Sunday, 7 June 2009

Summer Ball!

Today is the ball! We’re so excited! The day pretty much consisted of us packing up our rooms and then beautifying ourselves!
Here is the final product!

It was a really fun night – good to see everyone from class again. Miranda and I had some drinks and pretty much boogied the night away! I’m not writing much because I have to surrender my computer but I thought you would all want to see how we looked so here is a montage – enjoy!
I’m off for another European adventure through Spain, Italy and Greece tomorrow so I’ll be out of blog land for two weeks! But I will return – for more! Bye!

Romeo wherefore art though? The Globe? Cheers.

We’re back in England! It feels so weird! But relieving... Tonight we are going to see Romeo & Juliet at the Globe Theatre in London! How very English of us... this whole week is pretty much dedicated to saying goodbye to London... Given that when we get back from our next trip we will pretty much be booted onto a plane that takes us to our respective homes. Sigh.
On the train ride there we got in the Shakespeare mood!
Then we just started taking candid photos of each other. Or rather we started taking photos of one another taking photos of the other person. It’s very confusing but hilarity ensued as I do rather hilarious things when I think no one has a camera. Like adjust my hair...
We arrived, saw St Paul’s much to Miranda’s delight, and then crossed the good ol’ Millennium Bridge whilst eating ice-cream. It’s crazy because I remember crossing this bridge a couple of months ago and I couldn’t feel my toes or face it was so cold and now I’m in a skirt eating ice-cream!

Arrived at the Globe – it’s really awesome – I highly recommend seeing it and taking a tour because it’s so interesting plus it has a really great gift shop. A gift shop where Miranda and I bought little badges and hers says “Capulet” and mine says “Montague” – we took sides. We got pretty good seats and I’m so glad I rented a cushion because sitting on the wooden pews for three hours can be a bit of strain on the old bum-bum (not the ice-cream). It was a really amazing performance and I was so glad we went because Shakespeare is SO much better when you see it than read it... makes you feel smart because when they are acting out the lines you actually know what they are trying to say. It’s funny because in the part where Juliet is deciding whether or not to drink the potion she lists off all these pros and cons and by the end of it I wanted someone to shout out “just drink it!”. Overall, it was a great performance and the best part is all the costumes, set and everything are as they would have been in Shakespeare’s time. The costumes are all made of materials available in that time meaning there was no Velcro to help the actors get them on and off – that’s it. Rather awesome.

The next day we took a jaunt to Hampton Court. Miranda, very kindly, took me even though she had already been twice and I hadn’t gone yet. It was a pretty cool palace – but – again – palaces have nothing on Versailles. You can really tell from all the architecture and so on that it’s England. Dark wood panelling and very little light in the rooms – means you’re in England. There was a tour going when we got there and the tour guides were all dressed up in proper costumes. They made us choose which tour guide to go with – either the noble lady (if you were a noble) or the other guy. Obviously, we went with the noble lady and got to do the best thing in the world – wear costumes AS WELL! We each got a long velvet vest. Mine was green and Miranda’s was red. We were lamenting earlier that we didn’t bring warm enough coats and these did just the trick – I miss mine now.
The tour guide gave us a run down of Henry VIIIs life as today was going to be his wedding day to Katherine Parr. It was funny because she told the story as one would in a gossipy manner. She told us that Henry was with Anne Boleyn but also Mary Boleyn to which she added “but who hasn’t”. She told us that Anne of Cleves was shunned by Henry not just because she was ugly but because, apparently, she was really stinky! Ha ha!

Eventually, Henry and Katherine appeared in their finery and we had to all bow and saw “god save the king” when he entered and exited the room. It was really fun! The kind of stuff you get a kick out of when you’re a) a child or b) a lame-o like me. We looked around the palace and had more fun whipping our cloaks about. I still miss my cloak. The people in our tour group must have handed theirs back because we seemed to be the only people wearing them about the place and all these people kept giving us smiles like “aww... what a sad pair”.

