Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 46: to Prague by train (10k; 2904)

No matter how well organised the system is, getting a loaded bike on a train is always a faff. The system here was in fact excellent but, mostly because the users don't know how it works in advance, there was faff aplenty. Luckily it wasn't a full train.

I had forgotten the existence of individual compartments in trains. How wonderful they are! Makes you hopeful of sitting next to Benedict Cumberbatch (Parade's End; if you haven't see it, do). Britain should definitely bring them back.

We rolled through the central European countryside retracing my steps back to Bratislava before heading north into the Czech Republic. Because Hungarian, Slovak and Czech all look and sound completely incomprehensible to me (are Czech and Slovak even the languages?) I had very little idea which country I was in or what was going on at any point, though I think we marked each new country with a new set of conductors. Since Prague was the end of the line it didn't matter, and the journey itself was really rather restful. 

The weather is suddenly looking a bit cooler and rainier after this extraordinary hot spell. Tomorrow also starts what I think will be my toughest section, as I head north to Germany. I reckon it's three days, and for days 2 and 3 it's plenty of hills and not a lot of civilisation. Should be beautiful, just hope Horace and I can handle it!

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