Monday, September 30, 2013

Prague - Graffiti

I mentioned in an earlier post that the Graffiti is Prague is everywhere.  So one can complain about it or use it as the inspiration for a photograph or two.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Prague Language Issues

Someone told me that one authority had declared Czech to be the third most difficult language in the world to learn and I believe it.  For a language that uses many of the same letters as English (with a few little ticks and accents added for good measure) it is almost impossible to decode.  Check (Czech?) out the text on the manhole cover.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Prague - The Golden Lane

Within the walls of Prague Castle lies the Golden Lane, a picturesque street lined with very tiny buildings.  This is a detail photo of the entrance to one of them.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Prague Facades

Like most old world capitals, Prague has it's share of elaborately decorated building facades.  This one looks rather like a Wedgewood plate I think.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Prague Fenestration

I learned a new word in Prague - defenestration - which means to through someone you don't like very much out the window. Fenestration is the architectural term for openings in an exterior wall; windows and doors basically.  Here's a sample of some Prague fenestration.

Canon G15 image edited in Adobe Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro software.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Prague Street Lamps

I took loads of photos of this style of street lamp whilst in Prague; this one is my favourite.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prague in Black and White

When I was a kid most of the photos from behind the 'Iron Curtain' were black and white.  Prague and other eastern block cities always seemed like such gloomy places.  This photo is a representation of that era, made with the iPhone Hipstamatic app.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Prague and the Green Fairy

Absinthe is a very Bohemian liquor.  At one time it was thought to have hallucinating properties but this has been proven incorrect.   It is green in colour and was therefore referred to in some circles as the 'Green Fairy'.  Many bars in the Bohemian world have one of these on display; Absinthe would be poured into the glass chamber and dispensed via one of the spouts.  The whole affair supported by the figure of the Green Fairy herself.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Prague City Hall Tower

If you chose to make the ascent to the top of the Prague City Hall Tower you can take the stairs which is easy enough for the first few floors but when you get to the top there's a spiral stair - it is the dark half circle shape at the bright part of this photo.  If you have an aversion to heights however you can take the elevator which runs in the circular steel tube in this photo.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Prague Castle Ornamentation Under Foot

This is actually a vent for something beneath the sidewalk.  I was struck by the ornamentation in the stone work.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Prague Castle

Not much to say about this photo taken within the walls of Prague Castle.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prague St. Vitus Cathedral

Within Prague Castle stands St. Vitus Cathedral.  Featuring some of the best stained glass I've ever seen, St. Vitus is the most important church in the Czech Republic.  I was struck by the way the light shining through the windows coloured the old stone walls.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Prague Civic Squares

Like most European cities Prague has lots of public squares.  This photo was taken from the Old City Hall Tower; you can see people gathered to hear a group of musicians play.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Prague Public Art

I'm a big fan of public art installations.  These three figures are in a small public garden in Prague.  They are about 2/3 life size and are on a raised plinth that sets their eyes at about normal adult eye level.  The figures are dancers and their presence adds to the gardens pastoral feel.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Prague Graffiti

Graffiti is rampant in Prague.  True historic buildings and structures seem to be off limits but in the newer parts of the city it's everywhere.  Wanna get rich? Open a spray paint store in Prague.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Prague Castle

The iPhone got a good work out in Prague; regular visitors to my blog will recognize this photo of a ceiling within Prague Castle as being a product of the Hipstamatic app.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Prague Street Food

If you happen to be in a Prague civic square there's no excuse to go hungry.  Perhaps a whack of 'Prague Ham' cooked over a wood fire would do the trick?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Prague Street Details

Not much to say about this street photo; I'm pleased with the composition though.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Prague Street Cars

One of our fellow travelers observed that these Prague street cars looked like cast offs from the City of Toronto.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prague Through the Window

I have a confession to make, I took this photo in a no-photos zone.  But it's not really a photo of the premises so I think I can safely avoid jail time.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Prague - Astronomical Clock

The astronomical clock on the wall of the Old Town City Hall in Prague is remarkable in that it is the third oldest in the world dating from 1410 and that it still works.  Although I'm darned if I can work out how to read it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Prague - Bird's Eye View

When I travel I'm on the look out for photo opportunities that don't look like the usual tourist travel snap.  Sometimes the challenge is fighting for space to get the shot; the ledge around the top of the Old Town City Hall tower in Prague is narrow and congested so you have to be patient - not my strong suit I assure you.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Prague - Tour Guides

There's lots to see and do in Prague; you can opt for a self guided tour or you can sign up for a formal tour and follow the red umbrella.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Prague - The Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge is open to foot traffic only, with a healthy dose of improvised commercial activity thrown in....such as vending of trinkets, preparation of on the spot portraits and a host of other things to delight the masses.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Prague - The Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge over the Vltava River in Prague is likely one of the city's most photographed landmarks. Construction began in 1357 and it took 5 years to complete.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

London and the Tate Modern

One of my favourite art galleries is the Tate Modern in London.  Here it is viewed from the top of St. Paul's Cathedral with the London Millennium Bridge in the foreground.

The Tate Modern is a huge building but everything seems tiny when viewed from St. Paul's.

This is the end of this short series of London photos - tomorrow will start to take a closer look at Prague.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

London - Secret Alcoves

When you're out and about in London you often come across little fore-courts and plazas, sometimes in front of a gallery or civic building.  There was an art display in a building near this courtyard and some of the art work was on display outside.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

London - Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of the timeless symbols of London.  A few years ago I saw a documentary on the repainting of Tower Bridge; it involved the removal of decades old lead based paint that required all sorts of abatement procedures to keep the stuff out of the Thames.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Tower of London

The Beefeaters are  more correctly known as a Yeoman Warders of Her Majesty's Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Member of the Sovereign;s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary.  To qualify you must be a retired member of the armed forces of any Commonwealth nation with a minimum of 22 years service and have an exemplary service record as evidenced by having received the Long Service and Good Conduct medal.

The traditional red uniform is reserved for special occasions only; it is very hot and uncomfortable to wear and costs around 6000 pounds sterling to make, or around $10,000 Canadian.  Day to Day the Beefeaters dress in their blue 'undress uniform' as is this chap and serve mainly as guides and are a tourist attraction in their own right.  Beefeaters and their family live inside the tower walls until retirement.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Tower of London

'Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London.  No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.'

- Samuel Johnson

I've been lucky enough to have visited London many times and I never get tired of it.  Sure, it's congested and overrun with tourists but it is still one of - if not they - greatest cities in the world.

The Brits do pomp and circumstance better than anyone - not just occasionally but at many times and places every day.  Even though the Tower of London is visited by thousands of tourists every day it remains Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress and is therefore managed and guarded as such.

Striding on ahead of these guards was a Beefeater barking out commands to clear the way.  These guards are not mere props present only so tourists can photograph them.  Those are automatic weapons on their shoulders, baby.  Proof positive that these blokes mean business.