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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: 52.5235, 13.4115
Today was our day to catch the train to Berlin. We had reserved first class tickets on the Deutsche Bahn website three months earlier, so got a very good price. I then had to telephone Deutsche Bahn once our trip was closer to make seat reservations.
We had the Leonardo Hotel call us a taxi to take us to Prague Station. Once there, we tried to work out where our train to Berlin would leave from. That was not an easy task, so I highly recommend anyone travelling by train from Prague to allow yourselves enough time to work out which platform you need.
It turned out that we had a very, very long walk, dragging our large cases and carry on bags, to a platform at the far end of the station. We obviously looked slightly lost so a Czech gentleman offered to show us where we needed to go. We were very happy to be shown, even though we had plenty of time, all the walking back and forth was very tiring. Once we got to the correct platform the gentleman suggested that 200 crowns was a fair exchange for his assistance. He wasn't at all threatening, but we
decided that it was such a small amount of money we would just pay up. He really had helped us anyway!
Once on the train we found our seats in the first class carriage. The train was a bit of a disappointment compared to pictures we had seen on line. We later discovered that we were on a train owned and run by the Czech railway company. Once we started catching the German trains, they were a lot nicer.
Our seats were spacious and comfortable and the views outside the large picture windows were excellent. We took turns with the two boys to go to the restaurant car for our lunches. In first class, we had the option of being served at our seat, but it was nice to get change of scenery and eat in the comfortable restaurant while watching the scenery go by. I had a delicious lunch of goulash soup and a ham and cheese sandwich. We tried to pay with our credit card as we didn't have enough Czech currency left. There was a few problems paying and the server said that the transaction hadn't gone through. I managed to get online on my iphone and checked my
bank app and found that the transaction had indeed gone through. I showed this to the server and said I wasn't prepared to pay again. Later in our journey he came to our seats and apologised and said that we were correct, the transaction had been successful. I was very impressed that he apologised and went to the trouble of letting us know.
Once we arrived in Berlin, we joined the queue at the taxi rank to get two taxis to take us to the Circus. We arrived and checked into our fairly comfortable rooms.
Gary and I had a Junior Suite, the boys had a twin room. The hotel was ultra modern, but had everything required. See my review on TripAdvisor here:
Once we had unpacked we needed to go and find a self serve laundry. The hotel directed us to one just across the intersection. It was unlike any laundry we have in Australia! It was totally self serve, but there was a very pleasant man who showed us how it worked - we hadn't used a laundromat for thirty years or so and they are certainly different from the old days of putting coins in the machine. This one also
had a bar to buy a beer or wine, together with free wifi!
After the laundry was complete, we went down to Restaurant Fabisch in our hotel lobby for a wonderful dinner of Granny's Beef Cheeks and Mash together with some red wine. All this was enjoyed to the music of a live jazz band.
A very enjoyable day and evening. Off to bed in readiness for the next day's exploration of Berlin.
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