Miranda and I finally had cream tea! It only took us six months but FINALLY we got around to having it – and it was delicious. We kept looking around and I realised my cloak could look more like a robe... what do you think?
We were going to try and waltz out with them on as if this was our everyday attire but as we went into the gardens a security guy asked us to leave them behind – DAMN! Oh well... That night we went to see “Angels and Demons” with Leonore and her little sister who had returned from their trip through France. Very nice.

During the film (it stars Tom Hanks who played the voice of Woody in Toy Story) Miranda and I joked that we should yell out quotes from Toy Story like “Somebody poisoned the water hole!” and “There’s a snake in my boot!”. So it would be like “Robert... the pope is dead”“There’s a snake in my boot!”
“B-but what should we do about this global crisis?”
“Reach for the sky...”
Brilliant. The following day Miranda and I went into London to do some final shopping and I got my hair cut – BOO HOO. It’s AWFUL. I came out of the place – Miranda saw me and I burst into tears! Urgh... I seriously look like Maria Von Trapp... sigh I better start eating cheese I guess...
Nevertheless... tomorrow is the Summer Ball! Yippee!

Goodbye Europe! For a bit...

Day 16.
Munich -> London

Today is the last day of our Europe trip! Part one mind you. But still it’s coming to an end and that’s sad...
We decided to take a FREE walking tour around Munich. The girl that came to pick up at our hostel was studying in Royal Holloway – how weird is that? We RoHoers plague the Earth. We went back to the glockenspiel and met Matt our tour guide for the day who told us about the characters within the clock. The top part (which moves first) is a wedding story of Wilhelm V and his French wife. There are jesters and jousters that turn around and the jousters are representative of the bride and groom’s respective nations. Given that this clock is in Munich – the Munich team wins. Then below that is another window which has a bunch of guys in red coats twirling about. They are dancing the Coopers Dance. Coopers are the people who make barrels and when the plague was pillaging Europe people wouldn’t go outside for fear of catching it. One day the coopers decided to go outside and dance about because they didn’t catch the plague. So this dance became popular and the king of the time said that it was so such a sweet dance that they must do it every seven years for eternity. And they still do it too! Behind the dancers on the clock is this jester guy who was doing a sort of party thrust behind the coopers. Apparently, he was the guy who entertained the children by painting their faces and so on. I was concerned about this guy for two reasons. 1. He was thrusting the children and 2. Because the paint he would have used was lead based – so the people of the town would encourage the children to play with a paedophile that would poison you.
Matt said that the Glockenspiel is the #2 most overrated tourist site - #1 is the Astrological clock in Prague – I still think they’re both cool.

Next stop on the tour was the Frauenkirche Church. There is a legend with this place which is called the Devil’s footprint. The people of Munich started to build this church and the Devil popped by, saw it and decided that it was the coolest thing he’s seen. So he went in the front door and noticed that there were no windows in the church and really liked it – being the Prince of Darkness and all – so he found the architect and said – Architect, I love this place and will get my minions to help you build it in record time as long as you don’t add any more windows. The architect agreed and 27 years later the Devil came back. This time he went through the side door and notices that the sides of the church were covered in stained glass windows! “Architect!” he shouted “you promised no more windows and look at these! Your soul is now my property” the architect shook his head and said “no Devil, these windows were here all along but you came in the front door and didn’t realise that they were blocked by the columns holding the church up” The Devil was pretty pissed that he got tricked so he stamped his foot, leaving a mark, and vanished. Here is that footprint (keep in mind the Devil was wearing Birkenstocks at the time). No, not really, the footprint is the architect and that was his way of signing his work. It’s a pretty cool church though – see the trick?
Sadly, this was one church that got majorly damaged in WWII. In fact, 90% of Munich was destroyed and the people of the town had photographed and drawn the town before it was destroyed in case of situations like this so they could re build. This means that pretty much the whole town of Munich is less than 70 years old – pretty amazing stuff.
Also sadly, today is a Catholic holiday! All the shops were closed again! Fie! Fie! They almost didn’t let the tour guide and us in because of this... almost.

