When I was um, let’s just say younger, I used to spend almost every New Year’s in Prague. Obviously there was lots of drinking and partying involved and, looking back, we didn’t spend too much time really exploring this true gem of a European city.
But heck, we were young, right? We always took the train from Berlin to Prague, which was about 4 hours and 30 minutes. When I was invited to speak at a conference in Prague and looked for tickets, I was surprised to find that the travel time still hasn’t changed much. I could’ve booked a flight, but figured, for old times’ sake I just gotta take the train.
No regrets here. The train ride is not spectacular really, at least not until you go past Dresden where the train curls through the Elb Sandstone Mountains, an incredibly beautiful part of Eastern Germany. I spent a lot of my childhood here too, since a big part of my family lives in Dresden.
Anyhoo, the weather in Prague was splendid, but I spent most of the remaining day (I departed in Berlin around 8:15 a.m.) at the conference and the hotel. It wasn’t until the next day that I started exploring. Right after I finished my talk I figured I’d ditch the rest of the conference and head out to enjoy the weather and this beautiful city.
And my word, Prague is beautiful. Quite a few things have changed, but I also had a lot of occasions where I recognized something from back in the day. My last visit to Prague was in 1998, and being back made me really happy, very happy.