Prague trip with Barna

So. I’ve already disembarked the ship, more than 2 weeks ago. On the 22nd of November, I’ve already started to work in my temporary job – many thanks for Barna for this option. I’m working for a nice, good apartment-renting company as a front-desk guy, so I stay in the same business, until the new season will start – hopefully in the middle of February. The point is, this is also a good place. Nice workmates, less guests, more relaxed, and younger. A few days training, learning, and after that I just realized that on the next day, I’ll be alone in the morning shift, next day I’ll take the closing part. Alone!

It was the 6th of December, I do remember well. I was behind the desk, nothing to do. All guests are checked in, all letters are answered, everything is in the system. So I got an idea, I go to Prague tomorrow. I’ve never been there before, and I always wanted to see. Anyway I had 3 free days in a row, so why not? I started to search on the internet for a nice apartment or some place to stay for two nights, somewhere in the middle of the city. My friend, Barnus had a seat next to me and asked, what I was doing. I shared my plan with him, and all he said: “Cool, let’s go together!” I respond that sure, deal. Tomorrow we leave, one night, to get wasted, a kind of sight-seeing, and that’s all, next day come back. I did like this plan, because it was not planned at all. Then, I got a question by my own brain. There is only one thing what could stop us: how will we get there? So I called my mother, if she needed the car on the next two days. She said that tomorrow in the morning she needs it, but from noon I can take it. Why? I explained to her, and what a surprise, without any further questions, really calm, she let me take the car. After this, without any pressure, I could search for the accommodation, with 3 main points:

  • to have an own parking place, not in the street
  • in the middle of Prague
  • with a really good price

After 20-30 minutes searching, only 2-3 candidates left. It wasn’t really clear for me, which one has it’s own parking facility, so I called the booking for this. They suggested a few options with acceptable prices. But one was a bit further from the center, the other one was more expensive, but the third one. Bologna Residence. I did check this one as well, we took a look at their web page, it was pretty good. We discussed it with Barna, this is the good one, close to the center, with a parking place, separated bed in request – of course we asked it – and the price was really fine. Immediately made the reservation for one night, we printed out the reservation, just to have some material thing to prove it. Then he made some search on the net for a few things about the locals, prices, pubs. Rumors says that the Czech people are also very friendly, and guest-oriented. Even if they were not so immediate, like the Hungarians, but after 2-3 rounds they serve you happily – it is understandable 🙂 Collected a few places where we want to drink, also a few words, expressions (sto pivo – 100 beers, if I remembered right), and than plan the road to there. 600 km, we could make it in 5-6 hours. We need vignette 2 times, one is for the Slovakian highways, other is for the Czech one. We did want to avoid from the Austrian-Hungarian border, who knows, maybe the police would like to take out two serious faced gentlemen in black fabric jacket, with a black jeep from the line. You never know. I would skip this, if you didn’t mind, sorry. So everything was set. One more last thing: before we start our journey in the afternoon, we have to have some training, so go to the gym in the morning. I said why not, ok, we have time for this as well. With these plans, dreams I went home from home and felt asleep.

 

Next day morning I woke up at 8:30, the meeting was at 10 in front of the gym. The plan:

  • workout until noon
  • at 1 pm, we go for the car from Barna
  • around 2 pm, pick up the car, go for my stuff
  • around 2:30 pm, we start our journey
  • around 9 we arrive to Prague

Almost. Man proposes, God disposes, as they say. And so true. More precisely, Director proposes, Barnus mess up them 😀 Ok, it wasn’t so bad as it seemed – at the beginning. At 10 we met in front of the gym, and had a good exercise – maybe a breast-arm day. We made it, skipped the usual sauna after, we had a long day waiting for us, we did need energy. Around half past 12 we went to Barnus’s place, approx 15 mins by walk. We got there, and he started to pack his things, just now. Not bad I said, because you did not have time in the morning, right? Slowly, no rush he collected those few things what were necessary, took a shower – again? – go up and down. In the end, we hit the road to Erd around 1:30-1:40. I’d hurry to catch the bus, but he was not ready. No worries, we reached another one. The road is a bit more than one hour to Erd, to the bus station, where my mom is working and where our transportation unit is located. As it turned out, this is only the second time for him around here. We arrived to the station, the car was nowhere. I had another look, I thought it’s probably behind a bigger one. But no, the car was not there. I called my mom, what happened, where is the car. She told me that she felt sick, so she went home. Great, so we have to take another bus. No way to start our trip in time. The necessary bus just arrived to it’s platform, so we hopped on, and after 8 minutes ride we jumped off and had 6 minutes walk to home. We entered, my mom was laying on the couch, watching TV. No serious problem, her head was a bit dizzy, but that’s all. I said good, I thought she had more serious problem. I packed my “luggage” in 10 minutes, packed some food as well – later on it will be important -, we get to the car, and finally, around 3:45, we hit the highway! A quick message for the highway-vignette, go to the gas station. I filled up full the car, checked the pressure in the tires, and then, nothing can stop us, let’s go!

