Wish you were here:
On The Road

June-Sept.98

ITIS researchers Andy & Taka

Vienna - Slovakia - Czech - Poland - Hungary- Romania-Japan



Central Europe

Any ????:itis@itisnet.com

12 Sept, 98 from Gdansk, Poland

The last 'On the Road Report' from Central Europe, as I'm taking a bus to London on Tuesday - 271zl, ticket from Orbis TA - I bought it there because it was the only travel agency I found that would accept credit cards (Am Ex). I'll spend a couple of weeks in Britain then it's a short holiday in Greece - Santorini, (a lifetime dream about to be realised) and then back to Thailand. Look out for 'On The Road' updates from South East Asia.
Gdansk: Many telephone numbers have changed from 6 - 7 digits. Numbers starting with 3 have added 0 as the 2nd digit Ex. 317634 has become 3017634, numbers starting with 5 have added 5 Ex 537160 has become 5537160, Numbers starting with 4 are now preceded by 3 Ex 417620 has become 3417620.
New shopping complex completed opposite the Train Station. Branch of Empik (newspapers, magazines and books), several restaurants and bars.
Internet: The Telecom Office, ul Dluga are currently offering free internet. It is a promotion so will probably end shortly, make an appointment. This is the only internet facility in the centre that I've found.
Accommodation: There are limited budget options, University Dorms are available up to the end of September. Many are based on the campus on ul. Wyspianskega, prices vary from 21zl/p for a single with shared bath to 30-40zl for single with attached bath. There are several youth hostels, the most convenient is at ul Walowa 21, Tel. 3012313, reservations are recommended.
Homestays are a good budget option, the agent at ul. Heweliusza 8, tel. 3012634, arranges rooms in the centre 36zl/night single, 58zl/night double.
Exchange:
There are many Kantors exchanging cash only in the centre, rates do vary. The Orbis Travel is no longer an agent for American Express. No longer accept Am Ex. Travellers cheques. Bank Gdanski, ul. Dluga will encash T/C's however they charge 5zl for 'postage' in addition to the 0.5% commission, min. 5zl. PBK Bank, ul. Ogarna+Poczlowa, T/C charges 0.05%, min. 5zl.
Transport: Train to Praha 177zl, Berlin 122zl, Kalingrad 31zl. International Bus - Amsterdam 210zl., Paris 245zl.
Local Transport: Bus/Tram tickets cost 0.80zl/10min, 1.60zl/30min, 4zl/day. No student discounts for foreigners. Buy tickets from Ruch kiosks. Commuter Train - SKM runs between Gdansk, Sopot & Gdynia cost according to distance.
Torun: It's beauty and historic importance have deservedly been recognised by UNESCO - in December 1997 it was added to the World Heritage List.
Many telephone numbers have changed - generally places in the centre with a 5 digit no. have become 7 digit nos. adding 62 at the beginning. Example: Hotel Pod Orlem was 25024 it is now 62-25024
Accommodation: Prices have risen up to double since last summer at some places. PTTK, ul Legionow 24, T 62-23855, is excellent value 4 bed dorm 23zl. single 46zl, double 56zl. Student dorms different address from last year, closed end of August - prices for single 25zl, double 40zl. There is a new youth hostel, ul Chrobrego/rog Mlecznej. T?, open year round located in a fort: (Not checked) Hotel Garnizownowy: ul Wola Zamkowa 16 T6162883 has changed its name to Kopernik, prices have doubled sb s60zl, d70zl, ab d80zl C4 R.
Exchange: PKO Bank is one of the few places accepting travellers cheques. There are many Exchange bureaus/Kantors changing cash only - check around because they change their rates several times during the day and some are better than others. Rate for US$ cash was 3.56-3.6zl.
'Books' an English Language bookstore, ul Sukiennicza 2, stocks mainly language study materials but also has a selection of Classics - excellent value at between 5-6zl, and limited other fiction - often cheaper than in the originating country. There is also a branch of Empik which stocks many foreign newspapers and magazines, do as the locals do, pick up a magazine and read it from cover to cover.
Sights: Rennovation has been completed on Dwor Artusa, Rynek Staromiejski 5. Venue for classical performances from 8zl.
Sound & Light performances at the Nicolaus Copernicus Museum, ul Kopernika 15 cost 4zl (Entry fee to Museum 4zl St. 3zl), Sound in English, French, German, Italian and Esperanto.
Restaurants: The Chinese Restaurant Lotos, ul. Strumykowa 16, is still good value and has a set lunch menu 7-8zl. There is a new 'tea house' called Libra, on the main square. Offers a large selection of teas served in a pot, tea -timers are provided so that it brews to perfection. Relaks Kawiarna, ul Szewska 4, has delicious icecream/fruit cocktails. Sklep Miesny at 8 Rynek Starmiejski, is a stand up buffet style, has tasty, cheap soups and basic meals. One of the cheapest options in Torun. The Milk bar at ul Rozana 1, is popular for its pancakes. Always long queues outside for takeaway waffles.

Internet Cafe: PDDI, ul Falata 21/33 it's about 20min walk from the centre or take tram #2 or 4, get off in front of the 1 storey building with the very tall chimney, walk back a little, take road Sienkiewicza, turn left on Falata. Excellent service, cheap - 3zl/hr (may even give you discount), however only have a couple of graphic based terminals.
Transport: Domestic prices have risen for both bus and train. Express train to Warsaw now costs 31.59zl, reservation 6zl, fast train 24zl. Bus to Warsaw 18-26zl, Polski Express bus company have almost hourly departures, Student price available Tues-Thurs.possible to be dropped off at the airport.
Torun is a good place to leave by bus to Western Europe - many buses originating in Warsaw pass through here. Bus to London costs around 280zl. Both Kompass Travel on Kopernika and Almatur staff are helpful. Can book domestic and international train tickets at Kompass. There is a train timetable outside Orbis Travel Agency.
Local transport: the ticket price has gone up slightly - 1.05zl. Still have to validate the ticket twice, need a ticket for large luggage - validate only once so you can use twice which is handy if you arrive and depart by train. To get into town when you arrive take bus #22, or #27, get off with everybody else.
Cameraimage Cinema: Film school/Cinema, shows less commercial movies - 8zl.
Wroclaw part II
There is a branch of the British Council's library here, ul. Nozownicza, lots of British newspapers, magazines and books. Free access to non-members.


