From Heidelberg to Prague

April 11, 2009 17:51 – 17:51

I’m sitting here in an apartment in Prague, enjoying a nice cup of tea. It turns out that my guess that smotana na šl’ahanie or ?ertstvá smetana ke šlehání meant “table cream” was right. Who knew?

Below is a shot of Karen plotting out new adventures for tomorrow. We plan to go to the Veletrzni Palace—it’s part of their National Gallery system. They have a good deal of—wait for it—impressionistic art!

We were basically kicked out of our hotel at 11 this morning—the checkout time wasn’t posted anywhere, and we were in the process of loading the luggage cart, so no big deal. But, their little pests knocked on the door and tried to get in at 9 and again at 10. I don’t think I’d stay at the Achat in Hockenheim again.

After we left the hotel, I really wanted to see the Heidelberg Castle so we could take some pictures. Fortunately, my Garmin device knew where it was, so it took us there—winding a lot of very twisty roads and up a very steep hill. The views were worth the work, though. On the way, we saw this weird sculpture in central Heidelberg.

As we climbed the hill, I kept wondering “Where’s the castle?” It wasn’t until we were nearly at the top that it came into view.

There’s this interesting building—maybe an old gatehouse—at the entrance to the castle approach. It was too steep, so we decided not to drive up.

In the opposite direction, the views of Heidelberg were spectacular.

After Heidelberg, we hit the road for Prague. The trip was mostly uneventful, except that we set a new car speed record for Karen & Herb—203 KPH, or about 126 MPH.

It turns out that the motorways in the Czech Republic have the same kinds of speed limits (or non-limits) as Germany. When we finally hit the road after Heidelberg, the Garmin gave our ETA as 1749h. Even with several stops for lunch (at a rest stop—nothing spectacular), restrooms, and petrol, we cruised into our hotel area at about 1730h. That’s right. We’d shaved 19 minutes off the trip—even after about 40 minutes of other stops.

That’s when the fun began. And, let me just say that I hope our car is still where we left it. I’m given to believe that we’re legally parked. Unfortunately, the hotel’s garage is fully occupied. We’ll try again tomorrow morning.

Leading up to that, finding the reception for the Aparthotel Angel was not easy. Karla Englise—the street it’s on—is not accessible from the main road (Radlicka). There’s a barricade. Instead, you have to go to the parallel road, Stroupeznickeho, and access it from there. For anyone else stumbling onto this blog and trying to locate the hotel, it’s shown below. You can turn right onto Karla Englise from Stroupeznickeho. All of the parking on Karla Englise is reserved, but we hesitated long enough to go to the registration and unload our car. Once you’ve registered, the entrance to the apartments is the next real door down (turn left out the registration door, pass the garage, and go to the first glass door you come to). It’s a new 7-story building, and the apartments are pretty well furnished and clean. No A/C, but the internet is fast and free.

After putting our stuff in the room, we found a legal parking spot for the car, then headed out for some basic shopping and for dinner. We’d planned on going to a place called Manes, but we were a bit weary from our ordeal. So, we decided to eat at this big mall that’s about two blocks from here. We ate at this Czech/Italian restaurant called A Tavola, and enjoyed the local draft beer, Staropramen. Dinner and the beer were superb… Karen had a Czech dish—skewered pork with potatoes. It was really good. Silly me got the lasagna. It was also good, but it wasn’t particularly Czech, and it wasn’t as good as the pork. Dinner cost the U.S. equivalent of about $25. They use the Koruna here, not the Euro. And it’s about 20 Korunas per dollar. So, a Koruna is worth about a nickel.

After dinner, we went to Tesco—a hypermarché—and I bought a fan for 198 Korunas (about $10—it was pretty warm in the apartment because it gets afternoon sun, and there’s no A/C). We also stocked up on our favorite Coke products and bought some cream, milk, and stuff for breakfast tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow… it’s here already, so I think I’m going to brush my teeth and head for bed. If there are any mistakes in this, I’m sure Katie will let me know, and I’ll fix them tomorrow. TTFN.

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