Day Nine – Graz to Prague

by bretzelitos

Today I took a direct train – a Railjet in Business Class in my last passing through the Alps this time from Graz via Vienna to Prague. As part of the Austrian Suedbahn, I went over the difficult pass through the Semmering mountains.

This is a very interesting path engineers have constructed and improved since the 1850s. In loads of curves, the tracks descend slowly from 900 meters summit altitude at the Semmering station towards the Vienna lows in the Danube valley. While reading about how and when the Semmering pass track was built, I realized that it is actually UNESCO world heritage due to its amazing engineering achievements in the 1850s. There were many “firsts” realized on this track, including valley passing viaducts in a 180 degrees hairpin curve (I took a photo passing over it), many tunnels in rough terrain – short and long ones – and a very curvy path all the way along the Semmering hills with radii down to 190 meters.

After passing though Vienna and having Business Class filled up with very noisy US tourists that had no idea what they were talking about, we reached Czech Republic. The rest of the trip was uneventful and we arrived in Prague Central Station with minimum delay.

I have to say that I like the Railjet offer of OEBB. It is by far the best train product I have been in during this trip so far.

After arriving in Prague, I went on a hike to Prague’s old town close to the river Moldau banks to have dinner. On my footpath towards the famous Uflecku restaurant and beer garden, I got surprised by a 30 minutes lasting heavy thunderstorm over the city center – and got quite wet. But in these temperatures above 30 degrees, it was not uncomfortable at all. I even saw a rainbow!

On the way back to hotel, I passed some 100 meters along Moldau river to join Prague’s pedestrian area, taking more photos. Just have a look below!