Category Archives: Photos

Praha – the city of red roofs

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In many books, she is referred to as the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’, ‘Golden City’, ‘Symphony in Stone’, ‘Mother of Cities’ and ‘Paris of the East’. On few online pages, some call her casually the city of red roofs -a name I prefer to use. Any panoramic photograph of Prague one takes from any corner of the city, captures a cluster of its signature red-tiled roofs. 

I am not sure how long exactly it took me to get this shot right with my new Canon EOS 400 back then;  all I remember is that I angered my mother and few other people on the city tour trying to obtain a proper focus of the gloomy horizon. We were there in August 2007 and still managed to experience steady rain and clouds for an entire week.

Skyline of red roofs, cathedral spires and Vltava river - Prague - August 2007

 I took this second photo from the stairs going down to the Lesser Quarter while heading to the castle – I think. I don’t recall we entered a castle but stood outside what looked like a castle for what felt like quite a stretch of time. I don’t pay attention much in tours, I remember in one country I had to cancel and claim a refund when I found out I’m alone on the tour. I made a big scene in order to get my money back, demanding to speak to a senior person, someone who understands psychology, yes I did that!  Finally I got someone who grasped my ‘I cannot take a one-to-one guide focusing all his attention on me FOR A FULL DAY and compromising -in such case crowding- my space’. I tag along with a group, connecting at times, retreating at others into my own thoughts, day dreams, photography, reading, etc. which I do at my own pace, mood and comfort. Hmmm did I just say too much now? 😛 

Back to Prague, the view is breathtaking from up there. What I liked most in addition to viewing and taking photos of the red roofscape was walking down the cobbled streets and admiring the coloured buildings on both sides. We walked much that day, so much that the first thing I did once the tour was over was without much guessing: lunching + local beering + surrendering to my mother and her million and one hmmm adorable comments.

Wanderlust

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Though many know-it-all’s suspect I do it to withdraw from life’s uncertainties and escape irrational emotions, I beg to differ. I thought about it over and over again, because this is what I do –I think. So if I ever paused in the past, reflecting, yet mistakenly appearing like I accepted such an incorrect opinion, I take that ‘idle’ position back and make clear that:

I travel because I love it. Passionnément. I love the sense of confidence travel gives me, the emotional security, the taste of the mysterious and the unconventional, the fulfillment and inspiration which keep me going months afterwards, until my next trip.

I don’t use it to run away; quite the opposite, travel keeps me afloat in my agitated sea of dramas, where every now and then my relationships and plans -of all kinds- grow complicated, confusing, exasperating and dull, where at times I question everything I once wanted and fought for relentlessly. Each time I’m lost, travel helps me detach reasonably from people and things, break free and take on an almost miraculous perspective on life, embracing being lost instead of freaking out.

Pele Mele

Is it a shocker that I long for it when I have the time, opportunity and funds? Travel is the only constant in my life, the only thing which never failed me or my memories. Talking of which, I put together a collage of some photos from places I visited: Florence, Venice, Paris, Versailles, Montmartre, Damascus, Prague, Bahrain, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Istanbul (click once and then a second time to see details). Jordan, Bangkok and Pukhet did not make the collection unfortunately but are safely tucked on the shelf over here in pre-digital-era albums. I sadly realized tonight that I lost somewhere between my house/city moves the photos of Amsterdam, Rome, Capri, Naples and Doha … calling for another visit I guess?;)