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Old June 2nd, 2004, 01:14 PM
Gary Karschnick
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Default Cruise on the Elbe-Part 4

Tuesday, May 25:
Today is a free day. Since breakfast is included, we ate in the hotel. I would rank the breakfasts on this trip as; First, the Berlin Radisson Hotel, Second, the Clara Schumann, and last, the Prague Hilton. For some reason, the entire staff in the dining room was dour and sullen. Everyone in our group noticed it. After eating, we walked back to town for the best shopping opportunity of the trip. Note: We do not travel to shop, but we always pick up some small gifts and souvenirs for family. Tonight, our tour director has offered an optional folkloric show with dinner and unlimited drinks for $60 each. We signed up for it because a lousy meal in the hotel would cost the same or more. (Meals in the city of Prague were excellent! Today for lunch we had Bohemian Style Goulash with dumplings and a Czech Pilsner beer for under $30, including the tip.) Anyway, the show was good, the food good and everyone had a good time singing and dancing. It seemed appropriate to end the trip this way.

Wednesday, May 26:
Up at 4:15 for our transfer to the Prague airport for a 6:55 departure. Uwe, our tour director arranged for a box breakfast for us since the restaurant isnít open. It was more than we could eat. At the Prague airport, the agents didnít show up until 6:00. By that time there were lines with several hundred people in them. It seemed confused, but once they started, everyone moved through quickly. We asked for an electric cart at Frankfurt airport since we had been informed that our connecting gate was far away. The ticket agent said that he could not request that, but the purser in-flight could. Once on board, the purser told us that only the ticket agent could request a cart for us. So, when we arrived in Frankfurt, it was a long hike from our arrival gate in Terminal 1 to our departure gate in Terminal 2. (Not as bad as in Paris on the way over, but definitely a long walk!) The Delta flight to Atlanta was pleasant and while I didnít sleep, I was able to rest. In Atlanta, customs and rechecking our bags to Melbourne were easy. We had 2 hours to leisurely make our way to our gate.

Note on currency exchange: Do it in Europe if possible. In Atlanta, they charge $5 plus 5%. The 200 Krona that I had saved to the end (value $7.41 in Europe) netted me $1.17 in Atlanta. In Europe the hotels charge about 5% for the transaction.
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