4 Sept,98 from Wroclaw, Poland

Apologies for the long delay, due to some technical hitch I wasn't able to update for a while.
The weather has been cold, days of rain, cloud and occasional sun since the Tatras. Today is sunny in Wroclaw.
Wroclaw info: Internet - Cyberherba-Ciarnia, ul. Kuznicza 29a, (entrance is around the back), Email: postrest@europart.wroc.pl
Excellent facilities, (the best I've found so far in Poland on this trip) very fast, 3zl/half hour.
If you're quick you can catch an interesting Salvador Dali exhibition at the Rathus, in the Rynek. It's on until Sept. 12th, features none of his major works but there is still a lot of material, book illustrations - from Alice in Wonderland, Don Quixote, Decameron? One series of illustrations from the book La Caprice? features the work of Goya with some coloring in and additions from Dali.
Accommodation in Wroclaw - the tourist office has information on hostels, university dorms and hotels. The youth hostel near the train station, ul.H. Kollataja 20, 18zl/p, is small and often full, reservations are recommended - staff don't speak English. A more central option is the Bursa Nauczycieska, ul Kotlarska 42, T443781. They have a variety of rooms, all are spacious, comfortable, furnished with kettles and a kitchen. Singles are 40zl, but if you take a bed in a triple room it costs 24zl, (may not have to share, I'm not.) Quad costs 20zl/p. The place is spotlessly clean and staff are helpful, though they don't speak English. Odra Tours inside the Piast Hotel, Pilsudskiego, can arrange accommodation in private rooms, they charge from 30zl for a single, 50zl for a double. The rooms are not in the centre so confirm where and how to get there. It's possible to get around the main sights by walking, apparently the local transport changes it's policies quite regularly. Tickets for tram and bus currently cost 1.40zl, no discounts for foreign students.
Restaurants: Have been searching hard but haven't found too many decent restaurants. Many of the places around the Rynek (main square) seem to be mainly drinking spots. The most popular place on the Rynek for food is the Pizza Hut, always queues. The 2nd most popular food place is McDonald's. Bar Vega, in the centre of the square, is popular, cheap and offers tasty vegetarian meals - the best value I found. There are several Milk bar style options serving canteen style food. Avoid Zacek on ul. Kuznicza, I couldn't eat the food I ordered - simple goulash with potatoes, that's unusual for me. Bar Mis, a few doors away, also serves canteen style. It is popular, though I never tried it, the queue didn't seem to shorten.
There are several ATM's, one at the Orbis Travel Agency on the Rynek accepts most cards including American Express. This branch of Orbis don't reserve train tickets.
The Train Station is a tourist sight in itself - looks like a Disneyland style Castle. It's huge, with lots of shops, facilities, there is even a cheap cinema - 7zl., Deep Impact is showing at the moment.
Krakow part II:
Accommodation:
prices have risen a lot since last year. the central youth hostel in Oleandry is charging 16-18zl. Although it's in a good location, 10minutes walk from the main square, it is rundown, not well-maintained, dismal rooms, not clean. The staff are okay and the rules are somewhat relaxed - they don't throw you out at 10:00 and they will allow you in before 17:00, doors close at midnight, it's social so if you don't mind the conditions it's not so bad. Tram #15 from train station to al. Maja 3, 1.20zl. (You'll need a ticket for your backpack).
University dorms are operating through September. The cheapest and best value is at ul Raymonta, around the corner from the Youth Hostel. Prices for a single room are 30zl, many of the other student dorms are charging this price for a dorm bed.
Internet: New internet cafe- Looz: ul. Mikolajska 11, T4223797, email: looz@looz.com.pl internet: www.looz.com.pl
The internet facility at the Telecom Office on the Rynek, is no longer free, they are charging 1zl.20/15min. It's the cheapest option, faster service than elsewhere but there are only 2 terminals so you may have to wait.
Food: Great place to eat - Bar Wegetarianski 'Vega', ul. Sw. Gertrudy 7, relaxing, country home style environment, cheap vegetarian dishes, salad bar, fresh juices.
Transport: 5zl. day ticket, 1.20zl. single ticket, 1.50zl 1hr ticket transfers possible, 1.20zl ticket required for large luggage. I was inspected 3 times whilst in Krakow. Foreigners CANNOT use student tickets.
Cinemas: kino Mikro on ul. J. Lea is one of the cheapest at 7zl. Shows some art movies.
The train station left luggage charges a whopping 6zl.20 for back packs.
Zakopane: Was so crowded. It was in the middle of the International highland folk festival (Aug 22-30) and the 18th World Fly Fishing Chapionships (Aug 24-31).
Telephone code has changed, it is now 01820.
Bus is the best way to get to Krakow from here, there are many services throughout the day, both by public and private bus companies - private ones are slightly cheaper. 8-10z.
Accommodation: The tourist office is the best place to find out about accommodation.
There are 4 hostels in the area charging from 15zl/p. Private rooms are available from 25zl/p, maybe cheaper in the low season.
Exchange: Zakopane is not a good place to change Travellers Cheques, few banks accept them, PKO BP, ul Krupowki 71, will but the queues are long, commision 2%? Internet Cafe: Morskie Oko, big complex - 1st floor, Cocktail bar, on ul. Krupowki. 8zl/hour.
Border crossing Slovakia-Poland via Lysa Polana
Can take bus from Poprad, Stary Smokovec or Tatranska Lomnica to the border town of Lysa Polana
from Poprad the ticket costs: 33sk, 6sk for large luggage.
The last stop is in a parking area, continue walking along the main road, cross a small bridge, you'll pass through customs - banks are operating on both sides of the border. From the Polish side there are regular public buses to Zakopane - 2.80zl. or you can take one of the many private minibuses waiting there - 4zl.
The journey from Poprad to Zakopane is scenic, passes through many mountain villages.
There is also a bus directly from Poprad to Zakopane, it leaves daily during the high season and holidays at 16:50, on Th, Sa 6:00, it stops in
Stary Smokovec and Tatranska Lomnica on route.
I enquired in several travel agencies in the High Tatras about a bus to Budapest, most staff new nothing about it. Staff in Satur in Stary Smokovec saide there was a bus between Krakow and Budapest that passed through however it didn't pick people up on this section.
Levoca:
Easily visitable on a day trip from anywhere in the High Tatras.
No photography allowed in the town's main attraction - St. James Church. Entry 30sk/Students 10sk.
Accommodation: Hotel Faix, Probstnerova cesta 22, T512335, are still charging the same prices as last year. 440sk/single, 480sk/double without bath. Hotel Texon prices have gone up to 170sk/person. The tourist office have a list of accommodation, private rooms from 200-300sk/p.
Internet Cafe: Nova 79, just off the main square. 1sk/min.

