with a nice big square and again some really stunning buildings with such detail on them.

Leaving Goslar we stopped off in Quedlinburg which is quite a small market town with a castle right in town up on the hill. Here the old streets and buildings were stunning but by now we were getting a bit of quaint German town’s overload. Leaving this area behind we headed into the city of Leipzig and arriving in was quite a contrast to the places we had spent the last week. Leipzig had a very commercial and international feel to it and we noticed quite quickly that most people we spoke to had good English and a lot of people in the streets were talking English. We visited the excellent Stasi museum which was housed in the former Stasi headquarters. The exhibition was in German but with an English audio guide it was a real insight into what went on and really not too long ago which is quite scary. Leaving here we drove towards the Czech border and stopped off at a thermal baths with camper parking on site and enjoyed relaxing and drifting  away in the salt water pools.

The next day we did the drive to Prague which was fairly straight forward and one of the first sights we see over the border is a huge big Tesco factory!! We found a campsite right on the river and close to a tram line which takes about 10 mins to get into the city which is perfect. The campsite has quite a backpacker feel to it which I like but quite surprised that most of the people here are Italian and very few German although it is so close. We went for some dinner in the restaurant here and had Beef Goulash €3 and pint of beer €1…… This made me like Prague even more however what a huge contrast to the prices in town as the most expensive beer I saw was €5 and you have to look hard to get a €1-2 beer. The city really impressed me and I can recommend it to anyone as a perfect city break, the only thing which lets it down is the fact that there is a huge mass of tourists and simply getting around the popular spots is a tiresome battle fighting your way through the crowds. We did enjoy walking our socks off and spent all day yesterday wandering. This is the first city we have come to which is so geared towards tourists and British ones mostly, the shops are just like any UK high street with the usual names even M&S, Debenhams, Tesco etc. Czech is quite a small country but we plan to see a little bit more of it on the way to Austria as it would be nice to see the real Czech as I’m sure it is quite different to Prague.

PS. Thks for all the comments and txts from everyone, it is nice to know that we are not boring you all to death! Good to hear the news too and glad everyone is doing well……keep it up.
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