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Adorable Chick

HIGHLIGHTS OF EUROPE diary : Day 7 - 21th April 2016

Prague is the capital city of Czech Republic and is also the largest in terms of area. The city promises vibrance at all times and is extremely famous for its well maintained castles, and extravagant art styles, rich cathedrals, great night life, lovely bridges, modernisation and more. The Praha Castle is recorded as the largest in the world.

A morning to remember in Dresden, an evening to remember in Prague. Giving each of these countries half a day each may sound ridiculous, but that is exactly what we did. Our train to Praha ( Prague) was scheduled for departure at 1:08 pm. We had our lunch in Ibis hotel, Dresden ( Germany) and took a leisurely walk down to the railway station. We were well ahead of time and were all geared up to visit another country. The train came in empty and remained so throughout. We could count the number of passengers. At one of the stations, a mother and daughter joined us. The little girl was very fascinated by the Indian BINDI worn by one of the ladies in our group. Her mother spoke English, but she did not. She conveyed through her mom that she wanted one for herself. She was so excited to receive and wear one on her forehead. She couldn't be more glad to pose for a photograph. The journey lasted 2 hours but the landscapes on the way were fabulous. At the border of Dresden and Prague, lies BAD SCHADNAU, a town in Germany which has some amazing terrain. The fast moving scenic splendour soon took us to the main station in Prague - the HLAVNI NADRAZI station by 3:15 pm. When voice speaker in the train announced the name of this fast approaching station, we spent a few minutes learning its pronouciation. :)))) (HLAVNI NADRAZI - finally learnt ! )

The entire tour was planned, except for this leg. With a view to experience the thrill of "Going with the flow", nothing was planned for Prague in advance. As a result, we were in great confusion when we landed at the station. We walked up to the tourism help desk to get an idea of what could be the best bet for the next 3 hours. Finally, we decided to visit the Historic Charles bridge. We were offered a map of the city, with instructions on how to get there. We got out of the station totally dazed. The city looked beautiful and greener than most European cities. After a few pictures, we walked up to the main road to get to the nearest tram stop. We enquired around about the ticketing procedure, but people didn't seem to understand English.

Tidy Desk

As we looked around patiently, a passerby directed us to a nearby yellow vending machine for purchase of the tickets. She seemed to speak English and confirmed that the tickets would not be sold on board the tram. It was needed to be purchased in advance. The road ran downhill. We rushed to the vending machine and found it to be "out of order". We then were directed by another person to get the tickets at a nearby general store. Two of us from the group decided to run as fast as possible to reach the store which seemed distant. Finally, we had the unlimited 90 MINUTE tickets in our hand. We ran back to the tram stop, just in time for it to arrive.

The crowded tram ride gave us a local feel. It wound round various streets of the city and dropped us off at the Narodni Divadlo stop. We crossed the road and got on to the Smetanovonabr street.

The beautiful Vltava river flowed silently below, on the left side of this street. We walked along the river side admiring great views. Straight ahead, we spotted a clock tower. At a further distance we even spotted the Praha castle. The castle swore by the record it created, looking massive and running a great length. The street was beautiful. The slow walk was well worth it. The views of the castle got better as we got closer. We admired the small boats floating on the river, carrying passengers. We even got envious of a few who were water Zorbing. The sky was bright and beautiful. We knew we were rushing it all up and wished we had stayed in the place for a few days. We could spot the Charles bridge at a closer proximity.

We had to cut in through a long tunnel like, closed shopping area, before getting to the entrance of the bridge. There were all kinds of outlets found here. Curiosity begged us to stop by a few of these. There was a passage inside this shopping complex leading up to the entrance of the bridge. The centuries old gateway to the bridge didn't fail to impress.