Budapest to Prague by Rail
After breakfast we were back to the Keleti station for our trip to Prague. Once again, ticket validation went smoothly and a helpful porter made getting on the train very easy. This train was what we were expecting – individual first class compartments and a real dining car; just like the ‘old’ days. We shared our compartment with a lone, very pleasant traveler from Toronto. The scenery was lovely, pastoral farms, green hills, storybook towns and one large black animal (sheep or bear, what’s your guess?)
We traveled through Rakospalota-Ujpest, Vác, Nagymaros-Visegrad, and Szob without incident and then when we got to Slovakia we were nabbed by the conductor for not having a valid ticket. At the last minute before our trip we had been told there was a potential issue and that we might have to pay an undetermined amount of money . . . and it was true – we were extorted for 67 Euros and 2 cents. Yes, 2 cents. Once we paid the money we continued to travel through Štúrovo, Bratislava, and Kuty before reaching the Czech Republic and the cities of Břeclav, Brno, Pardubice, Kolin and finally Prague. Our beautiful sunny morning had gradually become gray and it was now raining.
A driver from the hotel met us and helped us navigate the deceptively large station that was quite expansive under the level in which the trains arrived.
We arrived at the Mamaison Pachtův Palác in the Old Town (Staré Město), near the Charles Bridge. It was a good time to regroup before leaving our very large apartment suites and heading into the rainy evening for dinner. Finding no smoking options are a challenge here, we had a wonderful meal at the casual, comfortable Restaurant Stoleti near the hotel, also on Karolíny Světlé. Trying to eat a little more healthy after the excess of the day before, we opted for a delicious meal that included salad, grilled trout, chicken and spinach/blue cheese omelet.