With exams wrapped up at the end of last month I hopped on a plane to Prague with Sally, Ben, Alex and Anna from law school. This unsurprisingly resulted in a deluge of photos which I have now sifted through to produce the new Prague album in the Gallery. I decided to postpone posting until I had the photos sorted, which has delayed things somewhat. The trip was great fun with a mixture of sightseeing and regular stop-offs in beer gardens to replenish fluids lost in the heat. After we had decided on a cheap city break I ended up picking Prague on the basis I thought it would be prettier than the alternative Budapest. Friends better informed than I seemed to agree and the architecture was certainly stunning, in proximate variety more than any specific style. The football was on during our stay so that covered the evenings’ entertainment and we found the food surprisingly good for a country not famed for high quality cuisine. Being mid-week it also appeared blessedly free of the infamous stag party crowd. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable jaunt.
Travelling light we decided to make do with just hand luggage (and for a period like that I can successfully survive out of a small rucksack — it’s my camera that takes up the most space). This highlighted one of the oft forgotten, and perhaps most serious, results of terrorism. With no baggage in the hold we were limited to liquids of no more than 100ml. However the hair gel I used comes in nothing smaller than 150ml, leaving me with no option but to use wax! I decided to forego the intriguing experience of debating the true state of matter of a solid network within a liquid medium with airport security on this occasion…
Flying back the perils of flying a budget airline befell us as RyanAir apparently ran out of planes, resulting in our flight leaving several hours late, around midnight. Waiting in Prague was fine with several packs of cards and me annoying everyone by repeatedly winning the game Sal introduced, “President’s Men” (once you win it rewards you, making it harder to be unseated). However it meant we arrived back at Gatwick after the tubes had stopped running. While the others headed off by various means I elected to hang around the airport to kill a few hours until they started again. This led to my discovery that as refreshing store-bought beverages go, a pint of milk is much better value than a coke. Sipping milk from a plastic carton while listening to podcasts and reading Kafka on the Shore could only look normal in an airport — they are transient places where everyone is on the move and no one belongs so anything fits, and for that I love them.
9 July 2008 at 6:29 pm
They are also some of the only public places where you can just lie down and go to sleep anywhere and no-one complains. 🙂
9 July 2008 at 6:45 pm
Indeed, as I did around 3am. And the plus side to heightened security is that everyone is afraid of an Asian guy’s backpack so no one tries to steal it!
9 July 2008 at 11:59 pm
Nice summary Priyan. I think it might have been helpful if you’d seen this website before spending the night at Gatwick… PS, not sure how/why I ever came across it!
10 July 2008 at 2:41 pm
That’s brilliant. I am curious as to how you did come across it. I think I’d give Gatwick a 4/5 as there was definitely some room for improvement. More seating is a must since each reclining/sleeping person took up 4 seats, so I had to grab a spot on the ground by a pillar.