|Prague, Czech Republic - day 4 (13.8.2015) and some other (relevant) photos
||[Aug. 21st, 2015|10:42 am]
|[||Tags|||||airport, animals, cat, cats, dip dye, family, footwear, hairdye, holiday, pets, photo of the day, prague, public transport, shoes, shopping, socks, trains, travel, trip report||]|
|||||radio in the background||]|
Thursday the 13th we woke up at 5.30 am to pack the last bits and get ready for breakfast at 6.30 am. When we got down, they just opened the dining area and we were the first ones in. Needless to say it was very quiet.
We ate, and went back up to the room to pack the last things and get our bags. We still had time to spare ‘till the taxi arrived, but Bert preferred to sort out check-out and wait in the lobby (he gets pretty stressed about getting to the airport).
We could see the street from where we were sitting, and about 10 minutes earlier we saw a AAA taxi arrive, so we went outside with our bags to investigate. Turns out our taxi was early, so we left earlier. When we took a taxi to the hotel, we had taken a voucher in the car that allowed us 40% off on the return trip, which turned out to be a set 150 CZK discount. Added to the fact that it was early morning and the traffic was really calm, we got there in 20 minutes (instead of half an hour) and it was quite a bit cheaper (even without the discount). Ok it was still more expensive than the bus, but it was a lot less hassle! We did take the bus back and forth in 2011, and it’s a good service, but not when it’s A. boiling hot and B. you don’t have lots of time to spare for the bus service times like we did.
We got at the airport a few hours early, and wandered about finding out where we had to go (terminal 2). I also collected a bunch more handy flyers as souvenirs and for Agnes and Jannes. We couldn’t check in yet, because unlike Brussels Airport, Vaclav Havel airport hasn’t been properly modernised yet. For instance, you can’t scan your papers to get a boarding pass before the manned luggage check in for your flight opens. So we sat around waiting for it to open for nearly 2 hours. Urgh. I did go and have a look at the toy store, purely to have something to do, and ate some cookies I bought at M&S for the flight, out of boredom. And my benoiton, which I had kept in a zip lock back, so it was still tasty ^^
Eventually we were able to sort everything out, and the unfriendly and surly Brussels Airline person sorted our luggage. She was massively annoyed that two people had two bags. “Because there are plenty of couples that travel with one luggage”. Well suck it up, one hand luggage and one luggage per person is allowed, so she had no reason to bitch. But yet she did. On a whole, the airport staff was REALLY unfriendly, seriously. Unnecessarily too.
Even though our passports/ID’s weren’t checked in Zaventem because we were travelling from a EU country to another EU country, they were checked in Prague. And because I was wearing different glasses than the frames I had on my face on my ID card, they thought it was necessary to check my luggage for drugs. Because clearly, deciding to wear a lighter frame because it’s boiling hot and those are thus more comfortable makes me a criminal. At least the bag check guy was friendly enough (he seemed to be massively bugged at his co-workers by the fact he had to check my bag over something that stupid).
Bert and I had to split up at the next check-point, because I had medication in my bag and he didn’t. At least that custom’s official was friendly and let me through without a glitch. Bert was a little less lucky, and he ended up having to take off his shoes for extra check. Frankly we think it’s because he was wearing a hat. They seem to have MASSIVE issues with men wearing hats inside in Prague, but honestly, it was one of his good hats, what were we supposed to do with it? Ruin it by stuffing it in a bag?! Plus we couldn’t even replace it anymore because asos doesn’t sell them anymore.
I get that they have their own ways, but if they don’t actually inform people of their customs, then how are we supposed to know? It’s not like we set out to be disrespectful!
So male readers, do NOT wear a hat (especially not indoors) if you can avoid it!
Luckily we both managed to make it to the gate without further hassle, huzzah! Bert had spent most of our shopping time in Prague trying to find tin boxes with a nice Mucha design to take home. Unsuccessfully. The few stores that had them either had really overpriced or really ugly boxes (sometimes a combo of both) and the one store we found that had nice ones was closed XD But of course, at the airport, we found one we both liked, so we bought it. And buying it took FOREVER because the shop girls were not only slow, they kept on demanding people’s boarding passes, which people of course had to find. And then when it was my turn, I put mine on the counter immediately and she was actually annoyed because I had it ready. You just can NOT please some people I suppose. I think pretty much everyone working at the airport really HATED their job.
But we managed to arrive at the gate in time! :)
A word of advise to everyone travelling to Prague: getting there is fine. The airport is quite efficient in getting people out of it asap. Leaving from there is a major hassle (not to mention a pain), make sure to have a few hours to spare for it, just to make sure that you get through all the check-in, check-points etc in time. It’s not like Brussels Airport or Schiphol, you will need a lot more time to get from arriving to the actual departure gate!
In the end we got on the plane, I think we had a slight delay. I didn’t much like the flight, because it wasn’t as smooth as the flight going to Prague and also my ears kept on hurting. I also got massively sleepy again but I couldn’t really sleep because my ears were sore. So that sucked, and I was glad to be off the damn plane :)
Once we got in Brussels Airport, we had to wait quite a bit (over half an hour I think) for our luggage, but it was ok, because we still got down to the train station in time to buy tickets and get the train to Antwerp-Central, where we got our connection home. Where Bert’s mum was kind enough to pick us up from the station. Lucky she did, because at home it was boiling hot too! Luckily not quite as bad as in Prague! I would have hated to walk an hour through that sun with two trolleys!
We also lucked out with our connections, but the trains still SUCKED. First of all, a € 9 supplement just for the “privilege” of taking the train at the airport is taking the piss. It’s disgusting and unnecessary. Secondly, they overcharge an extra on the so called Diablo (trains from and to the airport) trains, but for what? You don’t get special trains for it, you don’t get trains that are even vaguely equipped for (large) luggage for it! Or train to Antwerp was a super old one, and if Bert hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have been able to put my luggage in the overhead racks. It was also BOILING and smelly, which sucked. The one advantage was that there were few people on it, so it bothered no one that we had the hand luggage in our seating area as there was plenty of room to sit for other people (the conductor gave us the stink eye for it though, even though he didn’t say anything). The train home was a much better, more modern train, but again: not suited for luggage at all. We only managed because just like the last one it was not that crowded at all, and we went to sit in the bike compartment where we knew the bags wouldn’t bug anyone. So yes NMBS, you fail, yet again!
I would NOT recommend anyone to travel to/from the airport by train. Not unless you have very practical luggage. Because it’s just a massive pain to be honest.
We spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking, and going over to Bert's parents so they could share the giant bottle of beer (2 liters of pilser in a soda bottle, le sigh). I didn't have any of it because I don't drink alcohol :)
Minoe, a stray cat that lives in my inlaws backyard. They feed her and have a place she can sleep sheltered. She's pretty tame and social too :)
Dinosaur socks I bought at TopShop in Prague (shoes from asos) ^^
Photo of the day: 15.8.2015 (day 227)
Purple dip-dye selfie :)
With the hair dye I got in Prague ^^
Photo of the day: 16.8.2015 (day 229)
All photos from my Prague trip are here :)