Kezmarok:
Hotel Start Kezmarok, T/F 522916
sb s 200sk, d360sk
Definately worth a visit for the 2 churches stood side by side - the one is impressive for its exterior design (quite ordinary inside), the other - a wooden white church, simple exterior but impressive interior.
Internet: The tourist office here may let you use their computer terminal to access internet/email 2sk/min.
Food: There aren't many options, most are slightly upmarket. Tiffany's offers tasty, good value food, The 3 Apostles has the same menu as the main branch in Levoca and offers traditional Slovak meals, seems to be quite popular. Banska - in the same complex as the tourist office, is another option with traditional Slovak menu.
Poprad:
The staff at the tourist office are extremely helpful. They have accommodation information on everywhere in Slovakia. Look through their file on Poprad and the High Tatras, comprehensive list with photos of all options. They charge between 10-12% commission for making a reservation. Private rooms in Poprad cost around 200sk/p, hostels from 150sk/p.
Exchange: IRB Exchange, Poprad, cash $34.70, 56.26, T/C 35.34, 57.891 Com T/C 1%, Cash no com.
The Postova Bank, near the bus/train station is a good place to change T/C's, it's open M-F8-18:00, Sa8-12. It also has an ATM.
Internet: Didn't find an internet cafe in Poprad.
Cinema Gerlach, 50sk, programme changes regularly

Bus: Kezmarok - Poprad: 10sk, 4sk for luggage.
TEZ: Stary Smokovec - Tatranska Lomnica: 6sk,
Tatranska - Kezmarok: 9sk
Food: Bageteria, ul 1. Maja 5, Tasty baguette-style sandwiches 30sk
Many of the restaurants cater for tourists and are more expensive than in other towns. Eduscho at nam. sv Egidia 83, stand up style, has branches throughout Slovakia, serve probably the best coffee available for the price: 7sk espresso, no charge for milk.
Banska Bystrica:
Food: Slovenska Pivnica: Lazovna 18, Halusky 46sk, cheap beer - 18sk, Typical Slovak, folk environment. Good value,
Copaline: Dolna 1, half baguette sandwich 50+, quarter 30+ Very popular, tasty but more expensive than other similar style restaurants in Slovakia. Coffee 16sk
Le Creperie- Hotel Arcade Complex, crepes 40sk+, coffee 18sk Alfredo Cafe, also part of the Hotel Arcade Complex, is very popular, stylish attractive interior, delicious cakes.
Accommodation: Student dorms: Akademia Umeni Ul. Jana Kollara 22 s 200sk, ab/2rooms. Spacious, newly renovated, light rooms, art college, 7min walk from centre.
Hotel Narodny dom., Narodna 11 723737, s ab (outside toilet) 540sk, d840sk, old fashioned, looks rundown from the outside but is clean and well-maintained, stairs carpeted, plants, rooms spacious, furnished. Rec.
Local transport: town to bus/train station 6sk, buy ticket from driver, validadate at front of bus, buy one for luggage. (I think the used ticket may get you a free drink at McDonald's but not sure about this).
Bratislava - Banska Bystrica by train, 128sk change Zvolen, IC (direct) 162sk, 16:05A19:13
Tower: Can go up the tower in the center for good views around. Open from 11-17:00, 20sk, Camera/Video 50sk


 18 Aug,98 from Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava:
Student dorms:
Nespora
at Svoradova 13, T5315386 are the best value in Bratislava. They're in a great location, just under the Castle, 5 min. walk from the old area and centre. Costs are 150sk/p, 100sk if you have an ISIC/ITIC card. Even if you are alone you probably won't have to share. Rooms are spacious, clean, no bunk beds. The bathroom is shared. Unfortunately they only run until August 25th. but they also operate a Hotel in the complex, this is open year round. Prices are 300sk/p, singles & doubles, rooms are spacious, have attached bathroom, TV, radio and are very spacious and clean. From September first the prices will rise to 420sk for single, 660sk for double.
Bernolak
, ul. Bernolakova, open July - end of August, is the most popular however the rooms are very expensive - 480sk single, 280sk/p double,220sk/p triple 10% discount with ISIC, YHA Euro26 cards. Rooms have attached shower & toilet however they are very basic and not very clean. Advertised facilities are not always available either. The best aspect is that it is very sociable, there's a bar that is crowded in the evenings, discos are held at the weekend.
Belojannisa, just around the corner in Wilsonova is a better value option. Rooms here are also quite basic but they only cost 150sk/p, 30% discount with ISIC, Euroyouth & YHA card. Solo travellers will have their own room.
Budapest:
Taka headed of to Pecs yesterday, he'll return to Budapest for the fireworks and festivities. I left for Slovakia. I was sorry to leave, we had a wonderful time here, finally got to meet some of our 'email friends' - Maly, Szusi & family who are now in the Philippines, Csaba and Szarbolcs - a guy I met last year in Malaysia on a night train from KL to Penang. He was amazed when I phoned.
It's National Day on the 20th, there are several events taking place the highlight of which is the annual fireworks staged over the Danube - at the Citadella.
Scumacher won the Grand Prix, there were a lot of happy people in the hostel - they were watching the race on TV. Immediately afterwards they queued up to use the internet - email their friends back home I guess.
International train journey: Budapest - Bratislava via Komarom/Komarno. It's possible to save the international train tariff if you get off at Komarom in Hungary and walk across the border to Komarno in Slovakia, though obviously it takes longer. Also you can have a look at a divided Hungarian/Slovak town. The train from Budapest to Komarom costs around 500ft, the train from Komarno to Bratislava 50sk, however the local train stops at every station, at many of these the driver and conductor jump off for a coffee, fag and a chat with the station staff. It even stops in fields the only sign that indicates they are 'stations' are the people waiting to get on. A quicker option is the bus 64sk, there are about 6 buses a day, less on weekends. There are also buses to Poprad: 21:55(a5:30), Kosice: 250sk, 13:40(a21:15), Banska Bystrica: time? cost? and an international bus to Vienna, 105sk, on Moday & Friday at 6:00(a9:05).
 

14 Aug,98 from Budapest, Hungary

Big Events: Last week the Sziget Island Music Festival, this week the Formula 1 Grand Prix- 14-16th, next week the 17th European Championships in Athletics will be held from August 18-23 at the Nepstadion, Don't know the ticket prices but will find out.

Pepsi Sziget: Seems to have been a great success again this year. Sadly we only spent a day there. Apparently over 250,000 people attended making it one of the biggest Youth oriented events in Europe. Around 300 bands performed at the festival. We're already making plans for attending next year - we'll bring a tent and camp for the week.
Exchange Rate: There's been a stock market crash here causing a 3% drop in the value of the Hungerian currency. Current rate: $1=219ft, Pound=353ft.
OTP Bank is one of the best options for exchange. It's rates are high and there is no commission, however it's opening hours are limited. For some reason Budapest Bank operates different policies in its branches, commission varies from 0-3.5%.
Cinemas: Budapest is a filmophiles paradise. With around 38 cinemas, a selection of around 100 movies in English, plus others in French, etc., ranging from blockbusters to Hitchcock classics to silent movies. Prices range from less than $1 up to $3. It's a great place to catch movies that you missed - we saw Kama Sutra and Titanic.
Accommodation: The official HI Hostel Marco Polo is no longer, as of 4 months ago it was upgraded and is now a mid-range hotel.
Museum Hostel, Mikszath Kalman ter 4., Tel. 3189508, Renovated last year has now reopened. Looks beautiful, great location 5 minutes walk from the National Museum. Good facilities - kitchen, laundry, email (internet to come), 1,500ft for a bed -in 4-6 bedded 2 level, loft style dorms, spacious, beautifully furnished. Open all year round. Reservations recommended as it was full when we checked it out.
Restaurants: Butterfly ice cream stall just N from Octagon on Terez krt., is a must visit, some of the best ice-cream we've tried anywhere. Don't confuse it with the similarly named (much inferior) ice-cream store next door.
New Internet Cafe: Budapest Net Internet Cafe, V. Kecskemeti ut. 5, open daily 10-22:00, 350ft/30min. Slightly more expensive than others but facilities look good - didn't try them though.


