Friday, July 31, 2015

Prague, Czech - Sunset and Moonrise from Charles Bridge

Curiosity got the best of me and I opened my "PhotoPills" app on my phone to see get time information for the full moon rise and the sunset.  As luck would have it, both would occur within an hour or so of each other.  And the best spot would be from the Charles Bridge, a famous bridge in the Old Town part of Prague.  I found a few travelers from the group that were open to walking tonight (remember, we arrived in Prague this afternoon!!).  We had to have a nice pace to get through the town and to the bridge with enough time to scout out the perfect spot.  Jim knew the way, so off I went with sisters Martha and Jane.

We started off on our street Na Porcini to nám. Republic (Republic Square).  In the distance I see the top of a beautiful building dome.  This is Francouzská restaurace Art Nouveau, a beautifully restored art nouveau restaurant.  I can't stop to visit now, but you can take a brief pause and look at the old and new photos here

 Across the street I see Divadio Hibernia, a repertory theatre building on the site of a former 17th century Irish Franciscan monastery.
 Back to the art nouveau restaurant.  Kavárna Obecni Dûm is a coffee shop next to the fancy art nouveau restaurant.  Wow. Beautiful!
The tall dark building is The Powder Tower.  It is a city gate, built in 15th century, destroyed in the Battle of Prague and restored. It is a landmark in this area as in "turn right at the Powder Tower".

We turned right at the Powder Tower on to the street Celetná.  Some street musicians working the crowd.
 Stay on Celetná for a block or two until you reach the large open plaza.  This is "Old Town Square". On the left is Staroméstská Restaurace, a long standing Czech beer restaurant.  On the right is a large tower, Old Town Hall and the Astronomical Tower.
 Left is the astronomical clock tower, and on the right side are the towers of

Chrám Svatého Mikuláše.  High tech taxis wait for people in need of a lift home.

 I turned quickly to get the sun shining off the towers of Church of Our Lady before Tyn.

 Dodged the crowds and walked on nam Male (street name) past the clock.  The clock is known for its intricate works as an astronomical clock.  Old Town Hall is a 14th century tower.

 Marker in the pavement.  The street Male Namesti twists and turns. We follow signs (haha) and take the right at Karlova.
 Karlova twists left and right until it meets another plaza in front of the Catholic Church Kostel Nejsvětějšího Salvátora.  The golden hour was upon us and the beautiful light put an amber glow on the face of the church.
 The group made plans to meet later.  I started my photo tour at the fence with the locks. Shout-out to Kalen and Tiffany...all lock photos are for you!
 Looking at the Charles Bridge with its statues.
 Across the river, the sun dips behind the castle and church on the hill.
 Golden light makes the riverside buildings glow.

 Bridge street light and shadow silhouettes against the glowing sky.
 Businesses start to turn on lights reflecting amber on the river.
 We enter the "blue hour" following the sunset.

 Lights are suddenly every where: on the castle wall and in the street lights.  More restaurant lights reflect on the river.
 It's time to leave.  I turn around to see the castle glowing in the night and the photographers lined at the fence.

Some fun shots from the night.  My iPhone panoramic of the Charles Bridge and the river.
 The city lights are too bright to see the Milky Way but I am always curious.  IFFFF we could see it, this is what it would look like from the Charles Bridge in Prague.  Wow.  (Taken with the PhotoPills app on my iPhone.)
 I traced my route back to the hotel.  It is very interesting how black the sky now is.  Gone is the Blue Hour and we are now pure night sky.  I didn't have to look at my map very often, just follow the crowds.

It took me about 40 minutes to walk back to the hotel. The other travelers said that they couldn't find me and decided to leave at 9:00.  I waited about 15 minutes and left at 9:30.

And I did get my moon rise over Prague photo.

Prague, Czech - Charles Bridge

I researched and saw that tonight was going to have perfect conditions, location and timing. Sunset on Charles Bridge. Lovely blue hour. And a full moon rising right in time with the blue hour. Add street lights and building lights, a river and a bridge and BAM!!! Magic.

I took a few samples on my phone to post for the moment. 

Lovers and locks. 

While I was identifying where the moon was going to rise, I saw that the Milky Way looked awesome. This is an app. It was too light to see it. 

Moon on the rise. Reflections in water. Lovely Blur Hour (follows sunset and is the time before the night sky turns black)

Castle in the hill. 

Old Town Square and astrological click. 


"There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Prague, Czech - Street Scenes on Na Porici

After check in, I decided to take a photo walk on my street Na Porici to become familiar with the area.  This seems to be a good transportation street.  I've seen buses and a network of street cars.

 I crossed the street to get a full length photo of my Art Deco Imperial Hotel with a view of Cafe Imperial on the bottom.  Notice the corner position of the cafe with views from the tall windows.

The center opening is access to multiple interior stores.  The seating outside was for an ice cream and drinks small storefront.

 A nearby shopping center.  This website has an interesting commentary:
The Bílá labuť department store is a sad reminder of what shopping used to be like in Czechoslovakia of the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, the Na Poříčí store with its revolving swan above the entrance was the place to shop. Today, the depressing, ugly building stands almost forgotten. The reason to go there is to transport oneself back in time. 
 A cheese store.  Too bad that I don't have an in room refrigerator!

 Window shopping for treasures.

This is an art couch by Alexandra Koláčková. She is an artist who works with large scale ceramic pieces. Her website is  The majority of the work displayed on her website is colorful and found in public spaces.

 These are displays in the Bila Labut window.

THIS is a display window in a liquor store.

I am back at the hotel and going to prep for our opening night cocktail party.