Caffeinated and now slightly inebriated, we continued our circle back through Gamla Stan having spotted earlier the Grand Hotel (Sdra Blasieholmshamnen 8). You don't need to be Rick Steves to have learned that hotel concierges are generally helpful whether you are staying at the hotel or not. So off we went to use their bathrooms and to bend the concierge's ear about places to eat.
Three places were recommended. We had already walked past one of them and another was too far to walk. So we settled on Restaurant Prinsen (Mster Samuelsgatan 4), which has been serving food at the same location since 1897.
Seattle sunset at Kerry Park
From the time that I'd lived in Seattle, I'd promised myself that I would return to Kerry Park at sunset and take a picture. The view is just stunning. Apparently, the secret has gotten out because tour buses would come and go, disgorging their loads to snap quick photos and pile back on. Meanwhile, the buses idle, spewing a fetid cloud of diesel exhaust that hangs over the viewpoint.
As the afternoon wears, couples begin to show up to get their pictures taken. One appears to have just come from their wedding, another is in that period running up to the wedding. The setting sun catches a ring, which shines brightly, rejecting the lengthening shadows.
It is quite a scene, with entrepreneurial kids setting up lemonade stands to sell lemonade for 25 cents and roses for fifty cents.
With the anointed hour approaching, other photographers start coming out to the point to snap their own photos, each of whom carries with them thousands of dollars worth of gear, making my little Canon PowerShot look woefully inadequate.
Piazza del Duomo
The Piazza was fairly crawling with tourists seemingly lost despite the handy signage.
Last view of St. Vitus Cathedral
At some point, I figured it was getting late and someone might have started worrying about me. I still had to go to Old Town Square to photograph that at night, but I had to stop here at the foot of Charles Bridge just to soak the beauty of the city in just one last time.
St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle
There are many towers in Prague that you can climb up for a small fee. I think that you can even buy a pass to go up all of the towers. And so, as the sun began to set and with the light fading, there was no time to evaluate the most economical option; the race was on to get to the top and set up alongside all the other photographers that had figured that the best way to get above all the tourists milling on the Charles Bridge was to get up above them.
Packing up once the sun had set, we headed down rejoin the tourist throngs. Spiraling down the stone steps, I paused for a moment at an opening and looked back out on the scene as if to imprint it in my mind. Suddenly, I noticed that the buildings were being lit up. "Oh crap!" I exclaimed. "They light the buildings up at night," I continued as I looked to the wife with puppy dog eyes pleading her to allow me to go back up to the top of the tower and take more pictures.
Le Tour d'Eiffel
With a few days left before we were to head home, we returned the rental car that had transported us from Paris to Chablis, Dijon, Beaune, and Southern France at Marseille, hopped on a TGV and ended up in Paris.
I've had the goal of shooting Disney Hall in Los Angeles yet never seemed to have managed to arrange it. Getting to the top of Bunker Hill, I did a quick walk by to "scout" out the best angles and views. I settled on this one, at the corner of South Grand and West 2nd.
More scenes from Prague
If my photography is ever cataloged, this and the other scenes of Prague could be titled my pencil sketch period, like Picasso's blue period.
Perhaps I was a cartoonist for the New Yorker in a past life.
Piazza della Repubblica
The wandering eventually lead us to the Piazza della Repubblica by which time the skies were beginning to clear. Featured there in the square is the Carousel Antica Giostra Toscana.
Open window in stucco wall
Back among the casitas with their clay tile roofs and stucco walls, I came across an open window that seemed like it could be an interesting subject for a photograph. Back home and months removed, whatever the inspiration was for the shot had dissipated. So I rolled up my sleeves and processed the stuffing out of the photo.
Maybe it's the stucco, but there's something nostalgic about the result of my photographic subversion.
We awoke to a blue sky and warming temperatures. As we investigated our lodgings that morning, a mystery remained about where the supposed views advertised on the airbnb site were hiding. Finally, poking my head up through the second floor skylight using the handy footstool that was kept nearby ostensibly for just such a purpose, you do see the dome of the Duomo through the city skyline.
We had booked a car to take us from the airport in Prague to our AirBnB in Praha 1 figuring that it would be easier to do that than navigate the public transportation system or take a taxi. We had strategically selected our AirBnB to put us in the middle of things, within walking distance of most of the major sites, like the Charles Bridge.
As we had done in Stockholm, the first thing we did was start to wander.
Palace of Fine Arts
With the blue hour approaching, we headed back to the Palace of Fine Arts.
Point Bonita Lighthouse
All I can think of after three hours of playing around in Zoner 15 is franken-photo. What I did to these images was not natural. But it's all I can do with limited talent.
I should probably go eat something for dinner now.