One experience that is truly different in Europe to Queensland is NYE. Not only is it freezing cold, and dark at 4pm, but fireworks are legal over here. I have been looking forward to this NYE since I chose Prague as its destination nearly 6 months ago.
I had considered the timing, the crowds, the weather and surely everything imaginable…. No - I had not considered sickness.
I woke on the 31st with pains in my stomach, and the severity can only be described by the fact that I did not indulge in the Buffet Breakfast. Determined to be well, I slept through the morning while mum visited various shops and the Mucha Museum. A foray into the outside world ended up with me sitting on the ground while various Czech's tried to get me to sit on my hat/scarf/gloves (an interesting superstition about sitting on cold surfaces and infertility). A kind Russian lady gave me a picture of her patron saint, and directions to his cathedral near by, and sure enough, soon we were on our way - back to the hotel!
After resting the afternoon away, we got ready for the NYE celebrations at our hotel. "The Palace" was going with a Charleston theme, and the band in the foyer (and later dining room) were fantastic. Unfortunately, I had only a sip of my champagne (with gold flakes in it!) before realizing it was not to be tonight L Long story short, I ended up underneath the table before the first course - before most of the guests arrived really! A trip back to bed really isn't complete without some vomiting, and of course in a fairly public place, but eventually back in bed was where I landed - feeling much much better by now of course!
We did make the effort to get up and see the fireworks though. At 11.30pm we rugged up and headed up to the roof of our hotel, along with quite a few other very merry patrons of our hotel. We noted that the feather boas that had been given out for the Charleston theme were either now on men, or floating around in many little pieces…. The hotel must have enjoyed cleaning that up in the morning!
We could see fireworks being let off in Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square and various places along the river and across to the Castle. There wasn't any particularly ordered display - just Czechs letting them loose left, right and center, and over all it was quite lovely (and cold!).
Our very sedate evening ended at 12.15am - but we know that the people of Prague partied on for quite a while longer!