This was the first day I took a train anywhere in Europe, and even though some trips took up to 8 hours, I loved it. They were comfortable, air conditioned (everywhere but the Czech Republic), and provided these cute little snacks. I had my books, my music, and my camera.

Dresden was really crowded, but incredibly impressive. All of what you see below was re-built from the bombings in WWII, and made to look original.

When we got on the train for Prague that evening, we knew right off the bat it was going to be different from Germany. The train was really old and shabby, and there were crazy people running around like it was a Slavic frat party through the corridor of the train, carrying crates of alcohol, smoking, and yelling in scary languages. We were a little panicky trying to find a coach to sit in, because we didn’t want to get stuck in one with the crazy scary people who were smoking and probably smelled bad. Thank god, we found a car with an older couple who seemed harmless. Bexadler slept, I stayed up and worried.

We got off the train and immediately knew, this was going to be a rough city in every way you can imagine. The train station was really dirty, the people at the train station were the Eastern European version of any Greyhound station in the US, and the subway station was the European version of South Central. The Metro was absolutely horrifying; we were still getting used to our backpacks, and it was deathly hot, putrid smelling, and miserable. The Metro platform was littered with young hipsters who looked like they’d been abused and lived through extreme trauma in their lives. Becca and I both spotted one girl at the same time who looked like a rabid, deranged version of Avril Lavigne with shaved sections of hair contrasted by long, skunk-colored sections, fighting with some guy with an equally strung-out, deranged look in his eyes. If there was anywhere we should’ve been worried about getting mugged, it would have been here. And we were scared.

There were these extremely steep, crowded escalators in the Metro stations that went up about 10 stories, and during rush hour (when we arrived in the city), it was so packed that you could feel the motor chugging along at a much slower pace than normal, and it felt like it was going to break down at any second. After that crazy long day, I just hoped we could get to our hostel easily and I could chill out a bit. I came to Europe with a bad cold, and all the travel and moving and dehydration and stress made it REALLY bad. Well, we couldn’t find the hostel, and we couldn’t even navigate the city. It was getting dark and we were exhausted, and really starting to freak out as we carried all of our belongings on our back in the extreme heat. Thankfully, Becca eventually figured it out, and led us in the right direction.

The hostel was… kind of horrendous, so we left immediately after dropping our things, and wandered around the city at night to find food and check things out. This was our introduction to “when not to go wandering”, because we got lost looking for a pharmacy for me and ran into some interesting characters. That night, I slept for maybe 2 hours total even though I needed a lot more.