We get on the M7 highway first, after that on the M0, and later on the M1. As we changed the highway from the M7 to the M0, from the outside of the turn, a grey Hyundai just passed by with a really high speed. I thought fine, he is in a hurry, we are not. We planned the trip for 5-6 hours, so we could arrive about 9 pm, if everything went smooth. So we wrote an e-mail to the “hotel” that we will be delayed. No reactions. We tried to call them, nothing. Great. So we set the peace to a 100 km/h speed on the highway, and a little faster as we passed by a truck. I did not want to kill this poor Honda, he’s suffering enough under me. And as far as I knew, that was his first long trip, so he has to get used to it. In the same time I felt ourselves a little slow compared to the others, because we did not take over a car, but the did. Than later, close to Gyor, the traffic has jammed. They closed one line, or has a control, or the worst, a crash. Around 30 minutes waiting, the line started to move, really slowly. In the end it turned out, what had happened. We we saw the blue-red lights, heard the sirens,  we got it. There was a crash. There was only one line left for the traffic, so it was very slow, but because of this, we could see clearly what had happened. Three cars were included in this small meeting.  One – was in the worst place, in the middle – was that Hyundai, who just overtook us earlier. And that was the end of his trip. So we texted it to the Music FM (radio channel in Hungary) what happened. First Barnus wrote it, but they did not announced it. After that he wrote in my name, and that one was in the traffic news right after the music!!! I was in the radio, I was famous, hahaha!!!! Sorry, I did not mean it. I never planned to be in the radio, mostly not in these circumstances.

Heading towards, slowly approach the border. We had to turn down from the highway to a Main Road No.1, since the highway is heading to Austria. So we changed the road, stopped by the first gas station. We almost had to row until then, thanks to the fog. I barely could not see the front of our car. Our windshield wiper is still not working properly, so I left the small rain drops and the fog on the mirror, but I did not wiped it. In these conditions we arrived to Rajka. Stopped at the gas station, and asked if we could by a vignette for the Slovakian highway. Not really, the cashier told me, and asked another customer, who just came from there with a Slovakian licence-plate van. He told us, that we could by in any gas stations, but only a yearly. I told him, I need only for 2 days, tomorrow I’ll be back in Hungary. He said it does not matter, it’s the 7th of December, we can by only a yearly vignette, but it is valid only till the end of the month. Cool, so we got back to the car, hit the main road again, and cross the border in a few minutes. And nothing was there, just two small buildings on both sides of the road, and on ours a “Welcome in Slovakia” sign. That’s all.

One more plan. To get through this part as fast as we could, since the friendship between our neighbors was not the best. And it is vica versa. But we must have two stops in our way. The first was near to Bratislava to buy the vignette for the country’s highways. I ran into the shop, they already looked at me spiky eyes. I bought the vignette, 2-2 energy drinks, a chocolate, a chips, get back to the car, put the sticker on the window and on the road again.

Willie Nelson – On the road again

“On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been.
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

Up to the highway, follow the signs and the instructions of the Google Maps. We reached the end of this country pretty fast, so an other stop for the Czech roads. Purchase, energy drinks (again), coffee, chocolate, and back in business. Few minutes later we passed the border, and welcomed in the Czech Republic.

