Day 68: No room at the inn
Trip Start Oct 17, 2013
158Trip End Mar 22, 2014
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Where I stayed
What I did
We took in the views from the top of the hill and strolled through the gardens. There was not much to see in the gardens because everything was winterfied and bundled up. We made our way over to the lookout tower that looked like the Eiffel tower. We were going to go up the tower but they charged a rediculous amount to enter the observation room and you had to pay extra to use the elevator to get up to the room
We fully expected the train station to be packed with travelers and we were shocked when we walked in and it was almost empty. At first I was worried that the trains were not running but a quick check of the board told us we were leaving from track 4J. We only stopped by the first class lounge again because we had about 10 minutes to kill. They could have at least put out some peanuts for Christmas.
The ride out to Pilsen was short, just an hour and a half. The countryside became way more interesting. It was filled with forests, cliffs off in the distance and hills. We would have liked to stop and trek through some of the woods that we saw... maybe some other time. At one point John saw a man rock climbing by himself on a pretty steep rock face. I don't think that is something I would enjoy doing alone... what if something happened?
We arrived in Pilsen with low expectations for the hostel that we had made reservations for. We made the reservations about a month before becuase we thought that this would be a cute town to spend Christmas Eve in
Our expectations were dead on. We showed up to the building that was indicated on the website and went to reception. First off I would like to say that these buildings looked like the projects of any major city. Building after building was the same, they were painted in bright colors (some sort of attempt to make it look less ghetto and more cheery I guess) and we could hear people yelling at each other from pretty much every open window. Back to reception... the man spoke NO english. Nothing. Not even hello. He looked at the reservation print out that we handed him, got a super confused look on his face, shook his head no and pointed to the road and then to another building. Ugh. We walked to that building and met a woman in reception (who may or may not have been associated with the first building) who also spoke NO english. She looked at our print out and motioned for us to go back to the building that we just came from. She did not seem to understand that we did not understand her and she just kept talking to us. Finally she walked us back over to the first building, talked with the man, they both shook their heads no, and we walked back to her building. We are guessing that he knew nothing of the reservation and did not have room for us. She tried to tell us that we could stay with her but at this point I was getting so sad about spending Christmas Eve in the projects with potentially a stinky sleeping situation that I just looked at John and said "There is a Marriot in town, do you want to stay there?" Two seconds later we making our way across town to the Marriot.
We feel a bit like sellouts for spending the night as such a nice place
In Pilsen we set off to explore the town and to get a Pilsner beer on tap. The beer is made right here in town and is the original Pilsner beer in the world. We quickly noticed that everything, and we mean everything, was closed. Only the shady casinos are open and they do not have the beer on tap. We must have walked around for 2 hours looking for a place to serve a beer and to get some dinner. No luck. We returned to the room after seeing the town church and synagogue (3rd largest in the world) and had a gross dinner. We had waffles, yogurt, olives and peanuts. I have heartburn now just thinking about it. We came across a bar that supposedly opens soon and we will venture out there to see if the sign on the door is true. Really though, I just want to go curl up in the nice big bed waiting for me.
Merry Christmas Eve!
# of countries: 19
# of cities: 44
# of planes: 3
# of trains: 81
# of buses: 15
# of taxis: 2
# of beers: 52 (Pilsner Urquell)
# of monies found: 6.60 Euros, 8.05 Peruvian soles, 5 cents American, 10 cents Bolivian, 1 cent Canadian, 15 Swiss Francs, 11 Czech Republic Korunas, 5 Croatian Lipas, 2 Hungarian Fillers (no longer in use), 10 Romanian lei
# of times we did laundry: 3
# of languages we know how to say Butterfly in: 12
# of holes in Amberīs sneakers: 3
Next stop: Berlin, Germany