The tour guide then stopped us and gave us a quick run down of WWII. He was SO KNOWLEDGABLE. I would have just loved to have lunch with him and just listen to everything he knows... It was really great. I mean I knew about everything he was saying but he made it really accessible. He said that when Germany was suffering from hyper-inflation one US dollar would by about 54 trillion German marks – WHOA. Money became so worthless that the ink printed on it was worth more and that children would play with money and not toys. People would burn money because it was cheaper than wood. Wow.
Another interesting note he made was that in 1997 or so this information came to light that when the Nazis started pillaging Jewish places of business – their uniforms were made by Hugo Boss! Makes you think twice about designers...
All the memorials in Munich are really small – random segue there but they are in existence – they are just quite small. He then showed us this awesome looking market but because of the darn Catholics it was closed. Munich is on my list for places to return to in the future.

He then led us back to my favourite house – the Beer Hall. He told us that this was the hall where Hitler started the Nazi party. Inside the men’s toilets it also has a vomitorium. Again – lovely segue. It’s all modern now – Matt said – and it’s motion activated which is handy... The thing is there isn’t one in the ladies toilet because ladies don’t vomit. Huh. The beer house didn’t use to have any bathrooms (and women weren’t even allowed) there was, instead, a big canal running under each row of tables and the men would simple pop open their lederhosen and whizz away. Very nice.

We then stopped at the Residenz which is the main palace of Munich and each part of it was built in a different style due to different kings wanting different things. After WWII there was just around one fifth remaining. Yeesh.

And now to Hitler. If you don’t like hearing about him or it offends you then scroll on because I learnt a lot of interesting things. Hitler came to Munich to become an artist but the academy denied him because he was rubbish at drawing people. He thought that one way he could take power of Germany was to stage a coup. Violence, however, didn’t work and Hitler was in big trouble. The coup was staged where politicians of Germany were having a meeting (in a beer hall that no longer exists) and Hitler came in and tried taking the three main guys as hostages. Long story short – the hostages got away. Hitler had planned for his whole group to march towards the main square but the road they were taking was blocked by police (that the escaped politicians had called). We actually walked down this road where Hitler’s bodyguard jumped on him and took 11 bullets – can you imagine how history would have changed if just one of those bullets had of strayed? Hitler made a run for it, hijacked an ambulance and fled. When he got in power this story was fabricated and they stated that Hitler actually saw a little girl, scooped her up and drove her to safety. Huh. During this coup 15 Nazis, 4 police and one innocent bystander were killed. When the Nazis erected a memorial for this occurrence they wrote that 16 Nazis had died – after all they would never kill an innocent bystander – he must have been a Nazi as well! How noble! The memorial isn’t there anymore and when it was people walking by would have to salute it – note – you can’t heil in Germany, it’s illegal. There were guards always watching the memorial and if people didn’t salute it they could be heckled and beaten! So there was this little alley just behind it which was labelled “Dodger’s Alley” where resistant Germans would go to get round the memorial and not have to heil. There are only some golden cobblestones on this street to commemorate this. Like I said Munich had small memorials – but they are there.

The tour was coming to an end and he told us one more story about some students who were trying to silent protest the Nazis by distributing flyers and pamphlets. It was illegal to distribute these so these students would leave them all over the ground outside classes so if individuals just happened to pick these up then it was nobody’s fault. Until one day the students were caught. This was called the White Rose Resistance and each of these students were decapitated as a warning to anyone who wanted to resist the Nazis. Yikes.

After our tour we went and had a look at the view on St Peter’s church. It was pretty nice. The staircase up and down had all this graffiti on it and I tried taking an artistic type picture of Miranda with it... at least Miranda looks nice. My skills, however, are... yeah... now. When we were in the tower the bells went off and that was pretty cool. I felt like I was being bounced out of there with sound. It was scary but neat. We also found these lion statues – there are four of them and one of the other tour guides was telling us that if we touched three of the four we would get lucky either in love or financially. If you touched all four you were being greedy!