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The fog stayed on the road, covering everything around in a mystic grey color. But the road itself. OMG. To be honest, the worst highway I’ve ever traveled. It was old, broken, sticky, bumpy. It did hit the suspension every 2 seconds, I clearly thought that it will break. I did not hit the 100 km/h speed anymore, otherwise we could not make it until Prague. Rarely we overtook a truck, sometimes they reached us very fast, in these situations I pushed the pedal a bit heavier. It was a fcking garbage, I’m sorry for my expression. So we had to slow down more, which effected a later arrival, again. In the end, at 10 pm we finally arrived to the city of Prague, but not the accommodation yet. My friend went to a gas station to ask for help. They did not know the location, only that we had to go straight on this road. Thanks folks, for the help! So we followed it, getting closer to the center. There we had an easier job, he went into a hotel for help, where the printed out the route till the place. Meanwhile in the car, I got my internet back, so I could use the GPS from the phone also. A short wondering and sightseeing, and finally, around 10:15, we got there, to our apartment. We parked the car in front of the building, stretched a little, and stepped inside.

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It seemed a nice, comfortably place, on the left with a restaurant, on the right with a lounge and bar. Between the two, there was the reception area. And the receptionist, hard to tell. Could be some local guy. No welcoming, not even a word, I’ll be honest, I saw that he did not give a shit about anyone there. We were 3 small groups counting us as well, and he was just staring at the screen with a bored face. So we tried to start the conversation with a “Good evening”.

– Ha?

– Good evening to you too. We have a reservation for tonight for two person.

– I got it. Name?

– The name is Kovacs Gabor (it is just a fiction, but I can’t reveal my true name, sorry), and for two person.

– I got it. Just a moment. – and he started to stare at the monitor again, and did something. 15 minutes later, he looked at us, and said:

– No reservation.

– What do you mean we have no reservation? I made it yesterday afternoon, I have the confirmation letter from booking.com, printed. We tried to contact you vie e-mail and mobile phone, no reactions.

– Good. Where did you make the booking?

– On booking.com, yesterday afternoon, and here is the confirmation letter also. – I said (still) calm. He took the paper, did something for 10 minutes, talking on the phone, and said after that:

– Yes, your reservation is on the booking.com, but not in our system. If you wait, that I can make your reservation here.

– That could be great. – so we waited 10 more minutes, till we get to the payment. That wasn’t an easy thing either. I gave my card to him, that I would pay with that. He took it and put down on the table. Gave me the terminal, and started to look at the internet on the computer. I was waiting, maybe the system is slow, or he has to do something to make it work, probably he will let me know if I could use it. Few minutes passed, and he shouted at me, that may I put the pin code? I told him (still calm) that I can’t, there is nowhere I could put it, it doesn’t ask for it. “Just put the code” he said again. I did put it, pressed the green button, nothing. I told him, that nothing happened after I put the code and hit the green button. He looked at me angry, and said:

– Oh, sorry, my mistake, I forgot to put the card into the terminal. – and finally he placed it in, and again back to the computer. I pressed the numbers, payment is done now. He gave back the card, throw a key in front of us, that this is our room. I said excellent, so this price includes the parking fee as well, right?

– Parking? What parking and why it should include it?

– Because I made a request for a parking place, as this accommodation is advertised with a guarded parking facility.

– Yeah, sure. No, it is not included, but for “x” price he can give us.

Cool, I can use the card again, and if he messed up once more, I go behind the desk, send him out and do the check-in and everything by myself. I paid the parking as well. No further reactions from him. I asked where can I find it. He slapped a paper down to the counter, that everything is on the map. I picked it up, went out to the car, go to the garage, and from there finally to the room.

And what was the first thing we saw? Of course, the bed, which was not separated. We looked at each other, I told him I won’t go down to arguing with that guy again. He said the same. Then let it like this, nothing to do, we will sleep in the two sides of the bed. We put down the carry-ons, Barna discovered the place, and went to drink, not much time had left.

