Tuesday 25 July 2017

It is still raining this morning so we remain in the hotel until our lunchtime departure.  The time is used firstly to get an internet connection.  Euro roaming is now within my monthly data cap which means I can use my phone as a hot spot.  Then using the Flickr app I can upload photos and progress is made!  It is not as elegant as the old app on the old phone which could do it direct from the photo gallery app without involving the Flickr app.  I probably should investigate another app for the photo gallery; it would be particularly good if the app could load an entire sub directory of photos on the phone straight into an album as I move photos from the two cameras to the phone before uploading.

Our train is electrically hauled (the station in Berlin is dark and the photos cannot be used) and feels similar in some respects to BR mark 2 stock but obviously benefiting from the larger loading gauge.  2+2 seating or three aside in second class compartments (and yes they do still have compartments).  I did not go forward to identify the arrangements in first class.  Some airline seating is used for half of the coach.  The trains are loaded with a lot of rucksack carrying “students” – presumably on interrail or similar.

The area of Germany through which we are passing is fairly flat and agricultural as we head south.  Throughout Germany there is none of the advertised wifi on the train; magically once we enter the Czech Republic everyone’s phones connect (much pinging everywhere) and we are all catching up with the rest of the world.   The occupants of neighbouring seats (who are also on our tour) appear not to be able to get The Archers as they complain about not being up to date.  It seems odd as I believe BBC Radio iPlayer should allow downloads – and certainly my podcast downloads work; I do not admit to having the episodes concerned!  One of our fellow tour travellers is listening to operatic music (on headphones) and humming along (slightly tunelessly) to the sounds which emanate to the wider world.  It is a pity really as if the opera had not been imposed on us I could have been making copies of The Archers available.  I am mean!

Catering on board  appeared limited; I think I had the only two sandwiches on the train (which reminds of the situation on the train to Portland last year).   As we progress through the first part of the Czech Republic we are following the river Elbe and the scenery is rather more attractive.  Then the sun comes out which is more cheering before we are once again passing through wide open farming countryside.  It darkens again before we arrive, although it does not rain.

When we arrive I have a brief moment to take photos of some colourful local trains.

The Hotel Diplomat is functional although some of the decoration upstairs might need slight refurbishment.  We are a little way out of the main city.  However we do have a great view of Prague Cathedral from our window which looks like this:


The hotel does not register a credit card – so it is all pay as you go.  At least there will be little delay settling the bill.

Dinner on the first floor is a buffet, for me tomato soup, beef stew, not spicy.  Finished off by some local cheeses.  It is a decent improvement on the buffet in Berlin as the selection is far more varied.  Then early to bed as we have to be away from the hotel at 08:15 apparently.