Once again my wanderlust took control of me, and with the aid of some friends of mime who share this particular character trait we decided that Prague would be the next city we visit! My companions for the trip would be my friends Birgit and Magdalena in the above picture.
After some research into the travel choices I realised that it was not only cheaper to take the bus, but also faster than the train! No brainer really. What can go wrong? Well, as it turns out a lot (it wouldn't be one of my blogs if everything went right ;) ). The ticket said we would travel from Hauptbahnhof Arnulfstraße (main station on the street Arnulfstraße). I assumed this meant Munich's main bus station, which is on that street. Lesson 1, don't assume anything!
So when I got to the main bus station Magda was already there, and told me we go from platform 4. Great, I thought. Time for a drink then! Then Birgit joined the party, looking like she was going to war! Unfortunately I can't show you a picture yet, I guess she deleted them...
After poking some fun at her for her bag and attire we went down to where the buses depart, about 25 minutes before departure. Platform 4 had a train to Istanbul, probably not stopping in Prague then! I saw that there was one going to Poland via the Czech Republic departing the same time as ours. So I assumed that was the correct one. Remember lesson 1?
We waited and waited but the bus did not come, then 20 minutes after scheduled departure the sign changed to a different departure. Now we were at panic stations, and very angry with the Deutsche Bahn (with whom I booked the tickets). I asked Magda if she could talk on the phone to the DB service line to find out what happened. They said we had no idea (all 5 people and the machine!) and said we had to talk to someone at the DB service point in the main train station.
So we queued up, but that did not mean we had to stop partying! We had already started drinking some of the hot glüwein that Birgit brought. That was probably the most fun I've had in a queue. Well we eventually made it to the front and Magda talked to the guy (because my German is not good and hers is perfect). We discovered (as you might have guessed) that the bus didn't actually go from the main bus station but from a drop-off/taxi point. He did agree however that the ticket was misleading and did us the great favour (which he did not have to do) and signed and stamped the reverse of our tickets saying that we can take a train.
Excellent! We even got to travel with in the comfort of a train compartment. WIN! Until the ticket collector came and said that it wasn't valid. Well, actually she said it was like buying chips at McDonald's and claiming them at Burger King. Bugger, we had to pay, but the ticket girl said we could get the Deutsche Bahn to pay it back. That reminds me, I need to go and sort that out...
Well, as it happened it wasn't expensive ( less than 25 € pp ) and we got to travel in comfort, and we actually made it to Prague that night. We were all to knackered to party that night because we arrived after 12 and the girls had already slept on the train. Thankfully, we did have enough energy between us for a night cap at the hotel bar. Lovely Jonny Walker Black Label, and the same price as the Red :)
That makes day 1 of the trip, and a natural end to part 1 of this already lengthy blog. I promise more pictures for the next one!
Viel Spaß homies!