We went down to the reception to ask, who will be here in the early morning. He said, it will be him. Wonderful… I asked him, if he could offer some place nearby to drink. He said, for sure, on the left from the building, there is an Indian place (really, he said Indian?) and a gay-bar…

… and a gay bar… … a gay bar… Wait, what? Did I hear it right? Really, he said a gay bar? This small “guy” thinks that wee are gay? We moved on, stepped out to the street, and asked Barna if he heard the same, or it was just my mind. He did hear it as well. But no, it’s not possible. How could he say this? But yes, he said that. I was thinking I go back and ask it again, just to make sure. That is just one thing that he mess up our reservation, and blame on us, that we don’t have. That is just one thing how he can handle a guest. Better to say how he cannot handle a guest. Doesn’t care about the attitude, about his look, about his behavior, about his language knowledge. But the fact, that he sent us to a gay bar, that was more than enough. He passed the line there. Even if we were gay, he mustn’t suggest this kind of thing just by himself, maybe when we asked it specially. But this, like this, no way. I was really on my way to talk with his supervisor.

Doesn’t matter, how good is the location, how good is the price, how nice is the building, well equipped, they can’t afford it. Nobody can afford this behavior. We let it go, we’ve been too tired for this, we just wanted to drink, just feel free, happy. A young couple passed by, and we asked them if they knew a place nearby to drink – but not a gay bar. They told us that on the next street, couple of bars are still open, just step inside one of them. So first we had a dinner, just to have something before the alcohol consumption.

The food was really delicious, the place had a freaking good feeling, and the beer was just perfect for the meal, just as a warm-up. After a few meters, we’ve already found our place, where – hopefully – we could drink at least for 1 hour 🙂 So we visited the “Krampus”, what, as figured out, a kind of cultural pub for university students. But really cool. Inside the furniture was comfortable, couches, chairs, nice waitresses and friendly waiters, a huge place, and a really nice decoration. And the prices were almost the same like in Budapest. We we killed 2-3 glasses of beer, and I don’t know how many shots. Not a straight shot, a kind of cocktail-shot. For first I don’t know what was my choice, but for the second – and later on – I switched to the Sambuca-Baileys combination, and Barna for the Chupito. And he stayed with this, he really liked it (Carskaja Vodka-Lime juice – 1 small cherry in the bottom). The point, they used a not-so-strong-flavored vodka as a base, after that a little lime juice, and in the end, the cherry, what you eat – if you were brave. We – shame on us, after the fourth, fifth round – weren’t so brave, and also the place was about to close. And it was only 1:00 in the morning.

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So we paid the bill, and in a really good mood went out to find another place. Let’s take a left turn for first, as we leaned to the left. We made it till the end of the street, one more left turn. In the same time, from the other side of the street, someone was inviting is to a striptease bar, but we skipped it this time. Moving toward, and on the right of the street, we saw something and started to smile like a maniac – at least me.

And immediately after the Trabant, we saw the gate of our next destination, and we stepped in. Then they told us, that is not all, we have to pass over the garden, and on the other end of it, they are still open. Not a problem, we needed some fresh air.

We took a seat there as well, ordered 1-1 beer and 2-2 rounds of Chupito, just to make sure about the mood. The last beer had a tiny vanilla taste in the end, maybe it was just a side effect of the shots. But I really liked it 🙂 After a while we put on our jackets, and the waiters asked us, where to go. We said to go back to the apartment, we have to rest a bit, tomorrow – already today – we have to go home, but first to visit Velke Popovice. Oh, he said, ok, he wished us all the best, and suggested that next time we should visit this place earlier.

We will do!

On the way back, we stopped by the river, to take a few pictures. It was almost impossible because of the fog and the darkness, but at least we tried it!

Around 3 am we made it until the accommodation, our lovely receptionist was still laying behind the counter. We said good night to him, his reply was a “Heh”. I did not care, just went up to the room, switched on the TV, maybe we can find something understandable for our language. But no success, so we started to watch a local channel with a quiz game, where you have to find out the names from the letters. And it was going on for 3-4 hours. Already the girl in the show was bored, gaped, almost painted her nails. You can understand, how we felt then. So we had no chance…

Let’s have some dinner. From yesterday, what I packed food – now you can understand why it was so important to pack it – and for Barnus, some spicy sausage, strong pepper, yellow pepper, and a box of Rama.

And then we started to laugh like hell because of the show, in the end it was painful to laugh. We had pain in our head, ears, stomach, we couldn’t eat more. So put away the food and fell asleep.

