The beautiful thing about Europe is that every country is so uniquely different.
I am was just in Prague, Czech Republic, for my first time last week. Two of my friends and I were in Europe together for our other friend’s wedding, and we decided to travel to a few places we have never been, before making our way to Innsbruck, Austria, where our bride-to-be lives.
I have never been more east in Europe than Munich, Germany, and as we rode the train from there to Prague, I noticed how much more “grey” it seemed to get. Not only am I talking about the weather, but I’m also talking about the feeling I got from the culture and atmosphere. People looked a little less friendly, teenagers and young adults had that punk rebel look, and the architecture/buildings were very dark, old and medieval looking. Obviously, this was only my first impression (on the train too) so I wanted to keep an open mind when I actually got into the city and was able to experience a little more of this Eastern European culture.
Let’s just say my mind was blown. To begin with, the city is absolutely beautiful. The way it sits along the river reminded me a lot of both Paris and Florence. To get a better view of the city we walked up to the lookout point at the top of a hill. The view from up there was unreal. All the buildings seemed to have the burgundy roofs. You could also see the beautiful Prague castle, Charles bridge, and some other very dark, but architecturally breathtaking buildings.
My first impression of the people was somewhat accurate. They were some who were a little cold at first and had little patience. But most of them were very friendly and willing to help, especially when they found out we were from California. The other thing that I found fascinating about Prague was that it is one of the cities with the most amount of expats (people who are living in a foreign country) in the world. I almost felt like there were more expats than actual Czechs living in Prague. I looked up the reasoning behind this and the cost of living in Prague is very reasonable, especially for students and young adults. I wouldn’t mind studying there!
The food was also great. I had a traditional sausage dish that was very good, but my favorite dish I had was goulash. The meat was so tender, and the sauce had so much flavor in every bite. It also had a nice kick to it! I love me some spicy food.
Overall, I came in thinking one thing about Prague, and after only 2 days, my first impression completely changed. A beautiful, multi-cultural city with so much history behind it. So… When can I go back?