Monday, May 24, 2010
Good bye England Hello Czech Republic
Packed again Saturday night. I came to the realization that I have to ship stuff. There is no way in hell I can carry this stuff home let alone things I'll buy. Saw serious jewelery and glass. Plus a cute teapot in metal. And just got to Prague!
The people in Claridge's deserve some sort of medal. Really. I mean the turn down service was amazing. No candy on the pillow though. Slippers by the bed, music on, warm towels. Bed plumped just so. I had to take a photo of my room doorbell. It was one of my favorite parts of the room. How many hotels have a doorbell for each room? I am seriously in love with the place.
Went to the concierge before dinner and told them I needed to get to Gatwick and what time. Nixed the hired car thing. It was just a little too expensive for me. So they got a cab for me and it was there at 5 am. Joy. Yes, I am not a morning person. They called me twice for a wakeup call right on time! Which is what I asked for. I made it right to Victoria and hopped the Gatwick express. 20 minutes to the terminal. That was the last easy part of this leg of the trip.
Line for Easy Jet was horrendous. I got in the line right before 6 which they recommend. The check in for my flight opened at 5:40 am. By 7 am(when they closed check in) I was still in line. They kept on calling flights when they closed then checked everyone in. Waste of time and human resources. Plus the line got shorter, but the line didn't move when that happened.
I had to pay a fee to get my bag on the plane. I was 5kg over the limit. Now that's a story. Got in line to check in and the guy weighed my bag. Checked me in and then told me to pay over across the terminal. With less than 40 minutes to get on the flight this isn't inspiring....Go over, wait in another line until some guy going to Greece haggled with the service rep. Then the traffic control person cuts the line for someone else going to Prague. So I say Hey, I was here first and I'm going to Prague too! He gave me my boarding pass and let me pay.
So I hustle to the departure gates and race down the jetway to stand in line again at the departure lounge with everyone else. (gotta work on the cardio)
Slept some on the plane. The neck pillow that Robin gave me is great. Just hard to pack. Landed here in the Czech Republic. It's a lot easier than you think to get through customs and all. The program people met me and helped me navigate the Czech money and bus. The bus stops a few blocks away from the hotel, but I had good directions. So I didn't get lost.
Didn't know that the streets are all cobblestones. Nice and very pretty, but butt busting to ride on. Not to mention pull a suitcase.
Met some of the people at lunch. I really don't like potato salad, but the chicken was good. Drank a whole bottle of sparkling water. After all the wine at Vinopolis I was dehydrated.
We walked around after lunch a little. Lots of people here. Started part way across the Charles Bridge. It's lovely. So far I am enjoying it. But it's only my first day.
Not so the hotel. Sort of a come down after Claridge's I will say. Hellhole would be strong.(but not inaccurate) I had to chastise Larry for his comments. But that's Larry. There's only one plug. Sigh. Stinky with cigarette smoke too. That's one thing about Prague is many people smoke. Glad I brought the Febreeze to freshen the room.