30 August- Train- Vienna to Prague. A four-hour long trip at <= 160kph. Comfy seat facing forward, table service and fairly bland scenery. But then we get to Prague, which is interesting.
I got off the train, out of the station, durried up and waited for Maps.Me to find out where I was. A bit warm at 31ºC but the GPS was sorted, a route mapped from station to hotel and off I toddled. The footpaths alternate between cobbles and cement, the city has been over-run with trams and it was a pleasant, albeit overly warm, 1km walk to the Hotel Grand Bohemia. Where there was an Oops.
Jan (I hope I've got that right) the manager came over to explain. They'd over booked and my room wasn't available for tonight, but it would be right for the next two nights. They'd got me a (very nice, as it turns out) room across the street at the Hotel Paris and would I mind very much? Also, we'll throw in a voucher (which was date expired, but that didn't matter) for a three course meal for you and a companion. No companion? Oh..... Johannes also gave me a map of the city, took my bag over to the hotel Paris and told me where to go to buy groceries, goffas, durries, etc, should I need to, rather than paying top price down this end of town.
Sometimes it's better when a plan doesn't come together. So had a tub, got changed and took a few piccies of the interior of the Hotel Paris and the interesting building across the street. I'll put photo's up later, it's time for me to go and have a bit of free dinner.
A new day, a new hotel and hotel room. These things happen and it didn't worry me at all.
Day 1 Prague: Sorry, not much interesting happened. I spent all day sorting out my notes and photo's from the Delacre Handschrift- started before brekky and the next thing I know it's 16:23hrs and I'm feeling a bit peckish. So had a meal in my room and finished the infantry plates. I'll leave the cavalry plates until Dresden.
Day 2 Prague: Had a reasonable breakfast in the hotel and re-established my caffeine levels. Booked a tour to the castle and met up with some nice people from the UK, a lady from Japan who lives in the US and a young Russian lass. The tour is covered by all the tour companies and includes the interior of the castle plus two churches/cathedrals/chapels, or whatever you call them, inside the fortress. To be fair the cathedral was impressive, outside and in (yes, Allyn, they did let me in and there wasn't any argument about it). So a good break from this box of ones and nones, some very interesting architecture and some great views. My companions and guide didn't understand why I passed on watching the change of the guard, but as they marched past where I was having my durrie, I took a couple of snaps. They have an interesting dress uniform- sort of a cross between Soviet and Yank- simple in cut but heavy on the bling and fruit salad. Though the blokes wandering around in cam's with loaded SMG were a more serious side of the tour. I didn't even think of taking photo's of them- they were looking bored and pissed off as it was. Anyway, to the piccies:
Day 2 Berlin: The run from Dresden was good and, as a bonus, the nice lady in the Deuthsches Bahn office sorted out the change in my booking to Munster (caused by the train line past Stendal being worked on). It's a slightly longer trip, via Hannover, but it was done for free- so I'm happy.
Most of yesterday and today has been spent collating the info from the Delacre Manuscript into a spreadsheet and sending it to Richard and Frédéric for inclusion in the Kronoskaf site. But I had a bit of a wander around last night and this morning, when I headed over to the Preußisces Bücherkabinett. That was a bit of a disppointment- a few books you wouldn't get in Australia, but mostly the usual Ospreys and similar. Not even many figures to buy, most of it was US or German WWII, neither of which particularly interest me. Tomorrow it's off to the Deutsche Historisches Museum, 600m up the road. Dr Weißbrich won't be there, but I have a pass to the library and can still see the artefacts I asked about.
Here's a few piccies I've taken when I haven't been tied to this computer:
Day 3 Berlin: Spent a nice morning at the German History Museum. On the down side I couldn't get into the library, as my pass hadn't been signed. Hopefully I'll have that sorted tomorrow. Not to worry. I took a lot of photo's and then realised I had a lot from Dresden, as well. So this is museum photo's day. It's not all weapons, there's some nice porcelain, a couple of clocks, a couple of street shots and other stuff.
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