Prague looks like something out of a modern fairy tale: tall, eclectic buildings, long, ornate bridges and occasional „Schlösser“ (castle) with architecture dating from around the ages to multiple narrow streets full of colorful trinkets, beckoning restaurants and multi-raced tourists. (Well, maybe not exactly a fairy tale … but Art Nouveau side by side with Baroque and perhaps even a little Roman is lovely). Our beloved friend Viktor met us at the Bahnhof (which itself has a spectacular entry room/roof as is often the case with city train stations) and spent the afternoon showing us some of the best parts of the city. Looking at things through the eyes of a local is better than reading about it. He also took us to a restaurant (cafeteria style) for a taste of local, traditional Czech food. Very simple, very meat & potatoes and very inexpensive. There were people from all over the world and some with their giant suitcases, crowded together in small booths/tables. Well worth the experience.

Another advantage to being with Viktor is he knows knows where the best Italian ice cream is! One treat we missed was the local, traditional „Trdelnik“. It looks like a baked pastry roasted on a spindle. They are sweet and sometimes filled with more sweet fillings. (Viktor never tried one with soft ice cream inside that I saw for sale and he was born in Prague! Evidently there is no limit to what tourists will buy.) When it came time to get one for the train ride back to Dresden, no shop could be found near the station. Boo …

More views of Prague and some of the Presidents official residence, which is the city castle, although Viktor says no one knows where he actually lives. (He is not highly thought of at the moment.)

We did have a small adventure on our way back to Dresden from Prague. Evidently the train engine was unhappy. Every hour or so it would not start up again or run for only a hundred feet or so. The last leg of our trip, the train limped back to Dresden slowly (a.k.a Blumen Pflicker Zug, which means ‚flower picking train‘ in German). When Deutche Bahn runs more than an hour late, you receive a 25% of your ticket price back. Wouldn’t that be great in America… The multiple delays did allow us to chat cheerfully with our 2 remaining compartment passengers. One had a 5 kilometer hike ahead of him before finishing his trip. The other had come from Slovakia and still had a ways to go on this train.The picture of me in Bad Schandau train platform, was the last time the train failed before picking flowers all the way to Dresden.