Our European Adventure
Prague Day 1
Today, we leave for Prague! We leave our house in Bruges at 6:30 a.m. to catch our flight out of Brussels on Brussels Air. After getting to the airport on time and with a little time to spare, the first thing we encounter are messages that our flight is delayed providing an opportunity for coffee, croissants, people watching and journal updating in the airport.
First delay, second delay, third delay…Whoa, now our flight is cancelled. Lesson #1 when traveling and your flight is delayed…call your airline and/or agent and start figuring out alternatives if needed. Of course, you can’t really do anything until the flight is offically cancelled but at the very least, find out where the nearest customer service desk is and camp out there if you have a clear line of site to the “departures” board. For us, we should have followed that advice…After finally finding the customer service desk, we wait in line with many other travelers hoping/wondering what was going to happen next. Since our flight was origianlly booked through United Airlines, we call them while waiting in line and discover we have been rescheduled for later today at 4:25 pm which becomes 6:00 pm. (Margaret has to fly at 7:50 because she booked through Brussels Air.) I’ll leave out the rest of the details but the second lesson is SIGN UP FOR A PRIORITY PASS MEMBERSHIP BEFORE TRAVELING ANYWHERE! Fortunately, as Blue Sapphire card holders, we were able to gain access to the Diamond Lounge in the airport where we have comfortable waiting accommodations, a free light supper, wine and beer.
We finally make it out of Brussels and land in Prague while it’s still daylight. We are picked up at the airport by a taxi driver sent by our apartment hosts Sarah and Frantisek. He doesn’t speak a lot of English but delivers us to our wonderful apartment on the canal a few blocks from the Charles bridge. Frantisek is there to meet us and after showing us the apartment and reviewing the rules of the house, he gets us oriented by showing us a map and pocket guide that Sarah created of the area that includes all the essentials like grocery stores, ATMs and restaurants. I must add that since this was our first visit to Prague (as well as all the other cities we visit on this trip) we immediatly realize our good fortune of staying in a beautiful and vibrant area of Prague. We learn from Sarah’s guide book that in 1992 the historical core of the city covering 86.6 hectares was listed in the UNESCO World and Narural Heritage Register.
Our apartment is in a building with 15 other apartments and we are on the 4th floor (accessed by a small elevator). The hallways have green marble wainscoting, wrought iron staircases, 14 foot ceilings. Two walls of the main floor have a painted mural with a scene from pre-colonial India. Large windows open to a view of the city over the Vltava river. A spiral staircase to the second floor has 3 bedrooms and two baths, the third floor of the apartment has bedroom and bath with sky lights above the bed looking up to the stars. We all agree this is our favorite apartment so far.
Margaret arrives a little later via Uber after some confusion over the address proving that keeping track of each other using the ap Find Friends and texting fixes these glitches quickly—just keep your phone charged!
P.S. The Youtube link below will take you to a video of our visits to Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Enjoy!!