Friday, November 30, 2007
Bratislava, 17-11-2007. With these lads from Down Under gone it looks like I will have the dorm all to myself tonight. Tomorrow will be leaving time for me, Budapest will be my next goal! After my McDonalds breakfast in the old town i finally walked up to the castle. Built on a hill, the castle - if you can call it that - dominates the city with breath taking views in all directions. Unlike my aussie friends who returned to the dorm each night well after three o`clock in the morning, I have not done much bar crawling but that does not disturb me much. Maybe I will visit some bars in Budapest.
Bratislava, 16-11-2007. A thick carpet of snow covered Bratislava this morning when I woke up. Bratislava is quite different from Praque despite its cobblestone alleys and old historical city centre. The Bratislava castle perched high on a hill, overlooks it all but I have to as yet get up there. Maybe this afternoon. My dorm at the Backpacker`s Hostel is full with young australian males who where busy getting themselves loaded before venturing out to the local night clubs last night. They invited me to beer and patatas fritas and wanted to know all about Thailand once I told them I`ve been to this Country of the Smile on several occasions. They`ll have stop-overs in Bangkok on their way back home. I happily told them all they wanted to know.
Bratislava, 15-11-2007. Sitting on a bench at Holesovice Railway Station watching the flakes of snow coming down I start to get a vague idea of the day ahaed. Bratislava is my new goal, it will take about four and half hours by loacl train. Feelling easy and relaxed and drinking a few cans of local brew, I watch how the landscape, the forests and little local villages slowly disappaer under a fine white blanket of snow. Haven`t seen that cold stuff since Amanda was pregnant with our daughter Charlotte nearly three years ago now. By the time the train pulls into Bratislava Railway Station my relaxation turns into anxiety. Everything is white, cold and wet but I manage to get to the Backpacker`s Hostel and pay two nights in advance for a bed in a dorm.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Praque, 14-11-2007. Mala Strana, Nove Mesto, the jewish quarter of Josefov and let us not forget, Stare Mesto are the tourist acttractions of Praque and by now i fel like i have explored them to the MAX getting lost on purpose. though it is the off season for Praque as far as the tourism industry goes, i still see hordes of tourists, some alone or in couples but even more huge groups with a tourist guide heading the group holding a colored unopened umbrella high in the air, tourists following the umbrella like meek sheep, very funny indeed....three days in Prague will probably suffice for me and i plan on going to Bratislava tomorrow, a new country a new city.....GOOD FOR ME.....more strolling around soaking up the energy, the admosphere of yet another new city. I can feel the positive effect it has on my health. No more sitting alone in my house smoking sigarillos and drinking cheap supermarket beer feeling nauseas, half drunk and stoned out of my head, getting into a semi-panic every time the door bell rings because it will be them, these drunks from the Westerpark, a plastic back in their hands full with hardcore porn DVDs which they want to sell trying to get a few spare Euros for yet more beer and joints. An old crappy bike stolen in front of Jolanda s house also will find its way to my house.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Praque, 13-11-2007. The cobblestone little alleys of Praque are murder for the soles of my feet, i did buy new shoes before setting out on this trip knowing in advance the amount of strolling around i would do on this trip. I mean going around on foot instead of by taxi gives me more of a conection with the city i am in. Doing all the sights means walking from one sight to the other, i know loads of people take a cab, well, not me...Climbing the 287 steps up to the top of the Saint Vitus cathedral dragging a out of shape and totally exhausted chinese lady along, i could see all the red tiled roofs of ancient Praque. Praque, one of these lucky european cities that came out of the WW2 without getting itself bombed to pieces by either the nazies or the Allied Forces. Obviously when this city was built motorised traffic was non-excistent. I spend my evenings in the little kichennette that comes with the dorm i sleep in, drinking cheap but tasty Czech beer and chatting with the other guests. Yes, Europe has a certain charm and Prague a charm all of its own
Monday, November 12, 2007
Praque, 12-11-2007. The Praque main railway station is full with the usual drunks, the drop-outs, the homeless, the desperate and asorted poor and miserable people from the street who have nada but their booze, their tabaco and that sort of shit that has brought them downhill and where they are today. Small wonder i have my lunch and a pint of famous czech beer at the railway station. These plaes are the same all over the world, a gathering place for the aforementioned poor masses of society. The sort of people that i hang out with back home in good old Amsterdam, the sort of people i seem to have to look for when i travel, the sort of people that have brought me where i am today.....forget about the bad health, i knew from the beginning that that was the price i would have to pay. The eternal conflicts of the Happy Drunk Gang, the constant search for money to pay for all this addictive shit. every time and time and time again i tell myself this has got to come to an end. But then i am unsure again and look for comfort finding more conflict and more shit. At least i managed to walk around Praque the whole morning soaking up this typical eastern Europe admosphere, watching all there is to see, smelling the smell of these old houses, feeling the slight rain in my face and realising that despite all the shit back home, the dope and alcohol i am still travelling around seeing new parts of this beautifull world, meeting new people, going through new experiences and seeing new things.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Praque, 11=11=2007. Finally after all these years of trying to make up my mind about visiting Praque, the capital of the Czech Republic, a long time goal, a long time on my mind but i have done it.....I am in Praque....after a long but restful night in a german overnight train, couchette and all that, i am and will be in Praque planning on strolling around and just plainly relaxing, trying to overcome yet another period of heavy pot smoking and bad health, somehow the Amsterdam marijuana does not go well with my system. Arriving in Praque well after noon = hey what happened to german efficiency, i mean we were three and a half hours late, unusual for Die Deutsche Bahn. The place looks nice and old, old buildings and a maze of little and small streets and alleys cobble stoned and a difficult to define admosphere. Allthough the whole city looks in a serious state of decay - we are in eastern Europe - still it is obviously a popular tourist destination. Today in the city centre, strolling around and trying to absorb the feel of the place i was acutely aware of all these people carrying city maps, hearing them speak Italiano, Deutsch, english and even Nederlands. I am pretty sure that i will come to like this city over the next three or four days.