We said our goodbyes to Munich and Europe in general as we caught the train to the airport and then had to sit around and twiddle our thumbs for about two hours. I had another ice-cream sandwich and for some reason they were playing Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile” on the television – which I love.

We got on the plane and came back to London! Good to see Founders again – very excited about the ball. Overall, an excellent Europe trip! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it – there’s another whole trip to come so I’ll keep you posted!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Munchen = Beer Hall.

Day 15.
Salzburg -> Munich

Urgh – woken to the sound of what I thought were elephants trundling about the room when in fact it was the other girls packing up. Urgh. I’m always quiet when I”m packing and someone else is sleeping! Jees – consideration people!
We checked out and went on the computers to check mail one last time and only a few of the many computers were working – they were free! Tee hee! Then this really annoying Australian girl came in and, in what I now hear as a really thick accent, said “this is ridiculous – I’ve been waaaiiting for aaaaagges” Shudder. Do I really sound like that? It’s funny because being on this Europe trip Miranda and I have really been disliking those that come from our respective countries. After a breakfast of a soft chocolate and nut pretzel (we’re blending in pretty well) we went to the train station thinking that we would spend some time in Salzburg town before heading off to Munich. We took a spin around the train station, found the few things that existed were closed and came back to the train station. This took about seven minutes. Off to Munich then!

The train ride was only about two hours so we arrived in Munich and found our hostel which was average. Everyone had written all over the bunk beds “so and so was here 07” and such so I wrote on mine “Beyonce Knowles wuz here 09” We figured people would get star struck because at the height of her career she’s really be staying at a hostel in Munich – made me laugh. These bunk beds make me nervous because my top one is bolted into the wall and has no posts supporting so I was worried all night that it was going to break if I rolled over and crush Miranda – wounding me in the process.

We then began to explore the town. Miranda has been to Munich before so she had a good idea as to where we were going. We set off towards Marienplatz where we were going to watch the glockenspiel go of at five. Before we got there we were just walking along talking, in English, when some guy near us says something in German. Naturally, we don’t think he’s talking to us so we don’t pay any attention. Then he comes right up next to us and starts talking really loudly in German. We started to get a bit panicked and walk off but he came in front of us and says (in English this time) “Is there something wrong with your hearing? I ask you three times, very politely where the English Gardens are and you just walk off!” to which I replied “we don’t speak German”. He did apologise but – yeesh – why do we attract crazy people? We then dubbed this guy English Garden Bastard. We got to the clock and it was a pretty cool clock – I thought. There are little characters that spin around and the clock chimes various little tunes. I liked listening to the sea of tourists going “oooo!” and “ahhh!” and then clapping at the end of it.
We tried to find something else to do but everything was closed because it was a Sunday. Even all the big clothes shops – thou shalt not have new rags on the Sabbath!

Next comes one of my favourite things of our trip. The Hofbrauhaus. BEER HALL! I’d been looking forward to this for a while and was excited to try one of these big ass beers I’d heard so much about. Outside the Beer House were all these guys in matching lederhosen singing along to a guy playing an accordion and collecting money out a giant spoon. Yep. It seems that bachelor parties are HUGE in Europe – we’ve seen several about the place. A bunch of guys (or girls) in matching outfits roaming about the place collecting money. Talk about effort...

