Arriving in Prague
Quick walk around
We have arrived in the Czech Republic. The bus ride was not the best, but being overnight, we managed to get some sleep. The last time I was here was about 8 or 9 years ago, and it was an extra curricular excursion in sampling the local alcohol. This time I hope to see a bit more of the city and maybe even remember it. I do remember that Prague was a beautiful city before, but the bus station does not reflect this. There is a tourist information office right there though, and they are somewhat helpful, although asking for a cheap hostel they direct us to one right at he station for Euro 20 each. This is not cheap. So we took the map of the down town section and went to find our own.
We gave up quickly though. There are many hotels and hostels in Prague, but just not on the streets we walked. Having found one, there was no check in until 3pm, and it was still fairly early. We couldn’t even leave our bags there. Saying “blow that for a joke”, we checked into a three star hotel. This was only 10 euro more expensive than staying in a 16bed dorm at the station. Deal. It was also a really nice hotel. Good staff, breakfast included, and fairly central.
Now it was time to explore the city, and that we did. A long walk around, into the winding streets of down town and out the other side. We made it to Charles IV bridge, learnt a bit of history that we promptly forgot (and I took too long to write this up to remember it, but hey, that’s what Wikipedia is for isn’t it?). Saw a few towers, plenty of fantastic old buildings, and a lot of fixer-uppers.
There was no point to the walking, it just was. What did surprise us is that being part of the EU for a while now, it is keeping its currency, however most things are priced in duel values. We think it is for the day-trippers or people just dropping in from Germany for the weekend with a pocket full of Euros and not wanting to bother exchanging them. It did not feel as if they had no faith in their currency as Tanzania did. Just more out of convenience as it is a very touristy city. This is meant to be off season and there were tourists everywhere (us included I suppose). The main square was so packed you could hardly move.
Segway tours, bike tours, walking tours, pram tours for the educational benefits of gifted three month olds, and even wheelchair tourists for those over the hill and at least 5 feet down the other side. This is understandable, as it is a beautiful city. The tourist shops don’t give a fig if you shop there or not, and although the prices have risen quite a lot, it is still slightly cheaper than Germany.
With our bearings now set, we could retire for a good nights sleep, and more exploring tomorrow.