We boarded our train to Prague from Vienna. As soon as the train left the station at Vienna – Wien Westbahnhof, Nikhil shouted “where is the bag”, we searched every corner but it was gone…After a while the reality struck us hard …that we were robbed…. HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY….What a start to this great day. It’s one of a traveler’s worst nightmares – being the last person to board a train and the first one to get down it before arriving at the destination. We lost almost everything, from Camera, sunglasses, to all the things that the genius Steve jobs had bestowed upon us (I-pod, I- pad)and certainly the most important of them all – Our Passports… But with god’s grace and a lot of help from Vienna police and an unknown man (who we later realized was the same person who would have picked our bag from the train), we finally got our passports back. Even though we had to cut short our trip to Prague by 1 day due to this incident, but Prague was one place that both of us didn’t want to miss going to. Hence, we packed our bags again (with the passports in Nikhil’s pocket this time) and off we were …..
We reached our hotel – Hotel Panorama at 4:30 a.m. in the morning and considering the fact that we were tired after the entire day of fun at its best (looking for our passports) we decided to go for a sleep. After an early morning breakfast we headed straight to explore.
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Prague is a city of great monuments, cathedrals, beautiful and breathtaking Gothic Style bridges, Palaces and lush green Gardens. Prague presents itself as a versatile city, which has different styles: it is romantic and historic, ancient and modern, but above all it is a city that is cosmopolitan through and through. The best thing about being in Europe is that all the major cities have a well functional metro system which serves as a boon for budget travellers like us.
The first station that we got out at was the most famous tourist attraction “The Charles Bridge”. Prague is equal to Paris in term of beauty, identical to Italy in terms of historic monuments and is same as Frankfurt with its cool cosmopolitan and modern feel. The city is a maze of numerous lanes and narrow streets which is a paradise for the aimless wanderer, like us who are always ready to explore a little further. Charles Bridge is one of the many bridges over the river Vltava, and is certainly the most spectacular of them all. It was crowded with tourists from around the globe. It was hurdled with Czech artists, musicians and souvenir vendors who were standing at both sides of the bridge showcasing their skills and artifacts. It also gives view to the beautiful Prague Castle standing tall against the sky.
Now when I have travelled almost each corner of the European continent I can say this that most of the architecture in cities across the continent, pretty much resemble each other. We took the winding, narrow roads -the city is drenched in exquisite beauty from the tracery of arches of the Palace, to the free flowing water in the canals and superb architecture.
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On our way up to the Prague castle, we stopped at a small bakery shop to pick up – Trdelnik, a cinnamon roll/pastry which gets served along with vanilla ice-cream filling and was just too delicious. In fact we stopped on our way back to pick up a couple more
Inside the Prague castle we came across a sight which was unparalleled to anything we had ever seen before. There stood the massive St. Vitus Cathedral, and we stood in awe of the structure before us. Prague nestles one of the biggest palaces in all of Europe, and included a lovely cathedral built in several phases in different centuries and featuring lovely stain glass, plus a giant hall and tall pillars, showcasing the fabulous and superlative design and construction. We hiked a long hill down to the castle where we tried to take nice photos, but the sun was so bright, I could barely open my eyes.
We decided to head back to the hotel, rest for some time and then take strolls out to catch a glimpse of the bustling nightlife.
The next day, we travelled to the Jewish quarters and came to the most crowded place and also a must visit if you are in Prague – The Old Town Square. This place is a small world in itself. Mostly crowded, it gives space to numerous street side restaurants, café, old fashioned bars and antique shops. There were hundreds of tourists from all over the world with cameras gathered in front of the Old Town Hall to enjoy a fascinating mechanical performance which is considered one of the mechanical wonders of the world. The Prague Astronomical Clock, which for 600 years has been one of the greatest treasures of the city, still amazes people with its procession of Apostles, moving statues and visualization of time like no other instrument in the world.
The magical city of Prague had so much to offer, even if you don’t visit a famous tourist place it seems that everything from a small road to a building of no importance, speaks to you about narrating its existence since centuries. Prague is a delight for people who love to wander around the city admiring the visuals of the city that are so refined, elegant and pleasing to eyes.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but the proverb comes to a rather contradiction, in Prague. The city is so picturesque that the panoramic view is a collection of beauty, splendor and utmost attractiveness. It is impossible not to fall in love with the city that has always topped the charts, when it comes to the most travelled destinations in the world.
Now was the time to say goodbye to Prague… We totally agree with Richard Wagner, when he said – “The ancient splendour and beauty of Prague, a city beyond compare, left and impression on my imagination that will never fade”.
Nikhil never wanted to, but considering the fact that we headed to another destination, it became easier…