During my first Interrail trip in the early 90s, Prague was on my list of places that must be visited. When I walked in the stream of tourists from the railway station through Stare Mesto, the old city, towards Charles Bridge, I had a feeling that I was walking towards something unique. Entering the bridge and watching the huge Prague Castle, I wanted to avoid looking back towards the old town, in order not to lose the special moment and special view of the castle slope. Not until the end of Charles Bridge, I looked back and to my surprise the view of Stare Mesto was even more beautiful. It felt as there was no limit to the beauty of the world and some kind of a romantic urge overwhelmed me. At the same time it felt sad, since there was nobody else than myself in that romantic moment.
After those first big trips there have of course been bigger experiences and I have indeed returned to Prague with romance, but it is nice to return to those first big feelings. Already in the Czech Republic there are lots of places more beautiful than Charles Bridge. Karlovy Vary spa town feels healthy, because the air is crisp and the water tastes fresh. The castle of medieval town Cesky Krumlov is situated on an even more dramatic slope than Prague Castle.
During my first trip to the Czech Republic I enjoyed crispy potato pancakes, bramboracky, which are sold by street vendors. There were more of those in the past, but nowadays they can be enjoyed as side orders in restaurants. Other famous side orders are the knödel dumplings, which actually are slices from knödel loafs. When in the Czech Republic, game dishes are also recommendable, for example venison and wild boar. Other interesting choices are carp or roasted duck.
As a tourist you are usually among other tourists in the Czech Republic. In the center of Prague, there are so many tourists that it is difficult to find places occupied by locals only. Therefore it is difficult to make assumptions on what a local Czech is like. Even more interesting would be to compare Czechs and Slovaks now after the division of Czechoslovakia. Nevertheless it is easy to relax in the Czech Republic, and that can surely not be only because of their exceptionally good beer. It has to be a sign of how the Czech view life.