Prague on Christmas eve

Prague – city where time has stopped Part 1- read here..

After quickly freshening up I and my friends went to a nearby Indian restaurant to have lunch. Our plan was to head to Old Town Square to be part of celebrations and see markets. As we came out of restaurant, oh man; it was raining. In the excitement of being in a city which was mix of two era, we forgot to check with hotel reception if they had any umbrellas. Although we were all wrapped but since it was freezing, we could not dare to step outside in rain and run back to our hotel which was few hundred metres away.

Has it ever happened to you when you could not wait any longer to be somewhere? That was my state of mind. Uber has presence in Prague and in desperation not to miss any part of celebrations; we quickly booked a cab to get back to our hotel. It was a day of fortunes 🙂 After grabbing umbrella from hotel reception, quickly headed on foot to Namesti Miru which was few blocks away. Red and white colour trams were gliding on cobbled streets. This square has St. Ludmil church which was soaked in lights resembling nothing less than the full moon night. It turned to be a perfect place to get ourselves clicked as all the action was happening in old town square. This was one of the places where all I could think was “here clock stopped ticking long back”. Have a look at the pictures below.

From here we headed to Namesti Miru metro station, didn’t know a stroke of serendipity was waiting. We headed to the vending machine to buy 24-hr validity public transportation ticket, realised that we forgot out Honest Guide’s advice. We had currency notes and most of the ticket machines in Prague accept coins and cards only. Card was not an option for us as Czech Koruna was not loaded in our forex card. Oh man, we could have exchanged notes at hotel reception but… All of sudden saw passengers rushing towards the station exit. I do not know what came over me and I began requesting the locals for coins in exchange of notes. Yes, language was no barrier because face said it all 🙂 My friends joined the party and there came 4 – 5 teenagers whose gesture filled my heart with gratitude and solidified my belief in humanity. I happened to ask one of them for coins and there stopped the entire group. They all opened their clutch and gave all the coins they had. It was exactly what we needed to buy 3 tickets. I heard them discussing among themselves that they will later split the currency notes among them. There came another gentleman who gave us his ticket. These kids took it from us to verify if it was a valid ticket. I was overwhelmed, “God bless You” were the words from my mouth to those youngsters and to the gentleman.

We at Namesti Miru – Longest escalator in EU

Namesti Miru station has the longest escalator in European Union. It took more than 2 minutes to descend to the platform. Our halt was at Staromestske nam, couple of minutes away from Old Town Square. One of the things which I love about Europe is amazing public transport. Throughout the continent; trams, buses, sub-way, inter city trains, cable cars they are all so gelled up that you rarely need to hire a car. Check out the pics below – magical sight of celebrations in Old town square.

On my left there was a massive stage where senior citizens were all set to sing Christmas carols and entertain the crowd. On other hand was a huge Christmas tree. There were tens of stalls selling local delicacies the aroma of which could be felt in the air. Church towers glistening in lights seemed nothing less than the castles seen in Disney movies logo. The sight was pure bliss. We tried Trdelink, its a YUMMY PASTRY with cinnamon crust and chocolate or vanilla filled inside.

I had Czech drink, hot mulled wine, It was freezing and this tasted like exactly what I needed at the moment. We stayed there for about an hour, enjoyed carols, ate, drank and lived the moment. After the performance got over, we happily left for the hotel as temperature was dipping further and it was closing time for stalls.

It was a day of joy, exuberance, gratitude and satisfaction. I could not ask for anything more. Came back to the hotel and had tight sleep as there was more to explore in Prague over the next few days.

Stay tuned for next chapter of this exciting trip….

Prague – city where time has stopped

Imagine being at a place where the first sight brings in the feeling of magic all around. Where you feel nostalgic because it seems that city is still in renaissance. Where few sights make you think was every Disney movie shot here? After Barcelona, my next halt was Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic . A jewel in central Europe, I was looking forward to see Christmas decorations, tinkling of bells, markets, carols, celebration and laughter. 🙂 I was ecstatic as I did my first ever sky dive on the previous day. From Barcelona, we took 1.5 hr flight to reach Prague on Christmas eve.

This was my first trip to this beautiful city but still I had the feeling that I have seen it before and know everything that a first time visitor would know. How? Check out this awesome Honest Guide channel on YouTube. Prague based journalist has made video on every topic, magical sights of city, currency exchange, Dos and Dont’s, public transport. So before heading to Europe from India; I knew quite a bit about weather, delicacies/drinks which I was waiting to try, places where I should head to convert euro to local currency.

From the airport, I took city bus as suggested by Honest Guide. After comfortable 15 -16 Celsius/ 59 – 61 Fahrenheit temperature in Spain, it was time for cold waves of Europe. I was wrapped head to toe in multiple layers. The airport bus was cruising through the bends and turns then came the view I was waiting to see, top view of red-tiled houses. On the way there were few parks and although it was December end; the grass was lush green and everything looked so surreal. I could not get down to feel the slow cold breeze on my face. After the bus we boarded a tram connecting to our hotel. The smooth roads turned into the famous cobbled streets and vintage trams was gliding in middle of these streets. I was like a kid looking through the windows on both sides anticipating the below view and Christmas decoration. Here the tram was passing through a bridge over Vltava river. It just made my day 🙂

It was 4 PM when the tram stopped, it was coldddd outside, we had a quick check-in at the hotel. It was a cloudy day there and as I moved the window curtains in room, there was the first sight of Christmas decoration right across the street.

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