"Blue Shadows in the Street"

Trip Start May 25, 2013
Trip End Jun 23, 2013

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Where I stayed
Apartments Tynska 7 Prague
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Czech Republic  , Hlavní město Praha,
Friday, June 14, 2013

We have half a day to fill in Budapest before moving on. The morning starts with an excellent breakfast at a little cafe at the end of our arcade. We enjoy great coffee, Art Deco decor and a charming host.

We walk around the Jewish area of Budapest. The buildings are not as well maintained as their Viennese cousins and there are still signs of bullet damage in some walls.

The Dohány Street Synagogue in built in a moorish style with polychromatic brickwork and is the largest in Europe and fifth largest in the world. It consists of the Great Synagogue, the Heroes' Temple, the graveyard, the Holocaust memorial and the Jewish Museum. We just peek from the outside but decide against paying the admission, given that we have just missed a guided tour.

Instead we walk the neighbourhood towards the river. We find Margaret from the tour and enjoy another refreshing limonade together before hitting the market across the road. The Budapest market sits in a building not unlike a Victorian railway station. The ground floor houses produce stalls and a mezzanine levels has food and variety shops.

We waste no time buying fruit for the train and lunch for right now.

The onward trip to Prague is a seven hour train ride from mid-afternoon late into the evening. First class in a Hungarian carriage doesn't quite match that of a western European equivalent. Still, we have the carriage mostly to ourselves until Bratislavia in Slovakia. The time actually passes reasonably quickly between reading, chatting, photos, snoozing and eating.

I have been to Prague once before and have memories of a station populated by homeless men and/or drunkards. Arriving at 11pm, l have a transfer booked in Prague and am delighted to see a man with a sign with my name waving at the end of the platform. What's more, the station has been rebuilt, houses some designer shops, is clean and has our minibus parked out the front!

Arriving in inner Prague on a Friday night reveals pub crawls in full swing. Our taxi weaves through dark shadows, narrow streets and packs of party-goers to Apartment Tynska. It is perfectly positioned in the centre of town, behind Our Lady of Tyn Church yet protected from the noise. From our windows, we see the Rumplestiltskin-like turrets of the church and hear the bells. The spires are beautifully floodlit at night. Our host, Kreshmir meets us for an introductory tour and chat.

It's been a long day, but by midnight, we have largely hatched a plan for the next two day's activities...

"Blue Shadows in the Street" by The Dave Brubeck Quartet
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