Sunday, May 1, 2016

(Europe Sep 2015) Day 14: Visit Prague. Overnight train to Germany.

Day 14 (16 Sep 2015): Visit Prague (Czech Republic). 
Overnight train from Prague to Cologne (Germany)

This day's schedule:
1200noon check out of hotel
1230-1240 Muzeum station to Malostranska station via Metro 
1300-1600 Palace grounds and Golden Lane
1600-1700 Late lunch
1720-1740 Took metro back to our hotel
1750-1800 Collected our luggage from hotel and walked over to Prague station
1800-1825 Bought some food and drinks at Prague station
1830-0614 Prague to Cologne via Overnight train

In the morning, we had a scrumptious buffet breakfast at the hotel. 
I love how many places in Europe offers Nutella with their breakfast spread. :)

I had Nutella with pancake :)
 After late breakfast, we checked out of our hotel and then took a short walk from our hotel to Muzeum metro station, that's about 5mins walk from our hotel.  
From Muzeum station, we took the metro to Malostranska station, which is the station nearest to the old palace grounds.  
After you purchase your metro ticket, remember to validate the ticket at the yellow machines you see at the station, because I've read that sometimes there will be staffs doing random checks to see if you bought/validated your train tickets and if you are caught, you will be fined.

Ticket machine

Our train ticket.
Validate your tickets here. Just slot the ticket in to have the ticket stamped.

Although I'm not sure if there's public toilets at every metro station, but I saw public toilets available at Malostranska station. 

This is how Malostranska station look like from the outside.
From Malostranska station, it is about 10-15mins walk to the old palace grounds.

It was a warm day and we were sweating by the time we climbed up those steps. So when we saw a stall selling gelato, we just couldn't resist. :)

Souvenirs sold at the souvenir shop

There's a small area with some food and drinks stalls here, I'm not sure if it's available every day or just a limited time only event though.

Using some sort of drill to slice the potatoes


 There's also a Starbucks coffee outlet here too, with an outdoor seating area with a nice view overlooking the city, as well as indoor seating area if you walk down the spiral steps.  
There's a toilet here but if I remembered correctly, you have to purchase something from Starbucks to be able to get the toilet code that's printed on the receipt to be able to enter the toilet.

The view from Starbuck's outdoor seating terrace area

One of the window seats at Starbuck's indoor seating area.

Some snacks sold at Starbucks.
 After taking a short break at Starbucks, we headed back out to walk towards the Golden Lane.
On the way there, we saw the changing of guards ceremony.

 Since you need to purchase a ticket to be able to enter the Golden Lane, so we went to a cafe just outside the Golden Lane's gate to buy our tickets.

The cafe have price list of the tickets in different languages.
 Finally bought our tickets and we entered into Golden Lane. It costs 250 CZK per pax I think.
I've read somewhere that this place is usually crowded in the mornings, and therefore we chose to visit this place in the afternoon instead, and the crowd was manageable. 

After visiting the Golden Lane, it's time for us to have late lunch.

 After lunch, it's time to walk back to the subway station, since we have an evening Overnight train to catch.

After returning back to our hotel near Prague station, we collected our luggage bags, and went back to Prague station to buy some snacks, drinks, and food to bring onboard our overnight train from Prague to Cologne (Germany).  Cologne is supposed to be just a short stopover for us to transfer to another train to get to Amsterdam (Netherlands) since our overnight train doesn't travel all the way to Amsterdam.
The exterior of Prague's main train station.

Inside Prague train station.

We bought some Burger King's to bring onboard the train

 Catching our overnight train.
The Seat61 website has more information about this particular overnight train.

Boarding the carriage with sleeper cabins

We booked a private economy cabin with 2 beds for 105 Euros per pax.  Since it is a special rate and that these economy cabins gets booked pretty fast, so I managed to buy the tickets for this on the day the cabins were released for reservations (which was about 3 months in advanced, I think). 
This is our private cabin.

2 complimentary bottles of water in our cabin

The sink in our cabin (no private toilet though, since our's is just a regular economy cabin and not the more expensive deluxe cabin)

There's a storage area at the top to put my luggage.  
To be honest, even though this cabin was supposed to be able to accommodate 3 persons, but I think it's already pretty squeezy with just 2 person.

We found a way to keep our drinks cool, by placing our bottled drinks in front of the air-con vent at the top of the cabin. It helps to keep our drinks somewhat cool.

Here's the shared shower room.

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