STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Prague by Night

Taken from most Legii (Legii Bridge) looking towards Karlův most (Charles Bridge)
Paddleboats on the Vltava, seen from Legii Bridge
At the end of my time with Ivan on the Photo Tour, he arranged for me to rent a tripod for the night from his favourite camera shop (what a sweetheart he was.) I have never done much night photography, but I figured with the castle and the Charles Bridge, here was as good a place as any to give it a shot. Here are a few of  the best shots... as you can see, central Prague is on both sides of the Vltava (pronounced Vul-tava) River. (Many people assume it's on the Danube - wrong!) The full moon on Monday night was so beautiful, but of course you cannot choose which part of the sky it will be in- my preference would have been for it to be over the castle, but of course it was in the opposite direction. But, moon or no moon, I still am pleased with what I got. If I had had the energy or my own car, I would have been down at the other end of the city, but I just couldn't walk any further. As it was I probably did at least 4 more kms. after dark, on top of the full day of walking with Ivan.. I was beat!

Looking towards Old Town and Old Town Bridge Tower
I have to say, Prague seems to be a very safe city. I have not felt unsafe or "uncomfortable" once. Even walking alone at night has not been a problem. There are many people out on the streets at night- reminds me of Times Square almost- as many people out after dark as there are in the daylight hours. I feel very safe. I'm sure there are areas where one would not go, but in central Prague where we are - no problem. There are many, many, many tourists, and just as many Czechs!  Prague appears to be somewhat of a destination for the young people - lots of European kids come here to party, it seems. Drinking beer or liquor on the streets is legal, and it is common. Unfortunately many do not have the sense to take their empty bottles home with them, leaving them littering the sidewalks.
Full Moon over Paddleboat Marina

One of the very popular things to do on the river is to rent a rowboat or a paddleboat for an hour or two. You can see many of these on the river as well as the river cruise boats (again- these are not the big Danube River Cruise boats - these are hourly cruises, or dinner cruises. So between the boats large and small, and the birds (ducks, swans and gulls) there's lots of activity/entertainment to watch.

The photos in this post were all taken over a stretch of about 2 hours from
Sunset at Pražský Hrad - Prague Castle

dusk around 9ish til dark - it was after 11 when I got back to the hotel. The moon was full and so was the Charles Bridge! THE thing to do in Prague at night is to stroll the bridge, with your lover, your family, or whoever... I was strolling it with my tripod and camera, having fun "people-watching"! There are always sights to be seen - even after dark!!
I am trying very hard to be a "traveller", not a tourist (see quote below). I am so tired of overhearing tourists complain about how something is not like at home.... why
 Night falls over Prague Castle
Old Town Bridge Tower after dark
the heck do they travel if they expect it to be just like at home?? I am doing my best to soak it all up- the sights, the sounds, the smells, the atmosphere...  The Czechs are lovely people, very friendly and willing to help if they can. Most younger Czechs speak decent English, although they always say when asked - "Only a little"...then they speak well and can usually answer your question. I am wearing a small Canadian flag pin... it's amazing what a difference it makes. Things haven't changed much in that regard since I last travelled in Europe in the 80's....
I love hearing all the languages spoken on the street - there are so many. Of course I cannot distinguish the Slav languages- they all sound the same to me.. there is also a fair bit of Russian, German, some French, Spanish, Italian,  and of course, the Americans, Brits, Aussies, Scots, and many others I cannot identify. In many ways I envy the Europeans who have a totally different attitude to being bi- tri- or multi-lingual....

Little Quarter Bridge Tower

Looking towards neo-Renaissance National Theatre, completed in 1883.

Praha nightfall


"Please be a traveller, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what's right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in." ~ Andrew Zimmern


Sandy said...

Great night shots... you will be pro in no time. You must have been beat after that long day.

Anonymous said...

Love the photos and commentary. Keep it coming!!!


Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Linda, I am really enjoying my trip through Prague with you. I have toured through each of your posts. So much to see. such history and beauty. and you say there are MANY tourists. I thought so from some of your pictures.. must be a busy city.
It will be quite a change when you get back home to the quaintness of New Brunswick. All the best!

Wendy said...

Great photos these last few days...and commentary too!
I feel for feet were so sore by the end of each day, the cobbled streets are much more difficult on the feet and legs. Love your quote and I agree!

Pamela Gordon said...

Very beautiful night time shots, Linda. I'm glad you are being a traveller and taking it all in. I think I would be that way too. In fact. I am here in BC. I see so much beauty in this valley that my sister takes for granted. I'm glad you are enjoying it and are feeling safe. Blessings. Pam

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