I am currently in Prague, after having travelled to Munich for 5 days for Oktoberfest, Amsterdam for a couple of nights, Berlin for three nights and now Prague for one night, with another two to go.
It's been a real blur, a rush of new cities, beer, new people, beer, beer, bus rides, beer, hostels, and beer. Oh, and beer.
Munich was completely, totally awesome, but four days of solid beer drinking knocked even this Aussie out - three full-on days down at the beer tents, and I needed to take a day out just drinking beer in the foyer of the hostel instead to recover. Besides, on that particular day (Saturday), it was triply busy than it had been during the week. The only productive thing I managed to do was swipe an authentic HaufBrau beer tent stein. I've been lugging the fucking thing around with me since Munich (read: 1.5Kg extra weight for a week), but hopefully I'll offload it in either Vienna or, get this, MUNICH, since we have to pass back through there on the way TO Vienna (edit: Venice, rather).
Amsterdam was interesting. I quite liked the city itself, and I wish I had of had time to check out the countryside of things. Some of the streets are so narrow and claustrophobic, that you don't feel safe. Of course, old guys coming up to you in the street and offering you coke, ecstacy, heroin and hash don't help either. Just put your head down, say 'no', and keep walking. Our hostel was pretty cool, though I wasn't impressed with the toilets and showers. We'd met a chick in London who worked at this particular hostel, so it was good to catch up with her again.
Berlin is just one massive urban sprawl, it seems.. it really is an incoherant city. It's only been 13 or 14 years since the Berlin Wall came down, so really, that's how long the city has existed in its current state. Economically, it's a shattered, burnt-out shell. The damage from WW2 is still evident, and although they've put new facades on some of the classier buildings, bullet-holes remain in others. We did a 4-hour walking tour with an excellent guide, and my favourite bit was the talk he gave about the last few days leading up to Hitler's death, as we stood over where his filled in bunkers were located (you can't get inside them, and I think that's probably for the best). We also got to see checkpoint charlie, a small part of the original Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate on the tour as well - highly reccomended if anyone ever travels this way (Insider Tours it was called).
Prague so far has been a blessing for its prices! Everything here is dirt cheap, you can eat like a king, three massive meals a day for next to nothing. On the way in, we stopped at Terezin, an old fortress that was converted in to a Nazi concentration (note: not extermination) camp during WW2. I won't go in to details, but the feeling it gave you is that you'd rather be executed at gunpoint than live in the stinking, overcrowded, malnurished, overworked and torturous conditions that the prisoners went through. There was no point taking photos inside, I thought, since most of it was just bare stone, dirt horribleness. A few other people got decent photos of the more 'picturesque' side to the camp, but you'll never capture how it was.
Anyways, I have to jet.. things to do on the net, and places to go and see here in Prague.
Love you, Ki.
Take care, everyone!
"I try to say goodbye but I choke,
Try to walk away but I stumble,
Though I try to hide it, it's clear -
My world crumbles when you are not here."