Inside we got this really grumpy older waitress who Miranda asked very politely (in German) if she spoke English to which we got a forceful “Nein!”. Whoa okay... I guess if I were her age and in a wench outfit I’d be pretty cranky too...We ended up gesturing to an empty glass on our table and holding up two fingers. And there it was – my Everest – a litre of German beer. Now I’m not a big fan of beer – but this beer was really tasty. We’d just started drinking when some traditional music began to play. The whole atmosphere was pretty awesome – we bought real traditional pretzels which were way too salty for my liking. Miranda ate most of mine. See the pretzel in the photo? See that I’m halfway through the beer! I’ll get there... Then we got approached by these Americans sitting near us (as a matter of fact ALL the tables around us had Americans at them – including mine – so much for a German experience) who asked where we were from and were playing some drinking game where they pick random people to take photos with. Suits us! Here they are! Random folk and beer – what more could you ask for? After a while some people sat down next to us who were from Switzerland. Close enough to a German experience – I mean they could speak German. They were very nice and they congratulated me whole heartedly when – eventually – I FINISHED MY STEIN. That’s right everyone reading this should be in awe because I finished that darn thing even though I could barely lift it to my lips! I’m so proud of myself... We went back to the hostel – noticing all the lederhosen shops – we are in Bavaria... and I know what you’re thinking – that I was totally drunk but I wasn’t. Just ask Miranda. I was just very – merry. Tomorrow we go back to London and we are both pretty excited for that – having our own rooms, no more bunk beds, English everywhere and using pounds again. There were some other girls in our room from America who were really nice. That night I went to have a shower and walked in on some girl – who was in the middle of the shower foyer – completely nudey doodey! I thought I had gone into the wrong place, walked out, no..., walked back in and was like... “err hi!” and she was just like “hi” completely cool with that fact she was sans clothes. Don’t think I’ll miss that...

Okay - NOW the Hills are Alive...

Day 14.

Last night no one was in our room but us! Hooray! I had breakfast (which wasn’t free – lame) and they always offer bread rolls. Sounds rubbish but they are always freshly baked and these were still warm... mmm... It’s sad how much I write about what I ate... Well there’s more to come today so get ready.

Today is our Sound of Music tour! We were very excited last night going to sleep – usually when Miranda and I are going to sleep we just chat and laugh really hard about random stuff. We worked out some really annoying laughs that we would do whilst on the tour. Should the guide make terrible puns we would break out our annoying laughs – it’s going to be amazing.

Our tour guide, Peter, is hilarious. He enunciates and makes dramatic pauses as he talks and it’s very amusing. He also yodels = First stereotype of Austria – check. Peter, we noted throughout the tour, was very obsessed with the bus driver – Verner. He would always make notes about the sights and then somehow relate it back to Verner. It was quite odd... like “that house over there is rather large, like Verner’s house”. We were waiting for him to say something like “that building on the right is the same colour as Verner’s boudoir”.

The tour started and he began telling us some of the history of Salzburg and that the city was founded in around the 6th century. He was also telling us of some Archbishop in history who liked to play tricks on his people. He commissioned some chairs to be made with little holes on the seat where hoses were connected. His chair had a dial which he could turn so that the water would spray peoples’ pants. First he would get them drunk and then spray their pants so they would worry that they had wet themselves. The best part was in this time the guests could not stand up unless the Archbishop did! I thought that was pretty funny.
He also was telling us that everyone in the world loves the film but the people of Salzburg – don’t. This is because there was a film made about Maria Von Trapp’s life that wasn’t a musical and the “Sound of Music” changed events which upset the Austrians. Also they didn’t translate the film into German until about 11 years ago!

Oh – here is a picture of our tour bus. Peter said the picture of Julia Andrews singing looks like she’s sneezing so Miranda and I thought we would join in on the fun.

I’m glad we did this tour today because it was FREEZING. It’s easily the coldest day we’ve had and it felt like England months and months ago. Getting off the bus to see the sights was a little bothersome as the bus was nice and warm. Looking at the variety of people on the bus – young, old, very old and all different nationalities – it’s clear that war wouldn’t occur if everyone watched “Sound of Music”. So this bus took us to see where different scenes in the movie were filmed. First stop was the back of the Von Trapp house – they did use two different houses – well this one was the back. This is the Leopold Crown Palace.

