Regensburg to Prague
We leave Regensburg shortly after noon, well, we were supposed to leave shortly after noon . . . several couples either misunderstood the directions on where to meet to join up with the tour and board the buses to Prague, or just completely disregarded the instructions. We waited on the bus for 30 minutes while the tour directors tracked down our missing companions. Okay, on our way . . . . no, wait, one of the two buses that stayed behind to wait for the missing people is having engine trouble. We pull over into a rest stop to wait while the bus company works on sending out a replacement. A forty-five minute wait. Have I mentioned that it's a four hour ride to Prague still? The tour directors are doing their best to appease the group, and get things going as quickly as possible. They do a very good job of communicating and making us feel that we are in capable hands, so kudos to them. NOW we get started on the road to Prague. We are driving on no less than the famous Autobahn, the German highway system famous for its generous speed limits. Buses
have a limit of 80km/h, or approximately 50 miles per hour, so we are not going all that fast. However, I watch as the procession of cars fly by in the left lane . . . BMW, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Opel (they still make those?) and Skoda. We pass scenic views blocked by the high barriers along the bahn, farmland as far as the eye can see, with misty purple mountains rising far off on the horizon. At one point, I look out to see acres and acres of bright yellow sunflowers, nodding in the distance. During the trip, we make a rest stop, where we grab a bite to eat in the convenience store, or at the neighboring McDonald's. Tom indulges in a Big Mac and Fries, I guess to make up for the goose liver? Can't help but notice the large amount of skin mags in the convenience store, rows of them at eye level, and no covers . . . . yup, we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. I pass on the porn, just so you know, not my thing.
Tom and I nosh on the cheese and bread I bought in the market, so good, and
nap a bit along the way. We arrive in Prague in the early evening, the outskirts an homage to the former Communist regime, tall blocky apartment buildings, one after another, austere and forbidding. Many are now painted bright colors and have colorful flowers on the terraces, but others are still drab and gray. As we pass into the Old Town towards the Marriott, the Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings of earlier centuries are more and more prevalent. Graffiti is everywhere, a protestation of the young against the harsh realities of communism, some is interesting and mildly artistic, but most is just ugly and defaces the beautiful architecture.
We check into the Marriott and relax in our room, then clean up for dinner. We have asked Tony and Margaret from the group to join us at the Kampa Park Restaurant for the evening. Kampa Park is on the opposite bank of the river near the Charles Bridge, right on the water with views of the city at night and the lights of the party boats and cruises floating by. A wonderful dinner, and a very interesting waiter, Radovan, entertains with his terribly arrogant, but excellent, skills. My favorite dish, the
pan-seared sea scallops in beurre blanc . . . . mmmmmm. Good wine, good food and great conversation~
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