10 Aug,98 from Budapest, Hungary

Saving money when crossing international borders.
You can probably save some money by taking short journeys across borders, thereby minimising the international surcharge however it can be a real hassle in some cases. Taka tried to minimise the cost on the Praha-Vienna, Vienna-Budapest routes, I tried along the Krakow-Kosice-Budapest route. On all these routes we encountered difficulties and had hassle from train conductors trying to make us pay the international surcharge despite the fact that we had crossed the borders and were trying to buy domestic tickets. Below are our experiences:
Krakow to Budapest: The bus 80zl ($24), is a good option however it only runs twice a week, Tuesday & Thursday. Overnight train costs 138zl.($40). Probably many people travel to Budapest via Slovakia and stop off on route. In this case the best entry point to Slovakia is via Lysa Polania near Zakopane and the High Tatras area. However I was in a hurry so I took the overnight train as far as Kosice 60zl ($18). The train was crowded, there were lots of backpackers so I didn't feel anxious about thieves, etc. It was due to arrive around 5:00 but was about 2 hours late so left Kosice immediately - I had to wait about 1hr 30min for the next train. I already had Slovak currency but I needed some Hungarian currency - I bought this at the exchange bureau at Kosice station, fortunately it opened at 7:00. I bought a ticket to Hidasnemti, the Hungarian border town. This cost 123sk ($4). Passport control took place on the train. I went to get off to buy a domestic ticket at the station however the conductor wouldn't let me, he told me and some Polish travellers, that we had to buy a ticket to Budapest on the train. Actually I think this was rubbish particularly in light of his behaviour - he tried to separate us and wouldn't let us enter a carriage with Hugarian passengers. I asked him 3 times how much the ticket was but he evaded the question. Finally when the train started moving he told me it cost 4900ft ($23). I knew from Taka that the domestic fare was 1426ft ($7). I tried to buy a ticket for this price but the conductor told me that this was an 'International Express train' and I had to pay the surcharge. I refused and he insisted that I get off at the next station. The 4 Polish travellers paid the International rate and stayed on. It wasn't so bad though as there was a local train to Miscolc (from where there are many connecting trains to Budapest) about 45min later. I didn't catch this train instead I took a bus to Miscolc and caught a train to Budapest. I arrived in Budapest about 5 hours after the 1st overnight train from Krakow and 2hr 30min after the train the Polish travellers were on. I saved $11 on the original Krakow-Budapest ticket.

Praha to Vienna route: From Praha to Vienna, train 621kc +54kc supplement. To save money buy domestic ticket Praha-Breclev 132kc, then buy ticket from Breclev to Vienna 420kc, NOT to the nearest Austrian town, Hahenau, which costs 154kc from Hahenau to Vienna 119 OS.

Vienna to Budapest route: Bus one way 330 OS, return 470 OS (1 month), 5 buses/day. Train: one way 374 OS St. 265 OS. To save some money you may buy the ticket to Hegyeshalom, Hungarian border station 146 OS, Get off and buy a ticket to Budapest 1140 ft. However there aren't many trains running from this station to Budapest. Also on the International Trains the conductor will try to make you pay 'international' fare - 4800ft. An alternative is to take the train to Gyor 214 OS, get off buy a ticket to Budapest 800ft. There are many trains from Gyor so no conductor will try to charge you international fare.


Train Station - Budapest: Many International trains arrive at Keleti pu, there are 3 exchange booths, all charge hidden commission, low rates, particularly bad is the first one closest to the platforms is the worst. The best place to change near Keleti pu is the Budapest Bank on Rakoczi, 3 min walk from the Station just after the overpass. Rate is high no commission even for travellers cheques. The best place to change within the station is at the exchange bureau in the Tourist Information Office.
Baths: Budapest is justifiably famous for its baths. Rudas, the most impressive one (in Taka's opinion) - a 16th Century turkish bath house, 450ft, unfortunately men only although women can use the attached swimming pool. On entry you will be issued with an incy-wincy, teeny-weeny cloth to cover your bits & pieces, the bum is exposed. You change in a small compartment, where you can leave your valuables, lock the room and take the key with you. The building is impressive, would make a great film set - high-domed ceiling covered in hectagonal shaped windows, the main bath is octagonal, with 4 smaller bath around it with high-domed ceiling covered in hectagon shaped windows - like a film set. There are 4 small baths surrounding the main bath, each has a different temperature. There are also wet and dry saunas.
Kiraly, also Turkish style, is also a beautiful high-domed bath, Monday, Wednesday, Friday for men, Tuesday, Thursday, Saterday for women. 400ft. The Bath Houses are known as gay pick-up points. Rudas is minimal however Kiraly, Rac and perhaps if you visit others it's quite likely that you will receive attention.

The least gay bath is Gellert (most visited by tourists), 600ft for bath, 1200ft for bath + swimming pool, after 17:00 may visit both for 700ft. Will check out Szechenyi bath in the Varosliget Park tomorrow.
Summer Festival - Hungary's National Day is on the 20th, there will be fireworks and several events. Celebrations will be held throughout Hungary from the 20th to the 23rd.


Grand Prix will be held on 14-16th, 3 day ticket costs from 2500ft -75,000ft. There are special booths in the main tourist area around Vaci ut, where you can buy tickets, get information about the event.
Local transport ticket prices increased on August 1st, a basic ticket now costs 75ft. Good for all transport, no transfers. 20ticket booklet 1250ft, Day ticket 600ft, 3 days 1200ft.

Accommodation: In the summer all international trains to Budapest are invaded by student hostel 'representatives' intent on getting you to stay at one of their hostels. All will provide maps, information & free transport. If you accept the maps and ask questions don't feel any obligation to stay at their places. It's hard to say which of these hostels is the best, most offer similar conditions. Perhaps you should choose according to location. Prices are quite standard 2000ft/person. That can be in a 2-4bedded dorm.If you are a couple and or want to use internet the best value student hostel is Martos. Single costs 1800ft, double 1400/person, conditions are basic but acceptable and there is free internet and free laundry.
Better value accommodation is in the all year round hostels. Backpack, Catherina's, Best, Museum. Prices in the first 3 are similar 1100+. for a dorm bed. Kitchen facilities, lounge, TV, Backpack, also has internet.

