Prague is a long way from my home town of Brisbane. Even the most direct flights, with Emirates via Dubai, is just over 21 hours or flying time! So when travelling that far, I try and spend a few extra days to make the most of the travel. So this year I opted for a night in Singapore on the way, 5 extra days in the Czech Republic and then 3 days in Berlin with family after the event.
Here’s a quick look at my travels prior to the Veeam Vanguard Summit.
Singapore was a very quick visit, arriving at 18:15 and departing 23:25 the following night. I didn’t have a huge amount of time but managed to have a look around at a bit of the city. And of course the instantly recognisable waterfall in “The Jewel” at the airport!
I would highly recommend the train (MRT) from the airport, very easy to work out with Google Maps and some friendly advice from the staff. It’s cheap, clean and fast.
After less than 24 hours in the city I headed back to the airport to have a look at The Jewel. It’s a very impressive piece of engineering and if you have time if you are going through Singapore be sure to take a look. It is land side though, so if you are transiting you will need to leave enough time for security etc.
Off to find some food in the lounges, thanks to Priority Pass I had access to multiple lounges in Terminal 1, from which I was departing. I tried a couple of the lounges and ended up in the SATS Premier Lounge and there are some great massage chairs in there! With a little time to spare I left the lounge and made my way to gate ready for the 12hr 15min flight through to Helsinki.
A short layover in Helsinki was enough time to grab some breakfast and then get ready for the 9.40am departure for Prague.
I’d decided to take a look outside of Prague and after watching this video from @realHonestGuide I decided 2 nights in České Budějovice was a good start before heading further south to Lipno nad Vltavou.
From the airport in Prauge, Google Maps guided me safely via 2 buses to the coach terminal Prague, Na Knížecí to take a Regiojet coach to České Budějovice. I arrived in České Budějovice around 4pm so a 10-15min walk to the hotel, time for dinner (goulash) and then sleep, it’s been about 38 hours since waking up in Singapore, and I don’t sleep well, if at all, on airplanes.
The next day, again Google Maps worked out the bus to catch to get close to Hluboká nad Vltavou Castle and then just a small walk UP to see the magnificent building and grounds. Unfortunately there has been some rain so the tower was closed. Then back in to town to climb a tower and look around the markets.
Day 3 in the Czech Republic, it’s all been pretty straight forward with transport so far.. Today is a little different, taking another Regiojet bus to Český Krumlov (easy) and then a standard commuter bus to Lipno nad Vltavou. It’s the second bus I was a little unsure about. The further away from the main tourist areas the less English is spoken, and then website for the bus service wasn’t as easy to understand as the others..
The bus station was quite well organised with LED signage and it was very easy to know which stop my bus would be at. I had my first real language issue on the bus.. For some reason the card reader was not available so I had to pay cash, I was able to finally work out what I had to pay, once he slowed down a bit. I have been learning (poorly) some basic Czech, it’s really tough! But when I realised I was 20 koruna short, easy… If you’re wondering, twenty in Czech is “dvacet”.
This was a standard commuter bus so no luggage hold and the suitcase was travelling with me, I think it was an extra 10 koruna for the suit case. The bus ride was an hour and 15 minutes and there some some stunning scenery on the way. Very hard to take photos from a moving bus through the windows. So you’d best get over there and take a loo for yourself 🙂
Lipno was the last stop on the line so at least I couldn’t miss the stop!
Sunday is travel day back to Prauge. I opted to take the train and experience that. There are two legs to the journey, Lipno to Rybník (45min) and then Rybník to Praugue (3 hr).
The line from Rybník to Lipno seems to have the one little train runningback and forth, changing the engine to the other end of the train at each terminus.
It was quite an ejoyable train ride, different scenary to the bus.
So that was my pre-Vanguard Summit R&R time. Also helped greatly with the timezone adjustment and jet lag. Which meant I was in sync and ready to go on Monday!