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Days 16 – 17: London to the US

We spent most of the day yesterday hanging around the hostel. Two weeks of walking, travelling, and sleeping in new places, exhaustion has finally set in. The bar/restaurant attached to the hostel really does make the most delicious cheeseburgers. I got through a little over half of it and couldn’t eat anymore, they’re decently sized, but the reason was due to two weeks of eating smaller portions.

An interesting thing about England is that their food doesn’t have all of the preservatives that our food has it. Even the sodas don’t have the preservatives and even use real sugar instead of corn syrup. The food there is so much better for you and even tastes better.

We got up early in the morning, just shy of 4:00am so that we could check out and hop on a bus that would eventually lead us to Heathrow Airport. We would have taken the underground, but almost all of the tunnels were shutdown today due to maintenance. The bus completely passed up our stop, unfortunately. We ended up having to take a taxi.

Check-in at Heathrow also took forever, because in front of us was a group of tourists, over ten. They didn’t have their stuff ready and instead of all of them going to one check-in window they clogged up most of the open ones. We were also delayed on take-off due to software problems in their maintenance checklist program. The flight back to the states was a better one than the one coming to England.

Back in O’Hare in Chicago we already had a 4 and half hour layover scheduled there between the flights. However, storms in the area pushed that back for about another hour and a half.

After all of that I finally got home around 8:00 pm. So tired.

Day 15: Kiev to London

We checked out of the hostel and made our way through the street markets we had seen two days ago. As it had been on almost all of our other flights we had time to kill.

Going through customs and boarding the plane was once again an annoyance. Customs literally look back and forth between your passport and your face five times. Boarding the plane, there was a lack of personal space yet again, and combine that with a lack of deodorant.

We got into London fairly late. Luton Airport is a good distance outside of the city, so we had to find train tickets to get us back into London. Unfortunately the train was ending before the London Bridge exit. So we had to take the underground from the place where the train ended to London Bridge.

We quickly checked into the hostel, which was the first one we stayed at, and went to bed. It was after midnight at this point.

Day 4: London to Prague

We got up crazy early at the hostel because the train from the station going out to Luton Airport was leaving around 7. We took the train out to Luton, about a 45 minute or so ride. This was a smaller regional airport compared to Heathrow. Having some time to kill before the WizzAir check-in was open, we grabbed some breakfast at the Burger King in the terminal. The plane ride was a fairly short one probably an hour and twenty minutes or so.

Arriving out at the Prague International Airport (the actual name escapes me), we quickly made it through customs. There were shuttle buses that would essentially take us wherever our destination was from the airport for a small fee.

Driving in this city is pretty much insane. For the most part there is a complete lack of traffic signals and pedestrians have so many crossings as well. There are also cable cars that ride through the main streets.

They dropped us off at the hostel. This hostel, the Manhattan at Charvatova, was absolutely horrible. This is not the “American” in me needing the best. The place itself was on the second floor of a building that smelled of mold. No one at the front desk spoke any english. The wireless Internet connection was non-existent and the machines for Internet access were old P2 machines from about 1997, no kidding. Outside of the rating, the things we looked for in the hostel was that it had wireless Internet access and the staff could communicate in English. This wasn’t the end of the problems with this hostel. In the common room there were a couple guys actually smoking weed.

We met a gentlemen, from New Zealand, who had stayed in the hostel for a few days. He was a really nice guy. He had been traveling in Europe for a month or two. Unfortunately he had been pick pocketed not far from the hostel on the street while he was there. Two guy apparently got buddy buddy up to him. He checked his pockets afterwords and his money and passport were gone. He didn’t have much money on him, luckily. He backtracked and found his passport, but his customs stamps had been smudged from where the passport landed in water. He had come to Europe through a connecting flight in the United States. Unfortunately, if he returned that way, he would be given a lot of grief in customs. He was going to have to return home by connecting through Hong Kong now. We grabbed some Chinese food down the street with him before we left for our new lodging.

We ended up booking a nice Best Western hotel (Hotel PAV) on Kremenkova. It was a bit expensive for three nights and a bit complicated to book because we didn’t have Internet access, but to be sure we were in a good location it was a really great decision.

What a day….

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