Travel Notes: Frankfurt to Prague 9/23/03

As part of my travel odyssey I took a night train from Frankfurt to Prague. The idea was to sleep on the late train. By the time I got on the train I had already spent 12 hours in the air, 4 hours in airports, 2 hours in land transport, 4 hours of last minute packing, and 6 hours in Frankfurt. This means I was kind of tired by the time I got on the train.

To say the least, my bag and my body were a little large for the train. I had to turn sideways to walk down the hallway. I had to leave my bag in the middle of the compartment. Thankfully the other two guys in the compartment did not mind. I could not get a private compartment on the train, so I booked a triple.

The two other guys, Roman and Jack were pretty nice. Roman was a German business man and Jack was another American traveler. Roman could not stop cutting down everything from the American Department of Defense to Formula One race teams. He was a trip to talk to, but he never wanted to let you get a word in edgewise. We talked for about an hour and a half before hitting the sack.

I was on the bottom bunk. The three bunks are stacked one on top of another. They are very close to each other. I needed the middle bunk folded up so I could get in and out of my bunk. By the end of the night I felt like a sardine. I thought I was going to freak out.

I did not sleep too well on the train. It was just at that level of half sleep. Whenever the train changed speed or passed another train I would wake up. It was also cold. The other two guys wanted to sleep with the window open. I felt like I was going to get frostbite when I was touching any of the metal around me.

Passport control woke us up at 4 AM in the morning. We were woken up both by Czech and Germany police. Never of them looked very happy. The Czech officer would not stamp my passport. How can I prove I was here?

You never dream about trains like when you are on sleeping on a train. All of my dreams seemed to be about trains. I dreamt about the guys in my compartment talking to me. I thought the German guy was making fun of us Americans. I dreamt about standing on top of the train. I dreamt about racing down the tracks like a train.

We woke up about 20 minutes outside of Prague. There was a lot of American style graffiti that I could see from the train. It was strange to look outside. I wish that I had woken up earlier to get a good look at it. On the other hand my head was thumping like a drum from staying up so long.

I did not get as much sleep as I would have liked, but it was still good. I am very happy that I chose to take the train to Prague. I would have been way too tried to drive. It gave me the chance to meet some people. I am looking forward to the train ride back.


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