From Andrea: 6 Aug,98
The Pepsi - Sziget Music Festival started yesterday, Patti Smith headlined today, to come are Shane MacGowan & the Popes, Chumbawamba, Coolio, Transglobal Underground and Therapy. Tickets are 7500ft/week, 1500ft/day. There are lots and lots of other activities including:- Jazz, Irish, African, Techo. Hare Krishna - acoustic & Asian instruments during the day, heavy electric at night. Sports, bungy jumping, theater, circus, funfair, internet, etc., etc., etc.,
Warsaw info:
I saw Polish TV for the first time at the train station, it's an interesting experience watching foreign programmes, they are not exactly dubbed rather one (male) voice reads all the dialogue male & female, in monotone with no emotional interpretation. You can still hear the original dialogue under his voice if you listen hard.
Cinema Prices have risen, costs from 12-20zl.
International Students CAN use student transport tickets within Warsaw, normal ticket price 1.40zl., student(with ISIC) 0.70zl. All day ticket 4zl valid up until midnight. Large luggage also requires a standard ticket. Night buses no 601-606 from the Palace of Culture/Central Station. After midnight night buses require 3x1.40zl tickets. Must validate tickets when you board or face possible fine of 70zl, 28zl for luggage.
Polski Express, a private bus company operate many bus services between Warsaw and many cities. They offer a student discount (for international students with ISIC cards) but ONLY Tu-Th.
Restaurants: Nowy Swiat Elegant environment. Has a selection of International Newspapers and Magazines. Coffee from 3zl, breakfast 10zl. Champions Sports Bar, Marriott Hotel, al Jerozolimskie 65, is the place to catch up with the latest international sports action. They have 'viewing menus' listing the broadcast times of upcoming sports events.
Milk bars are the cheapest restaurants, Bar Uniwersytecki, ul Krakowskie Przedmiescie 16, is the most popular with backpackers because of it's location in the tourist area and it has an English menu.

Krakow:
The weather was much better here, hot and sunny. The extremely useful Krakow Insider Magazine is not available at this time, staff at the Cultural Center told me there were publishing problems. Travelers Report: While taking money out at an ATM 3 suspicious guys approached, the traveler, aware of their intention, held up 1x10zl note, one of the guys snatched it and he and his 'friends' ran off, the traveler collected his card and money and ran in the opposite direction.
Accommodation: Strawberry Hostel still meeting people at the station and offering free transport. Prices are quite high - 35zl in a 2-4bed room. 10% discount if you have a leaflet from Budapest or Praha Strawberry Hostel. Tourist Office opposite the station has information on all types of accommodation but has a connection with Letni Hotel, - they will offer you this option first, if you ask about alternatives they will give information but won't reserve for you. The best option is still Nawojka Student Hostel - 30zl single, 40zl double, on ul. Raymonta 11, Tram #15 from ul. Lubicz to in front of Zaczek Hotel on al. 3 Maja. 5 minutes walk from here is the cheapest option - the Youth Hostel on ul. Oleandry, Tel. 6338920. dorm beds from 16zl. (Must have HI Card).
Warning: Telephone numbers have changed in Krakow, most numbers startin with '2' have an additional 4 in front, numbers starting with '3' now have a 6 in front.
Transport: Students CANNOT use student tickets on local transport in Krakow. Ticket inspectors will fine you if you don't have a validated full price ticket (1.20zl. They may also fine you (18zl.) if you don't have a validated full price ticket for your luggage. If you buy the day ticket (5zl.) it covers for your luggage.
Restaurants: Many restaurants and cafes have set up tables in the main square. Obviously prices are slightly higher because of the location but its a great place to enjoy the atmosphere. There is a lot of activity in the square, street performers, jazz band in the evenings.
Restaurants: Chimera on sw. Anny is highly recommended. Excellent value salads - Choose 4 for 4zl or 6 for 6 zl. fresh fruit juices and yogurt drinks,
Transport: Train: Queues at the train station are long. It's possible to get information/buy tickets at Orbis Travel Agency in Rynek Glowny.
Bus:There are several different bus companies operating international services. Travel Agencies have information however they don't have connections with all bus companies so you should check around. International buses are cheaper than trains but don't run very often. Budapest 80zl, Th, Su morning, arrives in the evening. Vienna daily at 20:00, arrives next morning at Sud bahnoff, 72zl.
Internet: U Louisa bar, Rynek Glowny, 6zl/hour. The Telecom Office on Rynek Glowny 16, has 1 terminal (free) but it's usually occupied.

30 July 98, Warsaw, Poland
Wet Warsaw - the weather was terrible when I arrived here, pouring with rain, apparently there has been serious flooding. People have been evacuated from certain areas. Some of these people were sleeping on temporary camp beds at Warsaw station.
The Tourist Office just off the main hall at the Central train station is extremly helpful - definately the first place to go when you arrive. They will give you a free map, show you a complete list of all accommodation options - with prices, make reservations for you (no charge). One small concern - there are several people hanging around the counter - touts for private rooms. I felt that tourist staff seemed reluctant to telephone hotels/hostels whilst these people were around.
Standard accommodation is hard to find in the summer, prices have gone up a lot since last year. The very popular HI Youth Hostel at ul. Smolna is now charging dorm 16.50zl (members), 22zl (non members) + 2.50zl/sheets. Has a couple of single rooms-36zl, doubles-31zl/p.It has been renovated since last year, additional facilities - huge kitchen, satellite TV, table tennis, billiard table is also planned. It has a great location in the center/tourist area however it is usually full in the summer, staff recommend that you reserve 2 days ahead. The Federacja Metalwcy at 42zl/single, 67+zl/double, is probably the best value hotel in the center but always seems to be full. The boat hotel 'Na Wodzie (also known as Aldona & Anita moored on the river at Most Poniatowskiego, is the next cheapest 'hotel' option in the center 55zl/single, 75zl/double.
There are a lot more student hostels operating this year, however not all are well organised. The long-running Zaczek at ul. Woloska is not as good value as it used to be, now charging 45zl/single, 65zl/double $3/5 more than last year. The best value accommodation in Warsaw this year is at the students dorms Bratniak, ul. Grojecka 39, reserve at the Tourist Office (security staff at the dorms may not know anything). I was told by the tourist staff that I would be in a 6-8 bedded dorm but there aren't any dorms and I have a clean, comfortable double room to myself with fridge, sink, desk - 20zl. Also its convenient to the center - 4 tram stops from the train station.
Restaurants: Eilat Cafe, near the embassies has closed down. Prices seem expensive after the Czech Republic, I think they have gone up by about 20% from last year. Amatorska Cafe, ul. Nowy Swiat 21, is one of the cheapest and best cafes in the tourist area, delicious coffee & cakes. Milk Bars are the cheapest option but the food is school-meal standard. Next up in price (much tastier) are the Chinese/Vietnamese small red kiosks on many of the main road transport roads. There's an excellent value Chinese restaurant- CoTu on Nowy Swiat 22, in the courtyard. A dish costs around 8zl.
Internet: Only 2 Internet Cafes, Cyberia: ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 4/6 (behind Domino Pizza), 9-24:00, (9zl/half hour,12zl/hour). Interesting, modernistic decor, excellent (expensive-7zl) coffee. Fast service but the computers are in a terrible condition - no maintenance. PDI internet cafe, ul Nowogrodzka 12m/29 (small cellar), cheap at 3zl/hour but has very basic facilities - text only, no graphics, no floppies.
Campus Travel have opened a branch here at Krakowskie Przedmiescie 24 ( formerly a branch of Almatur).

