Translation.. Welcome to Prague (says Google). I found this airhead early on our first day… this city is quite beautiful but it has an overly tourist feeling too it… might be the hundreds of tour buses everywhere!
I know.. I know.. I was also a tourist.. but perhaps one that more blends into the crowd It is certainly a beautiful city with a lot to see… prepare your walking shoes because that is the best way to get around. There were further places outside of the immediate city to travel too, but we occupied ourselves around the old town and up near the castle. We also walked through the parks up the hill to the TV Tower.
The beauty of travelling around in Europe and this has been a common theme throughout all of my photos for the time of year is the flowers. Spring time is amazing and the vibrant colours and gardens are everywhere.
This shot I think works as a classic feel for a classic city. There is a lot of Prague which is now modern, disturbed and altered but there are still many glimpses of the old city throughout the town. There is an abundance of great food and restaurants to visit. Definitely need to try some potato dumplings and goulash. Beer is cheap as well.. with great choices of Urquell or Budvar.. (Budvar being my favourte) for as little as 15 czech crowns. This works out to be about $0.75 AUD (at current exchange). Not only is it cheap, but it beats any Australian beer hands down.
This shot was taken from the Charles bridge.. made famous for me by Mission Impossible which was shot around Prague. One of my favourite movies (even if it does feature Tom Cruise). This bridge is packed, I would love to get there for a sunrise and beat the crowds. Even at 8am the crowds pile onto the bridge, must be the tour busses sneaking in a visit before heading off for the day. The weather was like Melbourne in Prague… 4 seasons in a day and unfortunately it did have an effect on my shots. We did venture out on wet days, bare the brunt and take it on so we didnt miss out on seeing sights but I would generally lock my camera away. Lesson Learnt: Also have a point and shoot camera with you!
The full set can be seen here.
Till next time..
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Annnnnnnnnd we’re back.. the wonderful city that is Paris. What an architectural phenomenon this place is. It is quite amazing that Paris is so large yet retains such an even feel in the history, architecture and style of the city. This may be boosted by the fact they have provisions in place to ensure it remains that way, but it certainly makes Sydney look like a mismatched Mr Potato Head.
These photos bring back some great memories of a fine city. It perhaps wasnt my favourite city in terms of the general feel I had but it definitely gives off a special vibe. It is a photographer’s wonderland and I wish i had more time to spare and more places to explore. We travelled a lot around Paris, with mixed weather results but the big names really did not fail to deliver. The whole Eiffel Tower and surrounding area is full of amazing gardens, walks, buildings and generally just has an ‘epic’ feel too it.
The louvre is somewhere I wish we had stopped, we were outside but did not dedicate the time too visit. I think I will definitely put it on my next visit list We did however in our epic walking check out the beautiful Luxembourg gardens and enjoyed a fantastic afternoon in the sun. A pond with some small wooden boats which seem to be in everyone’s photos.. oh well.. cant help but be a little cliche on euro trips can we?
A lot of our immediate travels in Paris also were in the areas around where we stayed, namely Montmartre. There is many parks, hills and roads to venture along and explore. With the streets riddled with restaurants, cafes and shops we had no trouble checking out the town. It was also in close proximity to Moulin Rouge. We ventured the streets around, and found where Van Gough used to live for a period of time in the area. Unfortunately the house had burnt down in the 70′s, but has been restored to a close point.
These steps were killer to climb, but provided a fantastic view of paris from Basilique du Sacre Coeur (photo #2).
Springtime was just gorgeous in every European city we visited and I know for some they must be boring but I just love the colours and the vibrance of flowers in spring. This was an off chance photo as we walked into a small garden area, whilst being lost for an entrance to an apparently important Napoleon building.
What is amazing is that since I remember the places the photos were taken, I can now go back and tag them in google maps in relation to where they are stored on flickr. If you have an interest in where any of these shots were taken please feel free to contact me. Paris is an amazing place and dont be scared of the Parisians.. the key is not to assume they all speak english (or to them, should speak english just for you). Picking up on the lingo goes a long way, introduce yourself and attempt to say it correctly and they generally take the burden away from your lips
Now we didnt just magically arrive in Paris from nowhere, we actually spent 2 nights in St Malo which is in Brittany in the North West of France. We had gotten the ferry from Guernsey to Brittany, with the plan of getting the train to Paris… not much excitement from St Malo unfortunately, we got stuck with lousy coastal french weather and expensive beer.. it is where the baguettes and cans of beer were born tho (including a 12.5% trappist monk bear that was like drinking syrup!). Unfortunately I didnt get much in the way of exciting photos from the old town in St Malo, however I have processed a shot of one of the coastal structures and hope you like it.
Till next time..
Till next time..
Stop number… six on Euro Trip 09 is Amsterdam.. known for it’s colourful history, architecture, culture and people.. this amazing city had been very well hyped up.. and it didnt fail to deliver. Unfortunately in terms of photography, I was inspired but I think I failed to capture what I saw (whilst i retain all my memories, unlike most people’s visits to Amsterdam).. i certainly did find it to be a magical place.
Bikes, as indicated by the first photo is definitely one major part of Amsterdam life and culture.. they are everywhere.. they have right of way.. they scare the bejebus out of you! We headed around on one of the bike tours offered by New Europe and it was a great way to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time. We actually chose a beautiful day as well, which was handy.. but I decided against taking the camera due to logistics, and boy I was sorry after wards
So what to do in Amsterdam? Well everyone says go visit the coffee shop.. and what does that look like? Well here is one method of coffee.. Amsterdam style (wow it is really coffee )
And what do you eat? Well Chips and Mayo of course!.. ok well we were on a backpacker budget and food in Amsterdam is certainly not cheap! One of the best (and also claims to be the best) Chip shops in the world we found on Damrak between Dam Square and the railway station. Infact.. i think we ate there twice in a row (within an hour of each other).
