The weather has been pretty nice in Stuttgart Germany. Not cold and rainy which seems in the norm here, even in the summer. We just can’t get over the weirdness of sometimes having to use a jacket in the morning… IN JULY. Doesn’t this country realize it’s smack dab in the middle of summer? Nothing was on the schedule for the weekend which means this would be an ideal time to take a quick photography tour of the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague.
Getting to Prague from Stuttgart is simple. It’s a not so very quick and pseudo inexpensive train trip- about 6 hours for $60 round trip per person. Much to my disappointment and envy, Lee was taking this trip on his own and despite his dislike of driving; he decided to go the rental car route. It was a bit more expensive in the long run, but definitely faster taking about 4.5 hours with traffic to get there. And, really, who doesn’t like driving on the Autobahn?
Nice rental cars are surprisingly inexpensive in Germany. Using the EuroCar rental agency right outside of Patch, he was able to get a Mercedes Benz full size sedan for $100 from Friday afternoon through Monday morning. Why rent a car when you have a perfectly good battle wagon at home? Lee explained it, “the smaller cars get blown around on the autobahn. The Benz is stronger and sturdier with a bigger engine. Once you get out of the traffic you can ‘hit the road and go’.’’ Great, babe. Being half a world away and knowing your husband is driving on a road without speed limits in a car that can ‘hit the road and go’ makes a woman a bit uneasy. Please wear your seatbelt, dear.
The route was a straight shot on E50 with Friday evening traffic all the way to Nuremburg. At the Berlin exit, the traffic disappeared and that’s when he was able to implement his ‘hit the road and go’ plan. He had no need to stop along the way although there are towns along the road if you need a pit stop. The sedan only used about a half a tank of gas so he planned on topping it off it Prague for the trip home. He was able to get a discount card from his work which took the cost of fuel down from about $9 a gallon to $3 so it cost about $25 in fuel to get the Prague. (Rough math converting liters to gallons and euros to dollars, but it’s a pretty close estimate)
The hotel was booked through Priceline using the ‘Name your own price’ option. Yes, its always a crap shoot, but since he was going solo the quality wasn’t as important. A word of warning: a 4 star in some parts of Europe aren’t even remotely similar to a 4 Star in the states, and hotels in the center of Prague are expensive. He bid $100 a night and the bet paid off, he was extremely pleased with the hotel.
He stayed at Hotel Leonardo and it was extremely nice! ‘A Beautiful Hotel’ was his exact phrase. The first surprise came when he pulled up and there was a valet to park his car. Maybe we stay in crappy hotels since we tend to use the ‘name your own price’ option, but this was the very first time his car was valeted in Europe. The guy carried up his bags and made sure he was taken care of. This is nothing like Paris! The room was very nice with a full size bed that was not a pillow top, but hey…it’s Europe. At least it wasn’t a hard 4 inch prison worthy Ikea mattress. Or two twin beds pushed together that separate into a dangerous canyon deep in the night. No worries, he was spending his time out taking photos in the city, so the bed was more than sufficient.
The location could not have been any better. He was within walking distance of all the major and minor photography attractions. One of his main goals was to get a great photo of the St Charles bridge at night and it was a mere blocks away.
To be continued….
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