29 July 98, Warsaw, Poland
ITIS Travelers Researcher Andrea was almost robbed on the Praha-Warsaw night train.!!!!!!
Around 4:15 on 28 July, thieves entered the compartment of the 18:42 train Praha - Warsaw (614kc). ITIS Researcher Andrea was (very, very, very stupidly) the lone occupant of this compartment - there was hardly anyone else on the train. She did think about sharing a carriage with a couple however they obviously didn't want her in their carriage. Back to the story: day was breaking, she was sleeping with one eye open - a tad anxious on account of hearing of Taka's night train experience (see below), when she was awoken by the beam of a pen-light. She screamed (pathetically, definately needs practice to be effective), she looked into the face of the torch holder - a youngish guy, early 20's, fair short hair spikey, on top, then glanced fearfully at his sidekicks - 2 older, bigger long-haired guys. Fortunately (for her), the guys were decent souls (for thieves), the torch bearer simply put his finger to his lips, murmured (threatened!!!) shush, and on that they hurriedly left. She was left alone feeling extremely relieved, scared, vulnerable, as mentioned earlier - very very very stupid and yes, even grateful to the guys because, whilst they were obviously intent on stealing from her, they were not prepared to resort to aggression or violence.
Moral of the story: Think carefully about taking night trains, it looks like this pattern of theft is common in Central Europe (It's too much of a coincidence that it could happen to BOTH Taka and Andrea on different routes). Certainly the thieves in these 2 cases operated the same way - choosing lone, sleeping tourists, 'testing' their depth of sleep with a torch. Safe travels everyone.

25 July 98, Praha, Czech Republic
email from Taka, Vienna
ITIS Travelers Researcher was attached in the night train.!!!!!!
Around 4:00, 22 July7, Thieves entered the compartment of the train from Praha to Breclav which our researcher Taka and Czech beautiful girl were sleeping alone. After the fighting with Taka, they escape from the train which slow-down. Taka had slightly injured and the Czedch girl was not injured. This is the true report.
Thieves are 3 men. First they open the all compartment door and checked which is easiest. Then checked us with pen light. Taka, intentionally put his money belt on the top of his body so that they can reach it easily. Of course it was empty. When one guy open my money
belt. I jumped out to catch them. I called police, but they came too late.
Fortunately, they are ones just take money from our bags and had no intention of hurt us. If fact, I should not fight against them and gave them sighns which showed I was awake. If they had knives, I might be injured. I was very disappointed because nobody in the carriage helped me and police who came late did not do anything, even question to me about the thieves. Any way. Please be aware of thieves in night trains and have a nice safe trip!!!

23 July 98, Praha, Czech Republic
Still in Praha, alone, Taka's in Vienna. It's hot and fine. $ went down recently. Exchange for Travelers Cheques was 30.60kc, 2% commission at most banks. American Express in Valclavske nam, don't charge any commission for T/C but their rates are lower. Exchange bureaus/shops near the Charles Bridge seem to be offering good rates for cash - 31kc+. However some of them add on hefty commissions, some of them seem a good deal though, no commission.
I read in the Guardian Newspaper that the 'John Lennon Wall' in Praha had been re-built & re-painted. Apparently some of those who have seen it since the re-opening were disappointed. Others couldn't find it.
Gany's/Louvre Restaurant on Narodni tr. and Malostranske Cafe, over the Charles Bridge have a good selection of International Newspapers - can get up to date back home for the price of a coffee in a very pleasant environment.
Doesn't seem to be many street performers this year though the 'Charles Bridge Jazz Band' were back in action yesterday on the Bridge. Haven't seen them for a while - probably because of the weather. As usual they had a large audience.
There seem to be less tourists than less year as well, possible to cross the Charles Bridge without queuing up.
Whoops, obviously spoke too soon about the weather it has just started raining.
Discovered an alternative to bus & train - car sharing. Prices seem to be very competitive however I don't know of anyone who has used this service. Contact address: Town to Town, Narodni9, T22075407. Sample prices: Berlin 451kc, Munich 566kc, Vienna 387kc, Salzburg 503kc, Amsterdam 1203kc, Paris 1510kc, including insurance/petrol charge.
Open Air Cinema: Summer season of Czech Movies (English subtitles) at the island down from Charles Bridge. Now that it's warmer and the rain seems to have stopped, definately worth a visit. All Travellers Hostels should have a program- changes daily. The Roxy Club, Dhlouha, is currently offering free entry + 1 free drink to ladies (must enter before midnight).
I'm heading for Kutna Hora tomorrow, will hopefully update all of the Praha section before I leave, that's NOT a promise though.

20 July 98, Praha, Czech Republic
Praha Czech Rep.
Another fine, hot day. Sorry to mention it yet again but the ticket inspectors here are scary. I witnessed 3 ticket inspectors getting aggressive with a tourist yesterday. One of them pushed a young guy when he refused to pay the 200kc fine they demanded of him. He wanted to go to the Police Station but finally he paid up, because of the intimidation. It's so hard to believe that these people are authentic but they're checking Czech's as well. Many checks take place on platforms rather than on the transport itself. Taka is leaving for Vienna tomorrow so we're finishing off Czech in the next few days, hopefully Praha will be updated soon. I'll be going to Poland, meeting back up with Taka in Budapest on the 7th August, just before the party.
We've been having a few technical problems accessing our email. Those of you who have written to us sorry about the delay, we will reply shortly.

18 July 98, Praha, Czech Republic
Praha Czech Rep.
The weather is improving, most of yesterday was sunny, it didn't rain, hopefully summer has finally arrived. Checked out Visa information at embassies yesterday, requirements have changed a lot, we will update our embassy page shortly. Great news is that a visa is no longer required for Bulgaria (for most Western nationals and Japanese), though you will still have to pay between US$10-20 on the border (not confirmed yet). Taka will probably travel through Romania and Bulgaria on his way to Turkey so will check that out.

