So I know that four posts in an hour is looking a little excessive, but Tom is getting home from work a little later tonight (the Czech Republic is 6 hours ahead of the east coast in the States, so while it looks like all these posts are from noon time it's almost 6 pm here) and I figured I should update people about the trip while I had the motivation.
In addition to visiting Prague and Brno, my sister Ali and I (in retrospect it was mainly my idea and I talked her into it like a used car salesman convincing a potential buyer that a 94' Geo Metro is a great car and a superb adventure!) thought it would be cool to take a sister trip somewhere. Initially we were thinking Italy, beautiful people, architecture, art, and food. Perfect, right? However, the cost of travelling there was astronomical and it would take just too much time out of Ali's limited 10-day stay in the Czech Republic. So somehow, we settled on Poland (which it did turn out had beautiful people, architecture, art, and food... just a little different than Italy's, think perogies instead of gnocchi).
We picked Krakow as a destination close enough to Prague and Brno that it would be manageable, the guide book (never travel anywhere in Europe without your handy Rick Steves' guide!) also said that Krakow was a nice mellow location, I believe the exact term was "the Boston of Eastern Europe." Figuring in that there was a night train from Prague to Krakow and that we could also spend a day at Auschwitz we thought it would be a good trip for us.
Now enters the hard part. Apparently night trains are not as easy-breezy as I had experienced them to be in India. This is also the part of the story where Ali (as the buyer of that metaphorical 94' Geo Metro that is a sister trip to Poland, sees why it is not a good idea to trust a used car salesman like me). A summary of the travails that occurred on our trip there are as follows; I took Dramamine and was very drowsy and slept almost all the way there. Ali, as the non-comatose one, was left being concerned when we stopped at the border town of Bohumen and security men in orange banged on the window and pointed off the train. It was Ali who had to figure out why we were being told that we needed to exit the train when we weren't supposed to have any transfers and then it was also Ali who shepherded her very sleepy sister from one compartment to the next and saw that they cabin we were in was being decoupled from the train and if we had stayed in our cabin we would have been stuck in Bohumen. So after a long night of her being stressed about the probability of us arriving in Krakow and very little sleep on her part (and a great deal on mine), we did in fact arrive at our destination and after much fussing with a map (the one in Rick Steves' is hand drawn so if you use this guidebook it's recomended that you pick up a free map at tourist information) and realizing that the compass on my watch does not actually work. So after all that fuss getting to Krakow, what was the first thing we did? Nap!