A New Year in Prague - My Family Travels

At the end of December, 2006, my family and I flew into Prague, Czech Republic to explore the city and see the sights, like typical tourists.  From Ruzyne Airport, we took a shuttle to the Crowne Plaza Castle, where we lodged for a few nights in the city.  The stay was lovely, and I recommend anyone traveling to Prague to look into this hotel.  After settling in, we were on our own to discover the treasures of the city.  With a basic map from the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Castle, it was quite easy to find the main attractions.  If there was any trouble, though, the locals were kind enough to point us in the right direction.  All the great sights, however, did not mean more to me than my feelings on the night of December 31st.  Few experiences remain as vivid in my mind as the New Year’s Eve celebration in Prague, Czech Republic.  There, on a grassy hill overlooking the grand layout of the capitol, my family and I, along with hundreds of Czech locals and fellow tourists, sat waiting for the jubilant welcome of the New Year, 2007.  The realization had hardly hit me.  I was half a world away from my friends in Georgia, yet I knew we were celebrating the same event.  Nearly the whole world was celebrating what I was at this moment.  Mankind had survived yet another year.  Every person on the planet was wondering what the future had in store for them, as if all our fates were bound together, each relying upon the other.  Looking around I saw the Czech people opening champagne bottles and getting merry.  I even tried some non-alcoholic beer for the special occasion!  There we sat, wrapped in our scarves and winter apparel, waiting for the much anticipated spectacle of all New Years.  At last the fireworks came sputtering up into the sky!  Bright explosions of sparkling color filled the atmosphere above the city, followed by deep booms echoing over the trees.  Perhaps a humble show compared to that of Paris and London, but who can deny the excitement felt on that hill in Prague?  The fireworks lasted for about half an hour, when the people slowly began trickling into the streets.  My brother and I began rushing through the crowd yelling “Happy New Year!” in the best Czech accent possible.  We weren’t alone though.  People everywhere were making noise and simply enjoying their night.  Although I felt separate from these strangers, in a sense I also felt deeply connected to all of them.  An immense amount of love bubbled up inside me, and all I wanted to do was share it with every person there!  We are but one race, and we should all celebrate our vast achievements, just as we celebrate the arrival of another year.  It is through unity and love that we succeed, so imagine what we could do as a whole.  I have never felt so much love for the human race than in those moments in Prague nearly three years ago.  It was truly a night I will never forget.


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