This expanse of dramatic clouds, Petrin Hill, and the Vltava River was across the street from our hotel in Prague. While always a gorgeous view, most evenings brought rain instead of this kind of skyscape. I was lucky to find this scene on the final night of the trip.
Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being takes place in these environs of Prague, and something of the dramatic clouds and deep black of this image reminded me of that novel.
Much like Manhattan’s Central Park, Prague’s Petřín is (in part) a demonstration of the will and effort required on the part of a city to maintain green spaces. Once they become part of the city’s identity (as in those aforementioned cases), they exist in a space orthogonal to modern real estate development.
Prague’s Charles Bridge is centuries-old, covered in statues, and seemly perpetually mobbed. We visited during the off-season (November) and never saw the bridge without plenty of company. Perhaps the best part of the visit, though, was staying adjacent to the bridge in the Smetana Hotel, looking out over the Vltava (and crossing the bridge on many of our adventures around the city.)
From up close, the hotel is easier to find, but small triangle park across the street from the hotel is still not visible from this angle, making the the geometry of the ground floor and the street outside escheresque.
We were visiting Prague in the off-season—that’s what we heard from every cab driver and waiter. Though gentle spring breezes had been replaced with nascent winter gusts, there were numerous benefits; the relative sparsity of fellow tourists in Old Town made for easy access to the city’s sights. Two of the subtler benefits are captured in this image: (1) the bare branches opened new views of the skyline, and (2) the Smetana hotel (just across the river) where we stayed had a spectacular room overlooking the Vltava open for us.
Prague’s Old Town Hall may appear ancient from its exterior, but its recently-renovated interior includes this dramatic elevator (the four lights are the bottom of the car) in its helical cage.
The view from the top (where that elevator leads) is far more traditional. My favorite detail of this big image is the contrast between the enormous, dramatic Prague Castle in the distance and the little shop door in the foreground.