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my travelling lens

 

my travelling lens

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my travelling lens

Prague - CharlesBridge

Prague

The holiday beings and we fly from Vancouver, non-strop on Air France to Paris, and transfer on an Air France flight to Prague. The flights were fine, however, this holiday started like last year's with Glenn's luggage being lost. You would think with all the scanning of luggage etc that takes place that if the luggage is still in Paris, or Vancouver, they would be able to tell you. But no. So all we know if they will look for it and deliver it to our apartment as soon as it is delivered. Now here is a case where it is actually easier if you are in a hotel. They can just drop off the bag at the desk. For with apartment rentals, someone has to be home to be able to accept the bag.

Next time I think the carry-on bag probably has to carry more than camera equipment but for day two it starts with a shopping trip to get underwear, a couple of T-Shirts and shirts. In the end, the luggage did get delivered the next day.

The Black House of the Madonna, the Cubist Museum of Prague was very interesting. The sight I wanted to see was the Edison Staircase.

Our apartment was fantastic and in a very good location, about a block and a half from the Old Town Square, the centre of the historic district. Prague was stunning. The historic centre is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site has been described as a "3D architecture textbook".

Known as the city of a thousand spires, there is an endless amount of great classic architecture. Some dates back back 1,100 years. We liked the old feel to the city.

Click the thumbnail for larger image and slide presentation.

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From the Old Town Centre we would talk down to the river, pass through the Powder Gate, one of the original city gates to the town, and cross the the famous iconic Charles Bridge. The bridge is known for its many fine old statues.

At the other end of the bridge are two gate towers that lead to The Lesser Quarter. It really means the Little Side and refers to the town that sits below the castle which is smaller than the larger old town centre on the other side of the river.

Up the hill is the Prague Castle which towers overall the area. The Castle is the former home of Bohemia's kings and now the official residence of the Czech Republic's President.

Glenn had two visits to the Castle. On his first, he tripped on a small ledge, fell and destroyed his camera lens. Ouch for the fall and ouch for the expense of replacing the lens.

The Castle dates back to 970 AD, is was a walled fortress with a series of buildings within the walls. One of the noted structures is the St. Vitus Cathedral, located in the Prague Castle, is the Czech Republic's largest and most important Christian church. It was impressive and do climb up the cathedral's 97-meter main tower for great views. Yes, climb even if you have a quasi broken hip!

After the fall Glenn headed back home on the Tram. It was painful enough with a soar hip, but the pain would be too much to walk with Mike, watch him take pictures! Luckily there was a large camera store open on the Sunday. There were four floors of camera equipment. Easy. Pick up a new lens and all the required accessories like a polarizer etc. --- $2,000 later walk out of the store and return to the castle for what was left of the day.

Just walking around Prague is enjoyable. There were numerous quaint streets and scenes to capture. We even stumbled by accident on the Lennon Wall, built as a tribute to the former musician and peace campaigner, John Lennon.

But in addition to the told, there is stunning new architecture. The Dancing House (Tančící dům) is an outstanding building completed between 1992 and 1996 by star architect Frank Gehry. It consists of two adjoining towers. There are splendid curves that resemble two dancing figures, an effect heightened by the fact one of the towers is shaped like a woman wearing a skirt (hence the nickname, "Fred and Ginger" after famous American dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers).

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    The Old Town Square is located between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge. Classic architecture surrounds the square including the Our Lady Before Tyn chuch which has stood there since the 14th Century.
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    Beautiful architecture of the buildings along Old Town Square.
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    The Astronomical Clock, installed in 1410, it is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the work.

    Big crowds form at the hour to watch the two small doors at the top of the clock open showing figures of the Apostles. I was thinking they actually came out of the clock, but no, the doors open and there they are!
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    The clock is an iconic treasure for the city. Here a large poster fills the window of a nearby store. Heck, I liked the clock enough that an image of the clock is now my iPad screen shot.
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    I like the streets of Prague, as they were warm and inviting.
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    Our apartment was in an interesting are with old streets and walkways.
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    The Charles Bridge dates back to 1357 and was built by King Charles IV taking considering time before finished at the beginning of the 15th Century. It has always been an important structure in Prague. Until 1841 it was the only means of crossing the Vltava River which runs through Prague. The bridge is guarded by three towers: two of them on the Lesser Quarter Site (below the castle) and one on the Old Town side. There are 30 statues along the brigde, they were added in 1700.
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    The Charles Bridge is busy from early in the morning with wedding shots and tourists who don't sleep until well into the night.
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    Crossing the Charles Bridge leads to the area called the Lesser Quarter. This is the old town that is at the base of castle. What a collection of towers and spires great you as you cross the bridge from the Old Town.

    The towers were built in the second half of the 15th Century, after the bridge was completed. The smaller tower on the left was the tower of the Judith bridge which was destroyed in a flood and replaced by the Charles Bridge.
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    Looking across from the Old Town area towards the castle.
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    One of the benefits of being part of a photography community, and using social media, is the connection with others. I follow Chris Jaggard, a great photographer, and he wrote to say not to miss the Edison Staircase in the House of the Black Madonna.

    This is a cubist building in Prague that holds the Czech Museum of Cubism. In addition to the stunning staircase, the historic Grand Café Orient is also located in the building.
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    I finally visited Prague Castle after I replaced my smashed camera lens. No pictures in the main palace, which is the current residence of the President. The castle is a complex of buildings and streets that are all behind the castle wall.

    St George’s Basilica was very appealing to me because of its simplicity of design. Parts of the original 920 structure remain but most of what stands today is from 1142.
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    One of the key sights, is St. Vitus Cathedral. This is the cathedral will all coronations of Czech Kings and Queens have taken place. A massive church. It dates back to the 1400s.
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    St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle
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    Lennon Wall
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    Dancing House
    A joint project of Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry. Built in 1996 it was built on a vacant lot, vacant from bombing in 1945! Designed to have two parts, a static and dynamic.

From Prague we traveled by private driver to Vienna, our next stop. We did stop at the Hrad Cesky Sternberk Castle. It is a 13th Century castle, considered one of the best preserved. Owned and still lived in by the family.