We definately recommend that you don't try to cheat on the Metro, we've had our tickets checked lots of times.
The National Opera is on holiday at the moment, however there are lots of other cultural options ranging from black light-multi-media theatre, through marionette puppet theatre, to classical music performances. Prices have risen, often discount for students. Will research further and let you know.
To be continued.......

16 July 98, Praha, Czech Republic

Weather is the same, cloudy,with occasional sun & rain.
The 3 internet cafes listed in City Info are still operating. The Terminal Cafe, Soukenika, is the most popular. Very trendy, interesting environment, with an attached bookshop, CD Rom movie rental - you can watch on the terminals. Internet costs 2kc/min. The 2nd - Internet Cafe Narodni tr.25, 2kc/min, smaller than the others, has the fastest service. Cybeteria Stepanska 18, at 30min/50kc it's the cheapest of the 3.
Local Transport: The cheapest ticket is 8kc but it only allows you to make a journey of 15 min by bus or tram or 4 stops on the metro. a 12kc ticket is necessary for longer journeys or if you need to transfer.
We saw an article in a local business paper about overcharging of tourists. The article claimed that this policy was quite standard throughout many tourist services. Apparently the Ministry that handles tourism matters would like to see it eliminated but other government officials are not so keen.

Accommodation: We haven't checked out much yet - Pension V Podzamci: V podzamci 4, Kacerov, P4. T4722759
is still charging 240kc for its 2-4bedded rooms,It really is one of the best, great facilities only problem is that it isn't in the centre. Central Hostels - The Travelers Hostel on the island has put it's prices up to 350kc, Hostel Sokol - Lazenska near Charles Bridge is good value at 225kc/bed, we'll send more reports on accommodation as we check it out.
There are still complaints about staff at the bus and train station, queues are long and staff can be unhelpful. Cedok Travel Agency, Na Prikope, has completely revamped its office, now more user friendly. Still a good place to get any kind of transport information, can also book bus & train tickets here, they accept credit cards. The tourist office a few doors away is quieter than the other branches, get your free map here plus lots of leaflets on cultural events, sights, museums, etc.To be continued....


12 July 98, Praha, Czech Republic
Finally made it to Praha,just in time for the world cup. We were planning to watch it at the Sports Bar in the center but found that it had closed down so we had to rush to the Pension V Podzamci. It was great to see Eva the manager again, just like everyone's mum.
We had coffee in the classic style Train Station cafe - Fontana Kavarna. If you use the Hlavi Nadrazi Station definately visit this cafe it's beautiful, a contrast with the station itself.
Our first meal at a restaurant here we were overcharged, you really do have to check your bills. We were charged 20kc for bread that we didn't eat, plus a huge 50kc cover charge. We managed to reduce it but the waitress was aggressive about it. Find out if there is a cover charge BEFORE you order anything, food was good but we won't be recommending it purely because of the hassle. Transport prices have gone up, a standard metro/bus ticket now costs 12kc, you must have a 6kc ticket for backpacks. The ticket machines take a little getting used to, you have to press a few buttons before you can put your money in and then wait for your ticket to be 'written'.
We watched NHK news (Japanese programme), the Prime Minister has resigned, we're hoping that the opposition party gain power so we're very happy.
Finally, Very important question: Can anyone tell Taka how the 3 Japanese baseball players are doing in the American League?

10 July 98, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Weather: Cloudy, occasional rain & sunshine, still need warm clothing.
Ceske Budejovice is very quiet in the evenings, far more night life in Ceske Krumlov.

Travelers Report: Beware of fake ticket inspectors on the Prague transport system. Do not hand over your passport to anyone if you can help it.Beware of official ticket inspectors as well,they seem to like fineing travelers. One case we heard was that the ticket machines were broken at one metro station, travelers bought tickets from the window, later when they were checked by inspectors, they discovered that they had children's tickets and were fined.
Budvar Brewery tour in Ceske Budejovice. You can reserve for the tour at the Tourist Office, however they stress that you should reserve a day in advance if possible, they cannot guarantee you a place if you reserve the same day. Tour costs 70kc, beer tasting is an extra 16kc.
Pension Uvystevyste on Uvystevyste, is one of the best places to stay,if you stay 1 night it costs 250kc/person, 2 nights 200kc/person.Phone ahead to reserve, they will pick you up at the bus/train station. Check travel info section for more details.
Internet facilities are cheaper here than Ceske Krumlov and Brno. The library is 30kc/hour however it is only open Tu and Th 9-18:00, during the summer. Xfiles Internet Cafe,na Sadech, open 10-22:00, 40kc/30min, additional 30min/30kc

7 July 98, Ceske Krumlov, Czech Republic

What's happening in the world cup? Here in Ceske Krumlov they seem more interested in Novotna winning at Wimbledon, at least that's the headlines in all the newspapers.
We actually saw some sunshine today, lots of people were canoeing and rowing down the river despite the cold.
The Open Air Theater in the Castle Grounds has a summer season. At the moment you can see Classical Theater - Shakespeare - The Tempest. Future presentations include Ballet - Giselle and Opera - Rusalka (Dvorak) and Don Giovanni (Mozart).

FOOD: There are several good restaurants in the center. Na Lousi in the center still offers excellent value lunch options for around 60kc (Not available in the evenings), delicious fruit dumplings for 24kc. The Vegetarian Restaurant off Latran overlooking the river is popular with dishes around 60kc. The Gypsy bar is still one of the best places to go in the evenings, sells good traditional food until 22:00, accompanied by regular gypsy music performances. Of course the beer is wonderful everywhere, around 16kc a 'pint'. Unfortunately the tea house at Rybarska 40, is now a billiard bar. It is hard to find anywhere serving breakfast - most restaurants open for lunch. Hotel Krumlov used to but it now looks closed. Still one of the cheapest places to eat is the standup buffet (no name) on the main square, entrance is on the South side of the square, between the open air cafes. Attached is a cheap sitdown cafe with delicious cakes. There do seem to be a few places that add extras to the bill - we were charged 20kc for adding salad dressing from a bottle, so check what is and isn't included.

There is a new (private tourist office in the Castle complex, like the government one it offers many 'free' services - transport info (they'll give you a computerised printout of timetables), accommodation info (get hostel flyers from here), there's also an internet cafe in the building complex, open 10-22:00, charges 50kc/half hour, 90kc/hour. They also have a left luggage facility here so you can leave your luggage here while checking out accommodation.
There are several ATM's around the main square. Check Banks carefully for exchange, rates and commission vary. They're still a better option than Exchange Bureaus but are only open Monday to Friday. The Tourist Office in the square has a decent rate and is open at weekends. Avoid Chequepoint Exchange, offers high rates but rip-off commission.
Hostels: Can pick up flyers (with maps and directions) from the Tourist Offices- Bar Bar is very cheap, with beds from 120-200kc, Travelers Hostel Group has opened a branch, run along similar lines to the one's operating in Praha. Charges 200kc, includes breakfast. A little crowded rooms, bar downstairs. The best value hostels are the long running ones, U Vodnika, Krumlov House, Ryba, Na Hradbach. All charge 200kc for dorm beds,(Na Hradbach has a couple of double rooms for 400kc). All have kitchen facilities and offer free tea & coffee. The popular Moldau Hilton seems to be closed indefinately.
Heading for Ceske Budejovice tomorrow.


