Praha, Czech Republic (2009)¶
In 2009 we had two school trips to choose from: Barcelona in Spain and Prague in the Czech Republic. I chose the latter mostly because the bus ride would be shorter.
Before the trip started the teachers told us the name of the hotel that we would be staying at. We of course looked it up on the internet and where rather underwhelmed, it looked like a dump. The teachers apparently did not look it up before booking it!
When we got there, my classmates and me were not surprised because it looked exactly like the pictures that we have found online:
To our relief the hotel was freshly remodeled on the inside, so it was all good.
The hotel is located in a triangle of train tracks, I guess that does not really make for the nicest location. You can also already see the nightclub that we eventually went to. I lost track of all the other things that we looked at, so this map is rather sparse.
We had a few guided tours through the city. There are amazing buildings!
It did not take long for my alcohol-focused classmates to find this little bar very close to the hotel:
They served beer with 12 % of alcohol in 500 ml glasses for just 0.15 EUR (converted) each. I guess I don’t have to tell you what happened with these people for most part of the trip …
The teachers had organized a little river cruise for us. It was somewhat nice until the crew started playing the accordion for us. That is just not my type of music at all.
The view was nice, though.
If we were not going around with the guided tour in our bus, we were taking the subway. The subway network worked quite nice for us. And I even got checked for my ticket once!
Another highlight for the alcohol-focused people was a tour through a brewery where beer was served afterwards.
We also did one trip to Theresienstadt, a former concentration camp site. We were driven there by our bus driver, it was a very hilly drive. When we exited the bus there was white steam emerging from the rear wings. Somebody with car experience and I figured that the driver had overloaded the brakes on the bus. We innocently asked whether he had used the engine brake and only to hear that this is a nonsense concept anyway. Great, I was a little scared for my life for the rest of the trip.
The guided tour through the concentration camp was depressing. I had seen other camps already, and just seeing that this madness has been at so many places only makes it more depressing.
Eventually we got back to the hotel.
One night we decided to go to this largest nightclub, the Karlovy lázně. It has five floors (or six, actually?) with a bar on every floor and a different theme of music. The top floor is for chilling out. During this night I have learned that I knew almost nothing about properly getting drunk, how to party (having vodka and energy drinks) and so on. At like 02:00 I just took a taxi back to the hotel. The others seemed to have come back to the hotel at 05:00, which gave them one hour of sleep until breakfast at 06:00. But hey, it was just another guided tour, so who needs sleep for that anyway?
The bus ride back to Bonn was as frightening as the longer bus rides within the Czech Republic. It was a ride during the night and the driver apparently was pretty tired. He has set the heating to a rather cold setting such that we would not fall asleep. This however kept fogging the windshield, which did not seem like a good idea either. Also various people complained about being too cold. In hindsight one should have stopped the bus at a roadhouse and have the police check both the bus and the driver. Luckily nothing happens, but this did not actually enhance my trust in bus tours.