Interrail #6: Vienna, Prague, Berlin

At the halfway point of my trip and I was about to visit 3 different cities in less than a week. From Venice, I set off on a day filled with traveling to the Austrian capital of Vienna. It took me straight through the Alps and made for some fairytale inspiring views. I traveled from Vienna to Prague in the hottest train possible, endured a massive thunderstorm while there and followed the thunder and rain during a murky train ride to Berlin via Dresden. I had been to Prague and Berlin before and Vienna was only a day long stay in 30 degree (Celcius that is) weather. In other words: I just walked around, took in some sights but because I was only in each city for a little more than a day, I didn’t squeeze in too much.

Magnificent views of the Italian and Austrian Alps along the way. I saw many more beautiful sights along the way, but sometimes you’re too late to snap a picture of there are too many trees or w/e.

Vienna was super duper hot. Probably the hottest of the entire trip. It also happened to be my birthday that day, but I didn’t do much in terms of celebrating. I booked tickets on one of the touristy Hop-On-Hop-Off buses so I could still cram in as much as possible despite the heat. My first stop? Schönbrunn Palace. Modeled in part after Versailles, this is Habsburg grandeur at its best and Austria’s most popular attraction. So how could I skip? I did the rest of the city by bus, had a bit of a walk around the Habsburgers winter palace and had dinner with sausage and sauerkraut at the end of the day. In Vienna I stayed in a lovely little apartment just outside of the city center.

Prague Day 1 was not too adventurous. I knew I wanted to do a walking tour (they had vouchers for a pay-as-much-as-you-like walking tour at my hotel) the next day, so I decided to stay close to my hotel. The hotel was basic, but centrally located and had a tram stop close by to get to and from the station. I had a bit of a shock when I stepped into Starbucks for lunch right after my arrival. I had completely forgotten that the Czech Republic doesn’t take Euros! Of course I knew, but I stood there trying to figure out how much I had spent on a frappucino and a bagel, gave up and checked my currency converter on my phone. And that made me sigh with relief: 100 crown = 3.50 euros. Not too bad!

Oh and it rained. Hard. My shoes got drenched walking from one porch to the next as I was getting wet in the first one. Of course I was only a stone’s throw away from my hotel after having dinner at a Thai place. Yes, Thai food in Prague. The city is literally crawling with them. So I had to try. I also found some Czech make up brands at the drugstore but that was all before mother nature decided to grace us with buckets filled with water and pour them down all at once.

The next day, the weather had led up a bit, but it was still rainy from time to time. I embarked on a walking tour and saw pretty much everything there is to be seen in the city centre. I met some people on the tour and together we went out for lunch, visited Prague Castle, had ice cream and finished the day by going out to dinner at a restaurant that serves traditional Czech food. We only ordered appetizers (with lovely names such as ‘the drowned man’ and ‘smelly cheese’) and had a few beers and were filled to the brim. To make things even better we only paid around 7 euros per person for the entire meal. This was definitely one of the most fun days of my entire trip.

Prague at night. We all walked back to our hotels together. I bought myself a ticket for the tram so I wouldn’t have to walk uphill to the railway station early in the morning. The weather was murky along the way and big thunder clouds hung over Dresden as we passed through the town. I had been in Berlin for 1 hour (I had only had lunch so far) when it started pouring again. So, I decided to go shopping.

KaDeWe is the biggest department store of Europe and thus massive. I had tons of fun scouring the beauty department. Right across from here is a DM where they sold a preview of some of the new Catrice products and of course other make up brands we don’t have here or which are cheaper. I had a right bit of fun. Found a supermarket on the square and went back to my hotel to watch the match of Holland against Argentina.

My second and last day in Berlin was another walking tour filled day. This one was a bit uninspiring though, but the weather had taken a better turn and I didn’t mind walking around the city. I realized quickly that I had really seen everything that had to be seen in Berlin when I was there 4 years ago. So I decided to do some more shopping. I went to Alexander Platz (via Berliner Dom) where a new Primark had just opened. It was mayhem, but I just took my time to browse around. Then I took the subway to go to the Kurfurstendam, where most main shops are and I got some things from Forever21 and had dinner at Hard Rock Café.

Tomorrow I will be taking you to my final stop: Copenhagen.

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