Of course.. I should say Frites but im sure you can overlook that part of this article. There is just so much to do and see.. Amsterdam has beautiful parks.. the Vondelpark and Flevopark as well as the gorgeous canals that surround the center of town.
We ventured into the Heineken Brewery Tour, Van Gough Gallery, Windmill Brewery & Bar and we walked past the Anne Frank Huis.
So why did I leave the red light district to last you might say? Well.. what more can be said.. what an interesting and colourful part of the town.. but one I certainly wouldnt take my camera to. If you actually were able to manage to take a decent photo between the drunken bucks parties or people sniggering at the talent in the window.. then the bouncers might jump out and kindly relieve you of that burden you call a camera.
All in all a very photogenic place, and somewhere I would like to spend time to really capture some amazing photos in the future. I leave you with a shot from the platform, around 6am .. the day we left for Berlin.. and the place I will write about next.
Till next time..
Next stop on my alphabetical european adventure is Munchen! Set in the heart of Bavaria, this beautiful city which is home to events such as Oktoberfest offers a wide variety of drinking and photo opportunities. Munchen has many different beer halls and gartens, scattered around this well laid out city. It oozes european style with architecture and garten design making for a great place to visit.
We spent the most part exploring most of this town, and infact lots of walking around in circles looking for schnitzel and bier. The Glockenspiel is one of the most (if not the most) overrated attractions in Europe.. infact I would skip it altogether if Marienplatz wasnt in the middle of everything. The shopping is great too, with a wide variety of stores and styles.
Personal favourites for Beer visits was the Englisher Garten and the Hofbrau Haus… the Paulaner Bier Garten was nice as well, however a bit out of the way (tho we did wak there, should have just got the tram!). Well within day trip reach of Munchen is also numerous places.. including quick trips into Austria to visit places like Eagle’s Nest (near Salzburg).
So on the train we went… we saw some cool stuff… amazing views from the train window of the snow capped mountains..
We decided to head towards Neuschwanstein Castle.. which is what Walt Disney used as a design element for his classic animation Fantasia.
This is a beautiful and classic building and one of the most breathtaking vies I had in europe. There is a draw bridge on the opposite side of the castle, unfortunately that side of the castle is under restoration (much like the rest of europe) and this meant a whole lot of scaffolding.. unfortunately I feel this just takes away from the building itself so have not included further shots of the castle. Definitely recommend a visit at one stage if visiting Europe or Munich itself.
The view as i mentioned was fantastic, as there are beautiful lakes filled with crystal blue water from the snow capped mountain tops.. it really feels like im talking about a fairy tale! This is the Alpsee lake with the view from the castle… it was gorgeous and I will leave the story of Munchen here. As usual click below for the full set.
So, 12 months on (well more like 14 for London) and I have finally finished editing.
What a great city, pardon the rude title but its very fitting from a great movie (Snatch.)
This was where i learnt the most in my short time.. since leaving home and actually having to learn to use my camera, there was the most shots out of any other city, the most swear words and the most frustration. But funnily enough in the end, after some processing some of my favourites.
I hope you enjoy and please click through and check out the whole set.
“The name ‘Interlaken’ actually means "between the lakes" – Lake Thun and Lake Brienz to be precise and water is omnipresent throughout the area with idyllic clear mountain streams and waterfalls running off the hills and into the lakes. Interlaken is the secret capital Switzerland’s beautiful Bernese Oberland. The town is located between the lakes of Thun and Brienz, at the foot of the towering trio of the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau. Interlaken is located in the German-speaking heart of Switzerland.”
This was one of my favourite places in Europe due to the scenery.. ive never had my breath taken away by sheer spectacular beauty!
We headed up to Schilthorn where they shot the 1968 James Bond movie On her Majesty’s Secret Service with Australian George Lazenby.
Lauterbrunnen was gorgeous, however we didnt head up to Jungfrau.
I wish i had some more time, and a car because there are so many other places in the Alps i would LOVE to explore one day.
Hope you enjoy,
Till next time..
From the vault.. as many may not know I spent 9 weeks backpacking across Europe in early 2009. I have over time created numerous sets of each city I visited and I am looking to get these all finished before July this year.
So here is one I just finished, this is Kraków, Poland.
“Kraków (Polish pronunciation: [krakuf], also spelled Krakow or Cracow (English pronunciation: /?kræka?/, is the 2nd largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland and a popular tourist destination. Its historic center was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites as the first of its kind. Situated on the Vistula river (Polish: Wis?a) in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centers of Polish academic, cultural and artistic life, and is one of Poland’s most important economic centers. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Kraków from 1846 to 1918, and the capital of Kraków Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1999. It is now the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.
The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland’s second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill, and was already being reported as a busy trading center of Slavonic Europe in 965. With the emergence of the Second Polish Republic, and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic center, with the establishment of new universities and cultural venues.”
It is a beautiful town however unfortunately I did not make the most of the photography opportunities (combined with weather). I also decided not to take photos when visiting Auschwitz, perhaps next time i visit.
The people are vibrant, the town is pretty and it is highly recommended.
I will each day post up links to my other sets for each city in Europe.
Till next time..