This time around, since I was working at a far-off place(Germany) from home (India), I havent had much idea about how I would celebrate the 2008 New Years Eve . At the last moment, I booked a train ticket to Prague (Czech Republic) since it was just a paper-back and a train ride away from where I stay (Nuremberg, Germany). By the way, Prague is one of the hot destinations for New Years Eve. From the research I did on the internet, I gotta know that Prague receives more than 100000 visitors on New Years Eve. And it has good number of hotels,pensions and hostels to accomodate the visitors. Also, lots of residents of Prague make it a business by renting their room to visitors, on this particular occasion.
I started off sometime in the noon, by the EuroCity Express. It was cold outside, but in the train it was cosy enough to sit inside a cabin and a glass window wide enough to have a good view of the surrounding nature. The nature was pretty good at some places on the way, with parts of the ground and trees covered with snow. Here's a pic that I took from the train:
After travelling a bit, we reached 'Schwandorf' and were joined by some other guys coming from Munich. I had a nice conversation with those guys from Munich and a lady from Prague, who was travelling back to Prague from Germany. We all speculated about things in Germany, travel, etc stuff. Meanwhile, the train reached the first station in Czech Republic. From the things that I saw, I could find the difference between Germany and Czech Republic. Germany in pretty much cleaner than Czech and has a much richer economy. The exchange rate between Euro and Czech crowns was like 1 Euro = 26 Crowns. Things are in general cheap when you have Yoyos (Euros) in your wallet, but in Prague, food and accomodation in main areas are as expensive as in Germany.
I reached Prague sometime around 7 PM and came straight out of the station and walked around a bit. The main station was very nearby to the famous 'Winceslas (Vinceslaz) Square' and when I walked around that, I had that feeling that I was around some royal stuff as the building was majestic. In general, Prague has old and very good buildings with great architechture. Here's a pic that I took when I walked around Winceslas Square:
After walking around a bit, I took the tram and went to the hotel that I booked on the internet, checked-in the hotel, took a shower and walked around a bit, again and had my dinner at some restaurant. Then I went back to the hotel and dozed off.
The next day, I woke up, had breakfast at the hotel, scanned the map and went to the nearest Metro station and took the metro to 'Old Town Square'. The 'Old Town Square' has some kind of aura and is really gorgeous. It has some great restaurants, buildings and many souvenir shops. Below are some pics from 'Old Town Square' :
After spending good time there, I headed towards the famous Charles Bridge, which then leads to Prague Castle. I wasnt much worried about walking as it was worth it to look at those pretty parts of Prague and thats the best way that you could explore. I reached 'Charles Bridge' after a couple of minutes and was much inspired to look at the bridge and the majestic view of the Prague Castle from that point. The view of the bridge and the Prague Castle looked like a postcard picture. It was very eye-catching and in full glory. Below are some pics:
1) Entrance to the bridge:
2) View Of Prague Castle From The Bridge:
After taking some pics, I climbed up the tower at the entrance of Charles Bridge and looked at some exhibits and got a souvenir medal for 'Visiting Prague'. Here's some pics of Charles Bridge and its surroundings from the top of the tower:
After that, I got down the tower and entered the Charles Bridge, in the direction of Prague Castle. Charles Bridge is very colorful with some locals selling different kind of souvenirs,some playing music and singing for a living, some ready to draw a portrait of you for some money, etc stuff. The sculpted statues of various figures on both sides of its periphery adds splendour to Charles Bridge. Here's some pics:
That was it and I ate some Italian Pizza after crossing the bridge and headed towards Prague Castle. The Prague Castle is situated on top of a hill along with some other famous and glorious buildings including the St.Vitus cathedral. Also, you could have a great view of Prague from the top. Some pics below:
St.vitus' Cathedral is a majestic structure with great architechture that makes your mind boggle. I was there right in time to look at its interior too. Below are some pics:
Below is one of the best pics that I've ever taken. Its inside the cathedral.
That was it, for the day and I headed back to the room and slept. The next day was the last day of the year 2007. I woke up late that day as I did cover the best part of Prague, the previous day and content with what I've seen. I went to the nearest metro and headed towards 'Winceslas Square'. I fed my tummy at some good restaurant and roamed around looking at different things. Those guys from Munich, who were also in Prague called me and I joined them at that place. We were raring to go, for the New Years Eve. There was also a concert going on at that square. As time passed by, people gathered around that place and it gradually got totally crowded. All were ready for the go and the place was getting noisy. really noisy! It was totally a party atmosphere. Here's a pic of the concert, that was happening in front of Winceslas Square:
As the time went by and got closer to tickin' 12, it was madness..especially with all the fireworks and people jumping, dancing and screaming around. Below are some pics:
That was it and I headed back to the hotel room at around 2 pm and was tired enough to hit the bed. The next day, I had to go back home as I booked my train ticket on that day. I woke up late and still had 6 hrs for the train. Indeed, I planned it that way, so as to explore all of Prague. So, I went to the nearest metro, got the day ticket and went from one end of Prague to the other end. Its a pretty good way to explore. Also, at one end station ,I'd my lunch at some restaurant. It was pretty cheap when compared to the restaurants in downtown Prague or to what I pay in Germany. Also, I looked at the map and dropped by at some important places. This way, I got to see some other great landmarks in Prague. Below are pics of some other imp/posh/good areas of Prague that I covered on my last day: