Prague was the next city on a whirlwind backpacking adventure, and I found it to be one full of mystery and charm. That, added with the gloom that spread over the region during my stay, made for a somewhat melancholic but intriguing atmosphere. So with my Samsung SMART CAMERA in hand I was determined to capture the mystique that encompassed my first alluring impression of Prague.
The Charles Bridge is one iconic site, and for good reason, since it offers a beautiful view of the Vltava River. Walking over the bridge is both as peaceful as it is entertaining. You’re able to see both sides of Prague and a skyline dotted with old and intricate architecture. On the the more theatrical side, the bridge itself is sprinkled with street performers, local artists, and vendors selling everything from kitsch postcards and magnets to artisan crafts.
There was definitely something mesmerizing about Prague. Seeing the boats glide down the river reminded me of being a little kid watching paper ships slowly drifting down rain gutters. Somehow watching something so simple seemed to simplify the world around me, and I could just stand there and watch the river change underneath me for the rest of the day.
Night Mode: Prague Lights Up, NX300 | 1/20 | f/3.5 | ISO 800 | 18mm
When you venture into Old Town Prague you’re welcomed with a cobblestone square filled with fire dancers, live music, and food stands. However, at night Prague’s city streets light up and command attention to the surrounding buildings. By using the NIGHT MODE feature on my Samsung NX300 I was able to capture how the lights reflected on the cobblestone streets.
However the main attraction of the main square is Prague’s famous astronomical clock (see below). Legend says that the clock’s creator, Mikuláš of Kadaň, was renowned for his work on this elaborate piece of craftsmanship which featured tiny characters that danced around the clock’s mini doors every hour. His skills were so famous that countries from all over wanted to hire him to procure such elaborate clocks in their own townships. However, afraid that their clock might be topped by other nations, the councilors of Prague had Mikuláš blinded. In retaliation, Mikuláš threw himself into the clock’s inner workings, destroying it, and putting a curse on all those who dare to repair it. Today the clock stands tall in Prague’s Old Square, and people come from all over the world to see Mikuláš’ figures dance at each strike of the hour.
With most cities, my favorite part was the street art, which in Prague seemed to be centralized along the West bank of the river. Here I stumbled across everything from graffiti stained walls to communal wall messages; from eerie faceless statues to Roy Lichtensteinesque murals. Walking the streets of Old Town, you’d never guess Prague had such a hidden artistic side, and for me half the fun was wandering around discovering the different faces of the city, where ghostly medieval myths collide with sporadic injections of modern art.