Student Agency Review

This weekend we planned a very impromptu trip to Moravia, eastern Czech Republic. After looking at trains, we decided a bus to Brno was going to be the easiest way to get to our final destination: Breclav. Once we decided to take the bus, we knew we would take Student Agency. We have traveled with them in the past and we were always happy with the service. So here’s what we think of the agency.

imageThe buses are clean and comfortable. The seats are really nice and when you put them back a bit, you might even sleep well. Even though there isn’t a whole lot of space for your legs, there is a leg rest, which makes things a little more comfortable.

There is an entertainment system, that has games, some tv shows, like Big Bang Theory and Friends, and even several movies. They give out headphones, that are actually decent, so I recommend you take them. Also, there is wifi, so you can even browse the Internet, go on social media or even stream Netflix. It’s not the fastest wifi, but the connection is fairly strong the whole time. For free, you also get a choice of magazines and newspapers.

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When it comes to snacks and drinks, I recommend buying snacks beforehand, because those aren’t offered. They do have free hot beverages, which I suggest you take the hot chocolate, in the past the coffee hasn’t been the best, whereas the chocolate is pretty good. Cold drinks are sold on board, but it’s cheaper to buy drinks before getting on the bus.image

I have always been happy with Student Agency and I always recommend it when people are looking for an easy and cheap way to travel around Europe.


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Peter Pan and Greyhound Review

IIMG_6792 went to New York for the weekend. Which meant spending a total of 9 hours on a bus, leaving from South Station in Boston, headed for Port Authority in New York. On the way there I went with a Peter Pan bus and on the way back I went with Greyhound. Peter Pan and Greyhound are interchangeable, because the same company owns them, so you never know which bus you will take. However, there are a couple of differences. I personally prefer the Greyhound buses and here’s why:

 

The Peter Pan bus was slightly older and grimier. It wasn’t too bad, but there did seem to be a lot of gum stuck everywhere. However, the WIFI worked just fine, so I shouldn’t really complain, because WIFI is very important on such long trips. We didn’t stop at all on our way down, except for a short stop in Hartford to switch drivers. So we didn’t get a break to get up and stretch, but I didn’t mind, at least we didn’t waste any time. We got to New York with only the slightest delay, caused by traffic right outside of the city. In general Peter Pan is cheap and efficient, the quality is ok. It’s not the best, but not the worst.

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Greyhound was better. Their buses seem a little bigger, so their seats are wider and more comfortable. The driver was very nice and helpful. At the beginning of the journey he gave us information about the length of the trip, the WIFI and other info we might need. Half way through the drive, we stopped for about 15 minutes at a rest stop where we could go to Burger King or McDonald’s. After that we continued on the trip to Boston. There were a couple of bad things about this particular journey. First, the bus eventually started smelling like pee. This was masked by the smell of burgers after our stop, but the smell came back, even stronger. Second, the individual lights above the seats didn’t work. So when it got dark in the evening, there was not much I could do for the rest of the trip.

 

Overall I like traveling with Peter Pan/Greyhound. They are cheap and they get you wherever you need. The quality may not be great, but it is what you would expect for the price.

 

Next read my article about what to do on a long trip!

Three Days in Munich

Last summer I went with my friend to Munich for the first time. Since I never traveled to Germany, I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I was excited. It was a fun experience filled with beautiful, fairytale-like castles, walking tours and even naps :)

 

We only went for three days, so we decided to take a night bus from Prague. This meant that we got to Munich at 4:30am, which would not have been an issue, except for the fact that the metro doesn’t open until 5am. So we ended up waiting for thirty minutes on a bench, trying not to freeze. I wish I could say that is where our difficulties with the metro ended, but no. Part of the line we had to take downtown was under construction, so we had to get off, take a bus, get on the metro and switch lines one more time before we actually managed to get to our hotel, the Regent Hotel.

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Of course by then it was only 5:45, so we couldn’t check in. After leaving our bags there, we went searching for food and, most importantly, coffee. Luckily our hotel was right next to the train station, making it slightly easier to find a good source of food. So after a quick breakfast, around 6:30am, we decided to go for a walk around the nearly abandoned city. The streets were completely empty. We didn’t really know where to go, so we walked around aimlessly, but we managed to hit the most important landmarks anyway. We walked through Marienplatz and even Englisher Garten, before the streets started to fill up.

 

Tip #1: Go for a walk early in the morning! The empty city looks completely different and it is amazing to see the city wake up.

 

By 10:30 we were starving! We weighed the options, and stopped at the nearest affordable place for food, then headed back to our hotel, where we could finally check in and took a “short” nap, which ended up being three hours long. The rest of the day we walked around some more and almost got run over by all the bike riders in the city.

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The next day we went on the full day Royal Castles Tour. First stop, Linderhof castle. This was King Ludwig II’s residence, built to resemble the Versailles Palace, but much smaller. We toured the interiors and walked around the gardens a little, before getting back on the bus and going to Oberammergau.

 

 

Oberammergau is a picturesque DSC_6486-wm little town, with beautifully painted houses and the most interesting history of the Passion Play. This was a very short stop, so we only walked around for a little bit and looked into a couple of the numerous souvenir shops on the main street. The town is full of very skilled wood carvers, so there are shops with all sorts of toys and clocks and other merchandise.

 

Last stop, Neuschwanstein castle, the most anticipated castle. The bus dropped us off in Hohenschwangau, a small town under the castle. We had four hours to do whatever we wanted. Obviously we wanted to go up to the castle. What we were not prepared for, was the climb up to it, especially in combination with the extreme heat of the day. After what seemed forever, in reality about 25 minutes, we got up to the castle and it was definitely worth the effort. It is just like a fairytale castle! So naturally we had to take lots and lots of pictures from all angles possible. King Ludwig II had huge plans for Neuschwantstein. Lots of towers and spires were on the original blueprint, but Ludwig died before the castle was completed. After his death the state finished building the castle as quickly as possible and opened it to the public, in hopes of getting some money back. For this reason it was never furnished.

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Tip #2: If you are going to walk up to Neuschwanstein, bring enough water for the hike up! You will definitely need it, especially in the summer.

 

DSC_6815-wmOur walk down was much easier and smoother, so by the time we got down the monstrous hill, we still had about an hour to kill. And what better way to kill time than to do an impromptu photo-shoot by the lake Alpsee. Which was, of course, very exhausting, so we both ended up falling asleep on the bus ride back to Munich.

 

The next day, which was our last, we took a walking tour of Munich. This was a lot of fun, because we got to see a lot more of the city than we did before. I definitely suggest you do this, because the tour guide will take you to places, like the unofficial Michael Jackson memorial, which you wouldn’t normally come across.

 

Our last stop, before we got on the bus back to Czech Republic, was the Nymphenburg Palace and the gardens. This was a little out of the way, but we had half a day before our bus, and the summer palace seemed like a great stop. We didn’t take the tour of the interior, but we walked around the gardens for a little bit, before heading to the bus stop.

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Munich is a small city, but definitely worth visiting. If you ever go, I definitely recommend taking the Royal Castles tour and the walking tour. Hope you have as much fun as I did! :)