On a sandy beach in the middle of a landlocked city
Imagine a proper sand beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs in the centre of Prague. Although this idea might seem a bit unusual, Prague indeed now has its first sand beach right on the banks of the Vltava River. You can find it in Prague's Smichov district right next to a famous railway bridge.
"Our inspiration was the typical town beach or sand beach in the middle of Paris. I think now it is also in Berlin and in Brussels. So we are third in a capital city. The first beach in town in the Czech Republic was in Hradec Kralove, but it is a different kind of a beach. We decided to make this beach, however, now it is rather a showcase, just for the summer for a month."
So what does it take to create a Mediterranean-style beach in the middle of a Central European city?
"We decided to bring here 500 tonnes of sand. We built a small swimming pool for visitors, a tropical bar; we make also fast-food...For an active relaxation we have beach volleyball, petanque, badminton..."
The condition of the Vltava River, with regards to water pollution has perhaps slightly improved during recent years; however, it is still not so improved that you could enjoy swimming there.
"We don't recommend swimming in the river. I am not sure that the river is really clean for swimming, especially for children. We installed here a small fence to prevent the children to fall in the river, but there is a gate, so if you want to swim in the river you can, but we don't recommend it."
Sometimes, it is nice to just relax on the beach, read a book or chat with your friends. Sometimes, however, you might get a taste for different kinds of entertainment. As Vojtech Hlavacek confirms, the organisers are prepared even for this alternative:
The organisers claim the beach is ready to be opened for the broad public. But how about the visitors? I asked a few of those who decided to test the beach already, how they liked this idea:
"I am here for the first time. The weather has not turned out so well this time but I hope it gets better. I am here mainly for sunbathing, but they are supposed to open a swimming pool here, so I think it will be even better."
"It is nice here. It's just perfect for the kids. Of course, it is impossible to swim in the river; I don't believe it will be ever possible."
"Well I was told about it by a friend of mine. I think it's a great idea to make something like this in the centre for people."
If you're based in the city, the site is just ten minutes walk from Andel Metro station. It is open from 10am to 12pm and the entrance fee will cost you just 49 crowns.