When you’ve just spent 18 hours travelling by bus, you don’t exactly have springs on your heels so I was feeling a little the worse for wear when I arrived in Prague bright and early yesterday morning. However, I had a few hours to kill before I could go to the room I’ve rented for the next four weeks so exploring Prague seemed like the most productive use of my time and it didn’t take me long to notice, it’s a very beautiful city.
The first thing I needed to do was get rid of my backpack for a few hours. I also wanted a cup of coffee, so I needed to get hold of some of the local currency. While I was still in Germany, I’d transferred some euros to my Transferwise Multi-Currency Account and converted them to Czech Koruna, so I needed to find a cash machine. Fortunately, everything was nice and easy because the bus had dropped me off outside Prague central station. I found a machine, drew out 1000 CZK, went to the baggage storage area of the station, handed over 60 CZK (€2.33), and then, no longer so weighed down, I went and grabbed a coffee.
The Czech Republic is a cheaper country to live in than any of the other countries I’ve been so far and, according to a comparison I did on the Expatistan website, the cost of living in Prague is around six percent cheaper than it is in Granada. That’s not bad for a capital city and the cost of baggage storage at the station was my first introduction to this cheaper way of living. I’ve often had to stow my gear at train stations in the past, but never in my life have I ever been able to do it so cheaply.
My First Experience of Czech Food
Fully-fuelled with caffeine and eager to explore, the next thing I needed to do was go off in search of some food, so I headed for the city centre. It’s only a short walk from the train station and although one of the first options I noticed was a KFC and I’m a big fan of fried chicken, I was eager to sample some traditional Czech food. I was spoiled for choice. Within just a few minutes, I’d walked past several food stalls. All of them looked very similar to tell you the truth and, although the options looked good, buying from any of them would have meant standing to eat and I was hoping to find a place to sit down.
I gave up that idea after 20 minutes or so. The only sit-down options so early in the morning appeared to be Burger King, McDonald’s, and KFC, so I ended up eating on my feet after all. It kind of reminded me of the set-up at the fish stalls in the Netherlands. It’s normal there to buy a portion of kibbeling (small pieces of battered fish) or lekkerbekje (similar in size to the fish from a Britsh chippy) and eat standing up. In Prague, instead of fish, I found myself standing over a portion of Czech sausages and sauerkraut and it tasted pretty good.
The Architecture in Prague Is Incredible
It’s pretty much normal for me to get my first impression of a city by wandering around aimlessly with little or no knowledge of what there is there is to see and no particular destination in mind. Prague was no exception. I will be in the Czech Republic for at least four weeks, so there will be plenty of time for organised exploration later on, but I was truly amazed by how clean the streets are, the incredible artwork on some of the buildings, and the fantastic architecture I was seeing all around me.
Rivers always attract me. Especially big rivers, so I made a point of checking Google maps and heading towards the water. Once again, I found some breathtaking views and I have to say I think Prague is amazing.
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