The Anonymous Widower

‘Sleeper Trains’ London To Berlin And Prague A New Possibility

The title of this post, is the same as the title of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

For those who have grown a travel bug during lockdown, the truth is that flying looks like it won’t be a viable option as a global pandemic persists. However, for those who dream to travel again, there might be some hope. With growing new interest, there are ambitious plans to take overnight ‘Sleeper trains’ services through the channel tunnel from London to cities around Europe .

I regularly use sleeper trains to Scotland, as they deliver me North of the Border for an early start or are ideal for coming back ;ate after a busy day.

As I can sleep with no trouble on a train and generally book a few days in advance, it generally works out that the cost of the sleeper one way is good value, as it avoids paying for a hotel.

Certainly, in the UK, if you use sleeper trains properly and have a rail-card, I find them convenient and good value. A couple of times, there’s also been a party in the lounge car.

It appears that the first sleeper trains will start from Brussels.

  • NightJet already run a service between Brussels and Vienna.
  • A route of Brussels and Prague via Amsterdam, Berlin and Dresden is suggested.
  • These routes could be extended to London, at some time in the future.

But if they were timed appropriately, you could take an afternoon or evening Eurostar to Brussels and have supper before you get the sleeper, either on Eurostar or in Brussels.

With sleeper trains popping up in several places in Europe and becoming more fashionable with better rolling stock, I’m sure that this sleeper train would work.

Brussels and Berlin is currently seven hours with a change, so a sleeper train without a change could probably take you to Berlin for eight in the morning, if it left Brussels at about yen at night.

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 8 Comments

BBC Weather Gets It Right

The BBC weather forecast yesterday was saying today that Prague would have a wet and thundery afternoon.

So I booked myself out of Prague on the 14:30.

And guess what? It’s raining!

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

From Prague To Dresden

I went First Class between Prague and Dresden, as it only cost an extra fifty percent and a total of 43€. I also had a compartment to myself, all the way.

The journey is mainly along the River Elbe and its tributary, the Vitava river.

I suspect that you can use a ferry part or all of the way according to this review in Trip Advisor.

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

From The Charles Bridge To The Station

To get out of Prague, I needed to catch the 14:30 train to Dresden. I left it a bit tight and in the end I had to walk across a lot of the city, whilst trying to find a Metro station. I took these pictures as I walked.

What complicated matters was that when I changed from Line B to Line C at Florenc, there was a power cut. Luckily, I used another escalator to get to the surface and then entered gain through another entrance direct to the other line.

Add to this these features of Prague’s transport system.

1. There are no maps of either the trams or the metro on the surface that are readable.

2. Each separate Metro line has a different colour of signs and not all entrances to the Metro are signed.

3. There are no walking maps, even at important places, unlike in Krakow, Dresden and Leipzig

4.Prague is not in Poland, where the locals have good English and don’t have to be asked before they offer help.

5. Prague has too many visitors for its transport system.

I also had to get to the station in good time, as I’d left my bag in the Left Luggage Office and as it was lunch time, it might be closed whilst the guys had their lunch. But once I got to the main station all went well. Even if I was a bit early!

After I’d left Prague, it all reminded me of Vaclav Havel‘s play; The Memorandum, which I heard on Radio 4, probably over thirty years ago.

 

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge across the Vitava River is rightly famous.

It was extremely busy, as the pictures show.

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

From Prague Castle To Charles Bridge

I decided that if I took a tram down from the castle, it would probably take me somewhere I recognised.

In the end, I recognised the Hoffmeister Hotel, where C and myself stayed on our weekend in Prague, that I described in Getting Emotional. So I got off a few stops later, where it looked like an area with plenty of cafes, that I remembered.

After that the Mark 1 Navigation System kickred in and it led me to the Charles Bridge.

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Exploring Prague Castle

After getting up to Prague Castle, I bought a ticket that gave me universal access and spent an house or so exploring.

This Google Map shows the extend of the site. which the Guinness Book of Records lists as the largest ancient castle in the world.

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

These are some of the pictures I took.

As the pictures show it was extremely hot and very busy, with queues to get into many of the buildings.

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Climbing To Prague Castle

These pictures document my journey from the station, where I dropped my bag, up to Prague Castle.

I had hoped to avoid walking up too many hills, but I did have to climb the last bit, only to find, that a 22 or 91 tram could have taken me right up the hill.

The Czech Republic has a real problem with its language, with lots of characters unfamiliar to visitors. But I didn’t have the same problems in Budapest, where the language is equally indecipherable.

In my view Prague could solve a lot of their transport problems, by adding some simple signs, which as I found a couple of years ago in Munich could be picture-based.

The Blanka tunnel being built appeared to be a road tunnel. And it is, if you look at Blanka Tunnel Complex in Wikipedia! Which says this.

The complex will connect the area west of Prague Castle with Trója district in the northeast. Its length is about 6.4 km and consists of three tunnels: Bubenečský, Dejvický and Brusnický. The tunnel complex was designed to relieve the historic centre of Prague from heavy traffic.

It’s just a pity, that some small change from the project, wasn’t used to improve the current system, with good maps and decipheral information.

 

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

My Hotel Ibis In Prague

I stayed at a Hotel Ibis in Prague.

The value was OK, but the hotel doesn’t compare in value to the average Premier Inn in the UK.

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Supper With Celia

I had supper in a restaurant called Švejk Restaurant U Karla, which I found by typing “gluten free restaurant Prague” into Google.

The food is traditionally Czech and I found it excellent.

I don’t think you call the Celia gluten-free lager or the gluten-free bread traditional, but it is also Czech and excellent.

The only problem with the restaurant is that due to Prague’s maps and information, I found it difficult to find. In the end I was just on the point of giving up, when I found it.

I was certainly very pleased that I persevered.

June 12, 2015 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment