So initially I planned this to be a daily updated blog on our travels. However, try as I might, there just weren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Thus, please forgive me, this is going to be a long one. But on the last post there’ll some useful information and addresses for anyone making the trek to Sri Lanka – a beautiful place.
Lodz – Prague – Flight
So, our story begins in a bar. Not the whole “So I was sitting in a bar one day when my friend turned to me and said ‘Hey, we should go to Sri Lanka!'” (Ok, perhaps the idea may have arisen in one, but that’s not the point). No, we actually met in a pub, our favourite Bear Pub, to down a quick plum vodka and make our to Lodz Kaliska Station. This was our departing point: and ex-socialist (though renovated in the 90s) bus station in the gloomy 8*C Polish winter. Ahead of us was an 8-hour no-frills bus journey to Prague, followed by a “luxurious” 11-hour flight to Colombo with FlyDubai. All in very uncomfortable chairs (that’s just my opinion. Feel free to ask my 187cm tall friend Glowa about his ordeal throughout the journey – he suffered, painfully). But before we even got to Prague, we had to get our darling Sabina (the bargaining chip if we got into trouble) from Wroclaw. So, four hours later – we have our comrade-in-arms and we were off to Prague.
A quite limited sleep in awkward positions and horrible leg space journey later, we arrive in Prague at the decent hour or 5am [You’d be surprised at just how many places were(n’t) open at that time!]. Nevertheless, we set ourselves the goal or seeing the sun rise on King Charles’ Bridge, and our determination was high (think Iron Man Triathlon high)… even if one of use was just a tad cranky from a lack of caffeine (definitely not me, nope, never). After a few slips regarding timetables, directions and realsing that we were absolutely hopeless without the internet (we truly are Gen Y), we got to the metro and a hop, skip and a jump later we got were somewhere not so dear the bridge. But Glowa knew the way!
We saw the pretty Christmas lights in the morning, made our way through those lovely winding, cobbled streets in the Old Town till we finally reached the famed bridge. [Note re: the photos. A couple of weeks ahe my bag was stolen and with it my beautiful and well travelled Canon SLR. Thus, unless otherwise stated, all the photos you see before you are courtesy of a beaten and shattered Nokia Lumia 920 (Nokia/Microsoft – feel free to sponsor me any time now. I cannot fault your camera in any way)]. I must say, even with the fog, the view was amazing. Walking along the bridge, sun rising behind us projecting a siluhouette of gothicesque Prague – yeah, it was gorgeous. However, it was around this time that we started to want to quench anouther thirst: I for coffee; the rest for a decent bathroom/internet combination (with food being an optional extra at this point). The best choice?
Wel, after all that suspenseI guess I ought to tell you – it was Maccas (or McDonald’s for my non-Aus friends). Luckily it was open at 7am, and thus we did the whole “meal, coffee, bathroom, wifi, figure out how the hell to get to the airport” thing.
With around 2 hours to kill before we needed to set off for our flight with our “luxurious” carrier, Glowa and I came up with the most astounding idea to make the most of being in the Czech capital: let’s get a beer (whilst also claiming to be visiting the city). Funnily, we were under the impression that this would be an easy task to complete at 9am. I mean, this was Prague after all! The capital of beers! (note: I have not verified this, but at the time it seemed pertinent to the goal).
We were slightly misguided it turned out in our assumption, and after many a weird turn and crushed dream, we had all but given up hope! That is, until we found this little, strange, reminding me of a fronthouse to a brothel (it wasn’t) bar. They had beer. We drank it. Another check in our To-Do-List. And just like that, we were off to our next port-of-call: Charles Airport.
Now, we knew that FlyDubai was a no-frills airline. But we hadn’t realised just how no-frills it was. Remember my 187cm-tall friend? Well, he had to squeeze into a Ryanair economy-size seat for 11 hours. (Sabina was cute though. Upon on boarding the plane and seeing the seats she said “Oh, this won’t be too bad!” …. commenting on the business class seats. Furthermore, we had read that meals weren’t included, thus we adjusted accordingly (by investing heavily in large amounts of sandwiches and chocolate bars. Ok, they other guys did… I got a little travel pack as I had forgotten from Ola – THANKS OLA!). So it was honestly a very pleasant shock when we received a warm (and free!) meal on the 6-hour flight from Prague to Dubai (unfortunately Glowa was dead to the world, so he didn’t actually make use of his. We told him it was amazing so please follow suit and tell him he missed out).
Ah! And just in case you fly with FlyDubai, entertainment isn’t included either (we spent a fascinating 11 hours watching the free-option, that is, our plane moving across the world map. Man was that thrilling).
There’s not much more to say about the journey to Colombo, minus a very rushed 4 cheeseburgers in Dubai, so I shall see you all in Sri Lanka!