Train to Salzburg

This was a bad morning. Not only did my train leave at 7:00am, but I also didn’t have a lot of sleep the previous night due to these American guys in the room. Don’t get me wrong, they were nice and all, but every other thing they said was, just have faith in God or God will take care of you. I mean EVERY sentence seemed to have something like that in it, and they spoke so loudly, it reminded me of the Osama bin Laden tape where every other word was Allah. Anyhow, I met some Americans waiting for the train. They were brother and sister, the brother just graduated like me, and the sister having a year left, and just was finishing her study abroad in Spain. Anyhow, I had wanted to sleep I guess, but it turned out they were really fun to talk to, and we spent the entire trip talking.

Funny thing is, all of a sudden we were all told to get off the train and some station and there’s a bus waiting for us. They understood that we had to change trains, but I really thought we had to get on a bus. So anyhow, the little old woman who was in the compartment with us tried to explain what was going on.. so she drew a picture of a train, marked it out, and then drew a picture of a bus and circled it. Sure enough at the next station, the whole train is unloaded onto these buses, driving through beautiful countryside of Austria, to some random train station, where we connected, and finished our trip to Salzburg.


Day with Kathryn

Today Kathryn and I met at the clock tower for a full day walking around the city, seeing the Jewish sector with Synagogues and such, and I bought some crystal pieces. I had to move to another hostel today which really sucks because my train leaves at 7:00am tomorrow morning and NOW I have to walk almost 15 minutes with all my stuff down to the station!! So, I will be in early tonight to get some sleep. Now I’m off to meet up again with Kathryn for dinner.

ZENJIRO!!! and My Appearance in a Japanese CM for 地球の歩き方。

Ok, this post probably won’t mean anything to my non-Japanese friends, but anyhow, it’s pretty funny.

So, I come back to my hostel in the clock tower, and there are 3 new people in my room. Turns out they’re Japanese, because low and behold, and a 地球歩き方 book is laying there on the bed..

So, last night they came in while I was sleeping, and turned on the light and were like, oh sorry sorry sorry. I said in Japanese, oh I’m ok.. daijyoubu! From that point on we only spoke in Japanese.

Turns out that these 3 are sponsored by Chikyuuarukikata to take this tour and make jokes about things you need to be careful about while traveling abroad. Zenjiro is the only name I got, and he’s a comedian in Japan… the other two are quite famous as well, but I don’t know their names. So anyhow, they were making this video for chikyuu and guess who will be in one of the commercials…yours truly, Benjaminhl. I come into a “dorm” room while Zenjiro is sleeping, and I take his suitcase and walk out with it. Then I take it to the stairs go through it throwing out non-valuable items, take out his wallet, find the money, and then throw the wallet down and leave. How funny is that?! Just another fun story of my GUUZEN life!!

Kathryn from San Francisco..or Boston?


During my stroll last night, I was on this bridge with tons of gothic statues looking up at the golden-lit castle in the background. Everyone is out enjoying the dry night. I took some pictures playing with the shutter speed and stuff with my elph =) Anyhow, this girl walks by, looks my age, and for those of you who have traveled abroad, Americans are SO easy to spot. So, I asked if she spoke English, and since she was alone, would she like to go for a walk. Well, it turns out she just moved from living in San Francisco, to Boston. She also just arrived in Prague from Zurich, having been in her best friend’s wedding. So, we talked about my work and where I should move (note to myself > use and find LAKE MERRIT). So, we continued walking and went all over the city having great conversation. So we ended the night and decided to meet again tomorrow at 11:00am for a day of touring. This will be a lot of fun so I’m looking forward to it.

Night Stroll


Again, the weather was really nice. So, after dinner, I went to walk around the city. I found myself at the river, and noticed a huge pendulum. Well, and a pendulum be inverted like a metronome and still be a pendulum? Whatever, it was a big stick swinging back and forth at the top of the hill looking over a city. I mean this thing was huge. I figured it was a clock or something, but by the time I climbed the whole hill (there’s a park up there) I found no indication of it being a timepiece. So, looking out over the red tiled roofs of Prague, I relaxed and thought about how amazing this trip has been thus far. I love it so much, and every day I am learning something knew not only about life, but about my life as well. It’s the kind of cliché “find yourself” type trip I guess, but being alone in such a beautiful place conjures up a lot of thoughts–and I enjoy the thinking…

Czech Dinner

So, since it had rained all day, I figured since the weather at night was nicer, that I should go have a nice Czech dinner, and walk around the city. I went to dinner and had roast pork, potato dumplings, sour kraut, carrots, and a salad. It was a huge portion, but was only $10. Things are really cheap here though.. I paid $2 for a whole day metro pass, $.33 for bottled water… it’s nice and reminds me of Bali.

City Walk

Well, today was very dreary, which made sightseeing a little difficult. I started out this morning with a walk, I thought toward the river, but some how I got turned around and ended up on the east side of the city. It was nice anyway, so I found my way to a Metro, and went to the Castle at the top of the city. This place is soooo nice. The architecture is absolutely amazing, I just hope I get some good pictures with some sun!!! After looking through the castle and a great panorama of the city, I headed down for some lunch at a little café. After lunch it started to rain, so I went to the Metro, and I saw an advertisement for…. IKEA. So… I ended up there.

Prague Promenade

Ok, so after arriving, I find a hostel. I asked the people at the station (they have reservation desks there) to find me a cheap hostel near the city center. So, she shows a picture, and asks if $11 a night is ok with me. The place looked great, but then I wondered how far from the central station I would be. She gave me an index card with directions, and it had a picture of the station, and an arrow leading out from the station door to the bell tower in front. Up the bell tower, on the 5th floor is my room. Ha. Yeah, quite funny, but it was nice, and it can’t be any more central…


Well I am in Prague now!! It was a really nice train ride, long, but funny, mainly because of the guy who was in the train compartment with me. He was Czech, and 25, and could barely speak English. So we tried to converse in German, and for those who know me, you know my German is quite limited. But, we did talk for the entire time, so I must have been doing something right!!