 

Next day’s morning. I can’t remember for the half of the night, but maybe it’s not a problem. I remembered for what I wrote down. Around 10 am we woke up with some miracle, and at 11:00 we’ve been already checked out. We asked the new receptionist – a smiley girl, who could speak English and could speak with the guest – if we could leave the car still in the garage during our walk in the city. She said sure. So we put our staffs inside and went back in the same direction as last night. We’ve reached the riverbank, and went to the Charles Bridge. What more! We walked through to the other side, and find a restaurant to eat something as a brunch. Inside of us, the Hell was burning, like my friend Barna said. Like hell… Lol. 🙂  About this part, let’s leave the pictures to speak.

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On the other side of the river we had our lunch. For a starter we asked for two coffees, just to rev up our life, our heart to a normal level. The name of the restaurant is Restaurant Dvorak. As you walked through the bridge, on the left, there are some stairs. It leads you to a small square, and in it’s end on the right, you can find this place.

Restaurant Dvorak

Then, to have some real food as well, we ordered the main courses. I had a Cordon Blue from duck, and a really good Goulash. Barnus, I already forgot, what he had, but looked and smelled really good.

After we had finished with the food, we also would like to pay. But there was a twist. They do not accept credit cards. Only cash. Good, I don’t have any crown (penny, or zloty) with me, he neither. So I offered my friend to the waiter as a guest-worker, to leave here to clean the dishes, mop the floor, if it was good for them. He agreed. But in the end, I took a small walk to the closest ATM, to have some cash with me, I can’t leave him here alone, what would his mother say to me? So I went back to the bridge, turned to the left, and behind the gate I found what I was searching for. I took out the money, went back to the restaurant just to check, my friend is dead or alive.

Good, he was still alive, drinking a coffee. I paid, and went for a shopping tour, I had to bring something to home as well, just to have some material prove, that I’ve been here. So I bought my personal gift, plus a picture as well. Another one to my grandmother, a drink for home, and few more things. After we were heading back to the car, we had to go if we wanted to arrive home still today, it was almost 1 pm. So we jumped into the Honda, and the first problem was in front of us. This small car was about to die on that slope, I thought Barna has to push it from the back.

The road to Velke Popovice took about 1 hour, and it was really easy to find. As you entered the village, on the right hand there is the famous goat statue made by wood, who welcomes you 🙂 So a few pictures with him (him or her?), and go to the factory, just for some souvenirs. A factory visit was not planned, and we did not have time for that. But next time!

There was some serious stuff. It was a really modern, well equipped visitor center with a shop, where you could buy almost anything. Shirts, hats, scarves, jackets. Glasses, jars, jugs, bottle openers, key hangers. And the most important thing, BEER. In a huge amount. Different types, what you can’t buy at home. So we had no chance, shopping – again. Beer for everybody, glasses for friends, shirts for us. After payment a few pictures, and then back to the car, and let’s go home. It was 3 pm, so I calculated that we’ll arrive around 10 pm home, at least Barna. So we set the speed on a comfortable 100 km/h in the fog, with showers. So it was not the best condition for a long ride, but we had to make it. There was nothing really interesting on the way back

Willie Nelson – On the road again

“On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been.
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

a few times we stopped to have some fresh air, a coffee, an energy drink, or just to stretch, and one a truck almost hit us from the back. On the way out from a parking place, only a “STOP” sign was there in the cross. No line to speed up, no line for the broken cars on the side. Straight to the highway, from zero. Not bed, a challenge. Hopefully I can make it. We waited a little, just for a small space between two running trucks, and when I felt that yes, this is my time, pedal to the metal!

Bad Meets Evil – Fast Lane (sorry for the clip 🙂 )

But a “small” Scania still almost caught me. Came with a high speed, a fully loaded trailer, switched on all the lights what he had equipped, pushed all the horns, sounds what he could. There, I was scared to death, and as I felt, the Honda as well, because he closed up himself.

At 9:00 pm, we arrived home. In one piece, healthy, in safe. Wasn’t an easy ride, but doesn’t matter, at least we collected some life-time memories 🙂

Barnus, I would like to thank you here as well, that you came with me. Without you it couldn’t be the same.

Greetings to everyone, I hope you got something from Prague, if not more, at least the feeling to visit this beautiful city.

I wish you – from the past – a successful – and full with guests, readers, followers, bloggers – Happy New Year to everyone!

 

Ps.: I know, it’s already the 8th or 9th of January, but still, I hope it will be a Happy New Year! 🙂

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