Next stop was the glass gazebo which a couple of very important scenes happen in. First, the glass gazebo was originally near the first stop – in those gardens – but the people who owned the house got sick of crazy fans jumping the fence and invading their garden to see it. So they relocated it to where it is now. You can’t go inside it anymore because some 80 year old tried to jump from bench to bench, like they do in the film, and broke her hip. But here it is. And it’s a lot smaller than you would think. That’s because this one was only used when they needed to film outside the gazebo. They had a bigger one made on a film set back in America for the inside scenes. Miranda said that during the filming of the “I am 16 going on 17” song the girl who played Leisel put her foot through the glass and if you look closely you can see a bandage around her ankle. While we were looking at the glass gazebo Peter came up to us and was chatting to us about the film when he suddenly asked us if we were ready to be married and have kids! He said “the longer you wait the dumber the children get”. Wow. What the heck.

Back on the bus and this time we set off to have a look at the Austrian countryside (which I was most excited about). While we were driving we could buy drinks from their mini-bar which included a random Austrian soft drink called “Almdudler”. It’s delicious. We tried one just to say that we did but it was so yummy! It’s like ginger beer mixed with apple juice and very tasty. We even made up a jingle for it that goes “Almdudler... the dudler that alms!” Catchy. We got off and had a look at one of the many lakes in the area. It’s so beautiful! Good to see the Alps again even if they are partially obscured by clouds.

Peter was telling us that he had a girl who was 19 on his tour a couple of months ago who was crying. He asked her why and she said because her life ambition was to go on this tour because she watched “Sound of Music” twice a day since she was five. What a nutcase! That’s six hours out of your life everyday! Holy smokes. He also told us that the real Maria Von Trapp died of a cheese overdose. I kid you not. Apparently, all she would eat was cheese and because she never got any roughage her stomach pretty much folded in half and she got gangrene! Miranda then said to me “Ahh Maria Von Trapp... she died as she lived – eating cheese”.

We got off the bus in this little town called Monsee (Moon Lake) where we could see the church that Maria, in the film, gets married in. It was pretty cool. Even more cool was the fact that there were loads of townsfolk in LEDERHOSEN. 2nd Austrian stereotype – check.

Here comes stereotype number three – after the church we went and had apple strudel at this little restaurant – check. It was so delicious! It had vanilla custard type stuff and it was really tasty. It was such a cute little place with little chandeliers and loads of various pastries to choose from. It was a cute town altogether – look at the colours of the houses. Very darling.
Back on the bus and we are almost done with the tour – darn this bus lark is so good. They put on the soundtrack from the film and people started singing along. Peter said we should given that “we’d never see these people again anyway”. Fair enough. He then started talking about the Edelweiss flower. He said that the flower only grows on high peaks way up in the mountains. When a young man wants to court a young woman in Austria he would give her an Edelweiss flower to prove his love to her. The population of Salzburg is only 150 000 and this is why... haha not really. Peter also said that they use to give out Edelweiss seeds to the people on the bus as a gift but Australians kept getting arrested going through customs when coming home! How true! Man we are so crazy about all that – not looking forward to going home. We finished our tour and Peter told said goodbye or rather “I hope you both find rich husbands” – weird.

We continued the tour of Salzburg and went to the Mirrabella Gardens where more of the movie was filmed – see if you can guess the scene.
Then we wandered about the town of Salzburg and it’s so lovely! Stone houses and footpaths, under crofts – it’s just really sweet. I’d like to go back to Salzburg some day and see more. We went to Mozart’s birthplace – I saw his wig and violin – I was happy. It was a pretty cool place but the last three rooms of the museum where SO WEIRD. There were no signs so we figured that the rooms must have been representations of his operas? Neither of us really know the plotlines of his operas so... it was weird. Maybe YOU know the answer. There was one room with a piano, a cardboard cut of a guy with a gun and a cardboard dog... Anyone? The next room was completely upside down – all the paintings, lights etc. The final room had dresses looking like they were going out a doorway and the room had his letters all over the walls. Anyone? Are you as confused as we were? It was odd.

