It was bloody freezing last night! We know this as we were both awakened by a car door slamming and then decided we would both have a comfort stop: how romantic is it going to the toilet together at 2 a.m. holding hands in the dark!? I suppose it’s all part of the fun. We were soon back under the downy (mainly because I wouldn’t let Mary take her Kindle with her to the loo) and sleep crept slowly back into our eyes. Another car door slammed and it was 08.45 this time. And so the day began.

We had about 4 hours before we would have to leave so plenty time to clean the place up and pack. For extra security while we’re away, we put lots of stuff in the car although, to be honest, we don’t have much of any particular value with us and it’s all insured. I popped in to reception to see if there was any chance of a lift round to the Schnellbahn station about 1 km. away as we would be carrying luggage but received a gruff Germanic “Wir sind kein Taxi”. So plan B was to ask the first Brit I saw to do us a favour and run us round to the station which would be less than 2 minutes in a car. Same response basically: “we’ve been out and we’re not going anywhere today now. Have a nice trip.” Is it just me?

Nonetheless we walked the distance quite easily in the end, regarding it as our daily exercise. We caught the Schnellbahn to the Hauptbahnhof in Nürnberg, surfed the Net for an hour or so in a station café then caught our bus from right outside the station. Advertised as a Luxury Express bus service, it most surely was, offering us the maximum of comfort in leather seats, food and drink and air conditioning.

Then the German police pulled us over! At least it wasn’t my fault this time. Everyone had their passports checked and our cheery Polizist cracked a joke about Kate and the topless photos. All in the best possible taste! How dare they make fun of our Royal Family? Beheading should be the mandatory punishment for such disrespect. Johnny Foreigner has no idea where to draw the line.

Soon we were over the border and into the Czech Republic for the first time. Plzen, the home of beer, whizzed by, with Prague suddenly upon us an hour later. This is where it gets sort of interesting for a traveller nowadays. The reason being that it is perfectly possible to have found out details of a place on Google long before you actually get anywhere near it. So my notes told me to go into the railway station, look for a red sign for Underground line C, buy a single ticket for 34 korunas (we exchanged some Euros back in Deutschland – aren’t we clever?), take the train in the direction of a place called Hijé, get off at a station called Pankrac, then walk south-west for a couple of hundred metres to our hotel.

We did this with blind faith. When we emerged from the Underground at Pankrac, we looked to the right and there was a 24-storey building with a “Panorama Hotel” sign on the top. That’ll do nicely!

In no time at all we were seated in the restaurant having dinner. Mary went ethnic right away and tucked into a plate of traditional veal stew with dumplings which she judged almost perfect except for one or two nippy chillies. I had chicken consommé followed by tagliatelle which was delicious. The meal came to £15! I do love the Czech Republic!

But listen here, my dear followers. Signs all over the hotel apologetically told the guests that it is no longer permitted in this country to sell any alcoholic drink over 20% and sure enough, there were no vodkas, gins or whiskies or any of the other spirits on display. However, as the Czechs invented Pils, I had a couple of Urquells in their honour while the missus stuck to Cola Light.

I love that girl!

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