Before I get to the Saga of Sadness known as Our Trip to Prague, let me tell you about a neat thing in Europe. Here it is: pretty much anywhere you can go, a dog can go. That includes food procurement facilities, like restaurants and cafes. One evening we went to an authentic German restaurant. It was a big farmhouse once but is now converted and because we got there so early we ended having our own room. I ate elk on a bed of local mushrooms with red cabbage and almond-crusted potato croquettes. So effing delicious.
And, because this is Germany and it was around Christmastime, there were chocolates decorating the table. Germans must never be more than ten feet from chocolate at any given time. It’s in their constitution.
Anyway, we were in our own private room all by our lonesomes when Neenernator’s mother wanted to go to the bathroom. She opened the door to walk down the hall and – WOOOOMPH!! – loudest bark ever greets her. She slammed the door shut and was like, “I’ll pee when I get home.” Turns out under the table of another family having dinner there was a half-Malamute, half-German Shepherd monster-dog chillin’. I made a point to say howdy as I was leaving. The direwolf growled at me. It’s quite a culture shock going to a restaurant and seeing a giant horse-beast hanging out under the table. But if they’re okay with it, I’m okay with it.
Also, so important! A day before we left, the sun came out! The sun. I had not seen the sun in a week. I walked outside and greeted like someone who had spent the last five years in a bunker preparing for the apocalypse. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuun. I took my camera out and got some decent pics of Neenernator’s backyard.
First, here’s the window seat looking out onto the small lake in the back. Every single other day the view was this (boo):
But this one day it was this (yay!):
And outside was this (whee!)
I was so delighted by the faint warm fiery ball in the sky I took pictures of everything. Here is a bucket of moles ornaments.
Here is the neighbor’s tree through their window.
Here’s Neenernator’s awesome grandma waving at the dumb tourist (me).
Here’s the fake egret the jerkface neighbors across the way have stuck in their lawn. It’s there because if an egret sees it, it will not come to this lake. One egret per water body. I said I would happily go over there and steal it but Neenernator’s mother said, “Don’t do that, they’ll know it was me.”
Okay, onto the trip to Prague. Neenernator and I decided to go to Prague for two days at the end of the Germany trip because, like me, Neenernator loves bones. Lots and lots of bones. The Ossuary of Sedlec is in Prague and it’s got 40,000 dead people decorating the space so that was a no-brainer. We thought it would be super-funsies to take the overnight train. When I was in Africa as a child I used to adore sleeping on the train. That would be great! Here’s what happened: you know how everybody says that no matter Germany’s flaws, at least the trains always run on time? That is a LIE. Neenernator booked us a train from Bremen to Dortmund. We then had 35 minutes to catch an all-night train from Dortmund to Prague. Easy, right? Except our train from Bremen to Dortmund was an hour late, meaning we missed our connection. We intended to be in Prague by 10:00 a.m. and the next all-nighter train got us into Prague at 3:00 in the afternoon, basically killing a whole day. By the way, I’m compressing hours and hours of drama here. Neenernator arguing with the attendant in the various train stations, us hopping into a cab in an attempt to drive down the Autobahn at 200 kilometers an hour to make the train (that did not work), us sitting forlornly on the freezing outdoor train platform for a million years at 11:30 at night, etc. It was the opposite of a good time. Here is Neenernator posing with all our luggage.
One thing on the platform I did like: they have a map of the train and there’s a string down the map so you know what car will be directly in front of you when the train pulls in. So if you have seats in car 3, you can figure out where car 3 will be. Anticipating. It’s a plus. Metro-North, take note.
Eventually we made it to Dortmund at about 1:00 in the morning. I fell asleep mournfully. At 4:30 a.m. (for those of you bad at math, that would be a lovely 3.5 hours night’s sleep) Neenernator woke me up. “Hey,” she said, her laptop illuminating her face. “Why don’t we fly to Prague? There’s a flight out of Frankfurt that gets us there at 11:00 a.m. You okay with that?” “Hell yeah I’m okay with that,” I said. “Great,” Neenernator said. “Get up. We need to catch the 5:00 a.m. train to the Frankfurt Airport. Let’s go.” We grabbed our luggage and dragged it down the streets to the main train station where we went to the Frankfurt Airport. While we were on the train Neenernator bought the plane tickets using her phone and that is why she is my hero. My adult approach to this travel debacle would be to slump to the ground and cry, but not Neenernator. She keeps cool in all situations. Hero forever. We got to the airport with about a half-hour to spare. They had already started boarding. It’s important for you to know that the Frankfurt Airport is HUGE. It’s a major European hub. We arrived at the bottom of this weird plant-shaped map where the train tracks are.
And where was our flight leaving from? That is correct, B20. At the exact opposite end of this building the size of a village. And it’s a ziggy-zaggy building meaning we went on, no joke, over ten escalators with all that luggage. And Neenernator was pregnant. The whole thing was a nightmare.
We finally arrived at Security, sweaty and exhausted and punchy where it is made abundantly clear that we packed anticipating train travel, not plane travel. Meaning all manner of beverages were in our backpacks and random nail clipper-like items were shoved into pockets, etc. It didn’t help that our security guy was a total douche. I had purchased a large ocean jasper stone that I had hastily put into my handbag and this security guard decided this was an ideal time to hassle me about this rock. “Are you intending to use this as a weapon?” he asked (douchily). I said, “Yes. On you. Right now. Enough already. I’m going to miss my flight*.” Thankfully he realized I was not a threat and we made it to our plane just in time where we had the delightful opportunity to stand on the tarmac in the rain during boarding. How this looks was how I felt.
But we made it. We made it, guys! And I got the opportunity to take a two-hour nap on the plane. Such a glorious glorious nap. Before I fell asleep I caught a glimpse of the seat in front of me and realized this dope pun.
All you beer aficionados, please note: This is not regular Budweiser. That would not fly in the capital of beers, Prague. This is a special Budweiser that is brewed in the outskirts of Prague because we are talking about a people who drink absinthe with hemp seeds in it. They will not tolerate the yellowish seltzer we call beer in this country. You don’t even hallucinate with our stuff!
Next post: Prague Prague Prague.
*That is 100% true, what I said to him. I said it loudly and aggressively. It is a miracle I didn’t get detained.