After confusing land we went to a restaurant for lunch called Zum Mohren which was like a dungeon because it was all underground... It said on the menu that Mozart and Handel dined here and that the main wall dates back to the 13th century. Wowee. Several calls of “Wenceslas” later we left and kept exploring. It started peeing down with rain so we sought dryness in this huge church. I’m not sure which church it was but it was really awesome. It had all these dark black outlines around the carvings and looked very Tim Burton. Obviously, everyone had the same idea as us because the church was pretty full. We sat under the awning outside and ate our – giant pretzels that we bought! Yes! Giant soft pretzel – which was pretty much a big donut... but we were happy. It was so big though that neither of us wanted to finish it but we felt obligated. Then we waddled back to the hostel for some internet and sleep.

The Hills will be Alive Shortly... with Music Sounds.

Day 13.
Prague -> Salzburg

Urgh... last night’s slumber was disturbed by morons being loud in the hallway – it’s like being back at Founders! We had to get up early to get our train only to get there and find that it was 25 minutes late... the announcer kept coming on being like “this hi-speed train has been delayed” “hi-speed?” I cried. The irony. Anyway Miranda went and asked someone about the train because we were worried we would miss our connecting train... so she asks the guy “Excuse me, are we going to miss our connection?” “Oh yes.” Concise. Helpful. Crap.

Eventually, the train pulled in and we got in any carriage not knowing where to sit because we actually didn’t need a reservation this time – yay! We got in one of the carriages which looked like the ones out of Harry Potter and we were joking that soon the Dementors would turn up... they sort of did as this crazy ticket man started telling us, in Czech... well something – I don’t speak Czech but he didn’t seem to understand that. So the logical thing for him to do was to speak LOUDER. Yeah, buddy, we’re not deaf... He started gesticulating and we eventually worked out that we couldn’t be in that carriage for reasons unknown. We hauled all our stuff to another spot and sat down. That sounds easy – but it was not. There were these huge crazy gaps between the train coaches and everyone we crossed I was waiting to slip through and live out the rest of my life as a spot on the train tracks. I’d be dead do that doesn’t really make sense but basically it seemed like a life threatening journey... It was then I realised shortly after we had sat down that the carriages we were just in – were no longer attached to the train. No idea where they had gone or when but instead of seeing the other carriage through the window I saw scenery.

This was another long train ride. Sigh. We managed to keep ourselves occupied... The newspaper Miranda looks like she is reading – is in Czech. There was an article on the new Terminator movie and that’s all we grasped... At least it was warm. No... wait... actually this train wasn’t – I remember it was freezing. Prague, the city, is not what people expect when the go to Eastern Europe because it’s so beautiful and modern... when you look at the transit system – wow... that’s backwards. The toilet emptied onto the train tracks! Bleeeeh! Unlike all other trips our tickets were checked at least three times... and our passports where checked when we arrived in Germany – no stamp though.
This train ride was a train ride of “Wenceslas” because the women next to us wouldn’t stop staring... it was weird...
Because our train was delayed we had to wait in Landsut for another one. This is in Germany but we managed to find some magazines in English to pass the time. It’s good to go back to German speaking countries because at least we know some German to get by... I feel bad from Czech Republic because didn’t even try to speak it... Sorry Prague!

Our train arrived and it was only about three coaches long and therefore crammed full of people. That and it smelled like a horse’s ass mixed with the smell of someone having gone to the bathroom in their seat. Very pleasant. We assumed that everyone on the train was going to Salzburg to do a Sound of Music tour like we were... Our assumptions were confirmed when they started singing.
We got to the station and were in Salzburg! Yay! I needed to use the bathroom so we went looking... At train stations you always have to pay to pee but the door was open so I went in... the only thing was the door had some weird coin-operated mechanism which meant that people could see through the gap... the cleaning lady ended up seeing me but at least it was free! Also the door locked itself and I was trapped inside the cubicle for a bit... Still – FREE WEE!

Got to our hostel and were in a six bedroom female dorm. It was a pretty swish place. It said it had been remodelled in 2008 and you could tell given the key cards and fancy goings on.