KABOOM! Is this Prague ... or Downtown Bagdad?

Prague Travel Blog

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Or next immediate problem was that Prague was completely booked out. Nothing, not a thing was available. We even met a guy on the plane who used his cell phone to call around for us, to no avail. We took a public bus to the subway, and the subway to the center of town and decided to just walk around.

Prague on New Year's Eve is amazing. The streets were completely filled with people drinking and the air was filled with fireworks. There are apparently no fireworks safety laws in the Czech Republic, because people were just lighting them up from the street. The fireworks would explode all around you -- in the sky, on the street, whizzing through the air in front of your face.

setting off fireworks on the street
The streets were on fire, and the noise of the explosions were deafening and constant. The world was red, and orange and white and blue and blazing, a swirling mess of drunken people and color. Words flitted across the square in all different kinds of languages; people communicated amidst the chaos in Czech, English, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Polish, in laughter and in screams.

It was definitely an experience I'll never forget. And to give credit where credit is due, props to the Prague Asian community. All the fire works were being set by little Asian dudes risking life and limb to put on such an exciting show, in a place that I kind of felt didn't seem to care for them much -- even the nice guy at the airport started talking about how he didn't like the Asian and Indian communities in Prague because kept too much to themselves.

Uh oh.. the ground's on fire
He didn't seem to make the connect between those people and Michelle and I at all. The next day, the Asians were no where to be found... they'd gone back into the wordwork, like modern day fairies in the magical city of Prague. So weird.

Surrounded by fireworks, we were on a total high at 1AM. By 3AM, things had gotten considerably worse. It was a "heat wave" winter in Europe that year, which meant there was no snow on the ground, but it was still freezing cold in the middle of winter. We're from San Francisco. We're not used to anything under 30F. It was raining, wet and cold, and we had no where to stay.

We spent the night on the open patio outside of a restaurant, talking to some Polish guys who also had no where to stay. One Polish guy said that he had spent the past 3 years saving up at his welding job to come out to Prague for one night, sleep in the car and go back the next day.

setting off fireworks on the street
We weren't sure if we understood him right, but if we did, it's one of the most awesome "Old Country" stories I've ever heard.

Several grueling hours later, the train station opened up, where we could pay for the internet and phones. In the light of the early morning, we found a hostel that had opened up. We dragged our stuff up a giant hill -- finally we could rest... except that's when we discovered Michelle had lost her passport somewhere in the night. After Atousa and Michelle went on an exhaustive search, to no avail, for a couple hours, we all finally passed out at maybe 9 in the morning on the first day of 2007.

jenn79 says:
Gorgeous shots! I LOVE the captions to your blogs - "prague, or BAGHAD?!"
Posted on: Feb 25, 2008
CFD says:
I arrived in Prague without a booking reservation, and had to settle for a old crappy pension in a distant suburb. The New years you describe seem pretty normal, with hundreds of thousands of people drinking in the streets and igniting fireworks :) I was In Mozambique at work. Working from 20:00 to 00:30. It totally sucked, but you have to earn to have bread on the table right?
Posted on: Feb 08, 2008
thenewextrememimi says:
Dude, I would have snuggled in the trunk of that man's Yugo with 3 years worth of welding equipment as pillows if it meant getting out of the desolate Prague cold.
Posted on: Nov 19, 2007
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setting off fireworks on the street
setting off fireworks on the street
Uh oh.. the grounds on fire
Uh oh.. the ground's on fire
setting off fireworks on the street
setting off fireworks on the street
The inevitable outcome of firework…
The inevitable outcome of firewor…
setting off fireworks on the street
setting off fireworks on the street
fireworks
fireworks
setting off fireworks on the street
setting off fireworks on the street
fireworks blowing up in my face
fireworks blowing up in my face
setting off fireworks on the street
setting off fireworks on the street
its raining fire
it's raining fire
fire and ghost
fire and ghost
Uh oh.. the grounds on fire
Uh oh.. the ground's on fire
Explosions on the ground, as the b…
Explosions on the ground, as the …
Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square
Prague
photo by: vulindlela