Thursday, October 15, 2009

Old Towns of Eastern Europe

Have you guys seen the Old Town Square yet? Beautiful isn’t it...”, he said. And with a mischievous grin, he smoothly adds, “ Almost like Times Square”. Yeah, right!

That was the American tourist we ran into in Petrin. Within moments after he had told us he was from New York, we both gushed that we loved New York and Manhattan. And in return, he was taking a dig at us. Still, we didn’t mind. He was cute.

This post is not about him, but about the Old Towns and Town Squares of Prague and of Eastern Europe. Small, neat, historic and at the same time colourful, the old Town area is almost like a toy city from a different age. Roaming around the Old Town Prague took a little getting used to, it was almost like a set. And you think you haven’t seen anything like it and don’t think you will see anything like it. And then you are in Bratislava and find yourself in another quaint Old Town, an even smaller one if that’s possible, and you fall in love all over again.

Prague Old Town Square

It was not until the last day that we truly discovered and duly got lost in the maze that the Old Town Square of Prague was. Like the quite corner of Ungelt, a small corner just behind the Town Square, which we hadn’t even thought of wandering into. All through our walking tour on the last day, we kept noting several quirky restaurants and cafe’s we wanted to come back to for lunch (especially a particular choco-cafe) – sadly we couldn’t find our way back.

A small bridge in Bratislava Old Town

Bratislava - we didn't expect anything and in fact we didn't plan to do anything but chill by a cafe. But once again, the historic center lured us into her folds. Much much smaller, and slightly less ornate, and still very distinct from Prague! I remember how excited we were to find Bratislava the way we found it!

Sigh. I keep telling myself travelling isn't about compare and contrast. But visiting these smaller Eastern European cities, with their colourful Old Towns served on cobblestones, could just almost spoil you for the biggies.

Oh, and ps, I did have my wits around me to tell him, yeah right. R, of course was nodding her head in agreement.

The dominating church in Bratislava's Old Town


Anonymous said...

I thought he asked smthing like if we liked Times Square! anyways, yup, he was cute, so... :)

Meera said...

I think it was great for u to have visited Eastern Europe instead of the Patel list of cities... As for times square.. i dont think R wud nod..she wud nod vehemently :)

GMG said...

Hi Ms.N, here I am after another absence, much longer than I wished...
Wonderful pictures of some precious lovely places!! Enjoy your travels...

Blogtrotter is now at an old spa in Turkey. Enjoy and have a great week!

Doreal said...

That's a beutiful building, the old town has many secret and histroy. I like it!

Nisha said...

Prague is in my list. Probably my next visit to Europe should cover it. I feel the east European countries have certain aroma around them. No?

Nisha said...

This was first visit here. Will keep checking now as I have added you to my reader.

Ms.N said...

sigh - yes he was!

@meera... hey, where did u pick up this "patel" vocab? i ve heard the same word from some other people and had no clue whatthey were referring to. seems like i have slept through a significant era of slang upgradation!!!

anyway - it fitted better with my budget. but hope to the others too.... soon enough!

@Doreal - thanks

@Nisha - haha, yes they do...! i quite liked their colorfulness, something i cant remember in big cities. and yes, do come back... !

Sriram said...

I guess Patel list means Most touristy places where ppl like to be photographd like Paris, london, Rome etc etc.. Why Patel ?? Probly bcos u find a patel in every nook and corner of the world ?? Just a guess work :)

Btw.. How was Bratislava ?? I would like to go there somtime combining with Vienna, Innsbruck and Salzburg..

neha said...

i have a thing for old towns. love these pictures.