On the Sunday, I managed to drag myself out of bed at 4 am to catch the sunrise, my second time, and now something I try to do with many of my trips. On the way to the Charles Bridge, I passed the Rudolfinum, named in honour of Crown Prince Rudolph of Habsburg and now home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, whom I was lucky enough to watch play.
Getting up for the sunrise is not just to admire how beautiful everything automatically looks, bathed in the soft light — it’s more the quiet and feeling like I have the place to myself.
Look at how empty Charles Bridge was compared to the first day in the afternoon, when you can barely move without walking into someone!
I bumped into a couple on holiday from Malaysia — yay! — who offered to take some photos for me. Over the four or five days of that trip in June, I met about five Malaysians.
But of course, you can expect to share the sunrise with photographers…
And tourists. And drunk people stumbling home from partying on Saturday night.
On one side of Charles Bridge, we have this charming yellow house…
And pretty buildings on the other.
St Philip Benizi, one of the many statues on Charles Bridge.
The sun really warming things up.
Any idea who this is?
It’s a nice day for a bridal shoot.
I was a little sleepy, but the empty cobbled alleys were just so inviting.
The famous Astrological Clock of the Town Hall, acquired in the early 15th century. The story goes, it was rebuilt by a master clockmaker, Jan Z Růže, and he did such a great job that to avoid him recreating this masterpiece elsewhere, the town councillors had him blinded. Every hour, a show occurs involving the statues you see.
To the left are Vanity, who checks himself out in the mirror, and Greed, based on the stereotype of a Jewish moneylender. To the right are Death — who starts off the show with a tug of the rope with one hand whilst the other raises and inverts an hourglass — and the Turk, representing lust. Don’t you love how un-PC one of Prague’s top attractions is? I never managed to photograph the 12 Apostles popping out of the windows because embarrassingly, I had the camera pointed at the wrong spot, plus the one time I had the Town Square to myself (and a dozen other people), I missed the show. Twice.
There are so many details I forgot about the trip, but I do remember that boy and girl sat on the bench having a heart-to heart about what to do with their lives after university. Hey, I couldn’t help that I was within earshot and sunrise is a quiet time.
Check out part two of my Prague at sunrise post..