Friday, May 05, 2006

Prague Oct 1991

This is my favorite picture from Prague. I was there in October 1991 travelling with five other students. This was soon after the wall had come down so the city was not ready for the influx of tourists. Accomodations were quite different than other cities. There were no hostels or hotels. We arrived late at night after the tourist office had closed. Running out of options we decided to take up the offer of one of the many people in the train station offering a place to stay. Shortly we found ourselves following our guide through dark deserted winding streets. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I thought it was a set-up and at any moment a large mob would descend on us.

We ended up at a residence where the family gave up their beds for us to sleep and prepared us breakfast the next morning. Unfortunately it was the one city on our trip where nobody spoke the local language and almost no locals spoke English. So it was quite awkward with no means of communication. We thanked them as best we could. The price was very cheap, but it was still odd to sleep in their beds while they slept on the couch.

Prague was a beautiful city even at that time before they cleaned it up for the Westerners. It was kinda like a majestic city that now had a layer of grime from the communist years. Even with the grime it was quite a beautiful city. It is one of my favorites. I seem to have an odd affection for slavic and germanic locales even though it is a very small part of my heritage. Maybe it's because I grew up in a German neighborhood.

I like this photo because of the perspective, the old trolley and the lights of the old car. It is a bit out of focus because of a hand held slow shutter speed at twilight.


mhg said...


Any hope of you posting more photos from Prague (circa 1991)? I was in and out of the city in '90 and '91 but came up short on the photos, so I'm slowly trying to rebuild a gallery of sorts by drawing on other peoples' work.



Unknown said...

Matt, I hope to post more photos from Prague, but it may take a while. I'll move them up on the priority list.

mhg said...

Thanks! Those were amazing times . . . thinking of which, maybe I'll see you in Havana one day.