6 July 98, Ceske Krumlov, Czech Republic
We came to Ceske Krumlov 5 days ago via Telc, will do a hot info report on Telc later.
Ceske Krumlov:
One of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic, after Praha THE place to visit. At the moment it feels more like winter than summer, everyone is wearing lots of layers- we had to go and buy warm clothing at the only 2nd hand store in town. It rains quite often. Despite this there is still quite a lot to do and see. The town is scenic in any weather, there are museums and in the evenings there are a lot of excellent classical performances for around 200kc. Also the pub/restaurants are very inviting and of course the beer is delicious and so cheap.
There are 3 new hostels this year but the Moldau Hilton is closed. However all the hostels are small so it's a good idea to make a reservation beforehand. Most of the hostels are charging around 200kc/person. Most are dorm beds. To be continued.....

3 July 98, Ceske Krumlov, Czech Republic
Brno: Didn't see many travelers here.
Exchange: US $1=32.5-6kc
Weather: cloudy, with occasional sunshine, feels like spring not summer. Cool in the morning and evening, some warm clothing is required.
Internet: An attractive Internet Cafe close to the center at Lidicka ul.17, M-F10-22:00, Sa/Su14-22:00, 2kc/min.
Tourist Office: Town Hall, Radnicka 8 T42211090 F42214625 M-F8-18, Sa/Su9-17:00.Staff are helpful though not all speak English. Good idea to visit here first - they can check on accommodation for you and answer most of your questions about Brno. Most of the maps are on sale but a free hotel booklet contains a small map.
Accommodation: The Bulharsky Club, a central budget option, has closed down. Hotel Avion at Ceska 11 is overpriced - double room with attached bath now costs 1360kc. Out of the center are much cheaper, better value options. The Tourist Office knows about all accommodation, free reservation in student accommodation from 120kc/p, hostel 230kc/p, Private rooms from 250kc/p.
The Tauferovy Koleje: Jana Babaka 3/5, T41210732. university dorms. Has basic kitchen facilities. It also has a small number of excellent value 2-bedded rooms from -120kc/person with shared bath, 180kc/person with attached bathroom and fridge. Transport- tram #12 or #13 from the train station or Ceska stop to Tererova stop, 8kc.
HI Hostel Interservice: 48, Lomena, T45234232/F45233165, charges from 265kc/p, IYH member 230kc/p. International Booking Network can reserve from abroad. Small, single & double rooms. Has kitchen facilities, fridge and TV in lounge area. Bf costs 40kc. Transport: tram#12 from train station or Ceska to Komarov.
Restaurants:
The Pivnice Pegas,Jakubska is now mainly a drinking spot. Has a small selection of cheap food, listed in Czech only, but the waiter says they aren't available, must order from the more expensive English/German menu. This wasn't true because one Czech customer ordered a cheaper dish. We were overcharged,it took 3 attempts to arrive at the right price. It's still worth visiting though despite the hassle. It is a brewery, has a pleasant beer hall environment and the food is quite good.
Just opposite Pegas is a popular restaurant with a pleasant garden, the food is reasonable.
Livingstone on Starobrnenska, is still the most popular student bar/cafe. It's open on Sunday evenings when most other places are closed except for McDonalds and Pegas (above).
Sputnik at Ceska 3, is one of the cheapest options, basic canteen type meals. M-F 8-17:30.
Molly's Irish Bar on Ceska, N from Svobody nam. is a popular bar,no food.Has occasional live music.
Transport:
You can get transport info at the tourist office. Prices have risen since last year, schedules have also changed.
Bus to/from: Vienna, cheaper than train 220kc/OS170.(at Wien Mitte st. Vienna).
Train to/from Vienna sudbhahnoff St. Or Wien Nord St.EC Vienna - Brno costs OS238/500kc+60kc supplement, It's cheaper to buy a ticket to Breclev (Cz), then buy an onward ticket.
Exchange bureau at Breclev station charges high commission.
Local Transport:
trams & buses, run everywhere. Buy tickets from kiosks,tourist office and a few machines. 8kc for 30min - can change lines.large luggage 4kc.
MUST validate tickets when you board.
Sights: The main attraction - the mummified bodies at the Capucin Church - is now open daily, fee has doubled, now 40kc/20kc student.
Day Trips from Brno:
Moravsky Kras Caves: The Tourist Office have information about the Caves in this area. Punkovni Caves Tours are very popular, High season tours cost 70kc, low season 50kc. Tickets may be sold out, especially on the weekend, go early.
Olomouc:
The small historic town of Olomouc is 1 and a half hours by bus or train from Brno. There are regular services throughout the day.

20 June 98 Bratislava, Slovakia
Athens: It's changed a bit since the last time I visited - 12 years ago.
Festos Pension at 18 Filellinon, T3432455 is still running though it looks a lot more impressive than I remember - I stayed there
the first time I came to Athens 15 years ago. dr 3000D,
d 8000D.
The Student & Travelers Inn in the Plaka is still going strong too. Dr 3500D, d 10,000D. It has lots of facilities including internet which costs 1500D/30min.
Bratislava:
There is a bus from Vienna airport to Bratislava bus
station, 100 OS. No credit card for the ticket which means that you have to change some money at the airport - a ripoff.
American Express client mail service has moved yet again - 3rd time in 3 years. It is now located at Tatratour Mickiewiczova 2. T317888.
Internet services: Slovenske narodne muzeum complex Vajanskeho nabre (The entrance to the internet cafe is around the block on Muzejna. Open daily until 21:00. Charges 1.5sk/min. Good service though all the instructions are in Slovak. Has another branch at Dom kultury Dubravka, Saratovska 12. Open until 23:00.
New government Tourist office at the train station. Staff speak English and are helpful. They will reserve accommodation for 50sk.
Student hostels have not been opened yet, should open at the end of next week, beginning of July.
Cheapest accommodation via the tourist office is 300sk/bed. Several women are approaching foreigners offering them accommodation. I stayed at the appartment of one of these - Anna. It cost 400sk, good value and Anna is very friendly, she loves to talk and ask questions about your country. Her wall is covered with postcards from all over the world sent by her former guests. Her appartment is on Zilinska 14, about 5min walk from the station, 15 min walk from the center, No phone.
The train timetable changed last month so our information is out of date, only temporally. please use as general guide only. Prices have also risen since last year.

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