The ride was a little…hair raising. At one point we were hydroplaning through a huge puddle while she talked on the phone. The great thing was she was very upset with the person on the other end of the phone and needed her steering hand to make large, emphatic gestures with it. As soon as she got off the phone, she turned back into the sweet Italian Nona she was before – getting out in the rain with us, leading us to the whistle stop station, blowing us air kisses as we thanked her profusely in Italian. Gracia Mille!
So there we were being hustled into this station (really more of a series of platforms – there wasn’t a ticket booth) and we found the right area and, lo and behold, the train comes. What luck! We hop on and find seats. It’s then I realized that we didn’t have tickets for this train. Any minute now a conductor would walk down the aisle and ask for billets. I had heard the horror stories of tourists being fined 60 euros for not validating their tickets in the little validation machines so what kind of fine would one get if you didn’t have a ticket at all?
My life of getting in trouble flashed before my eyes. Granted, it was a quick flash and really only consisted of an incident in grade 7 when my teacher said he wouldn’t let me bring my report card home as punishment for fooling around in silent reading. David’s assurances that ‘it would be all right’ did very little to make me feel any better (as did grade 7 Stacy’s promise that she got into trouble all the time and no one had ever kept her report card).
But David (and Stacy) were right, things did work out in the end. That conductor never appeared and as we left the train and headed to the airport walkways, it was all I could do not to run. I thought it would look too suspicious though. Thankfully the rest of the trip was uneventful and we were in our great apartment in downtown Prague by late afternoon. Whoever decorated it loved orange!
One thing we’ve noticed are the quirky art installations in Prague. Some are right across the street from our apartment. People hanging from umbrellas, a man hanging from his fist, giant flies (Franz Kafka, author of Metamorphosis was from Prague) etc.
We were able to climb up the winding staircases further and reach the top of the Astronomical tower to look out on the city. What great views!