Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Positively Photos

 by Mauverneen

Me, in Prague. We climbed to the top of this multi terraced garden (I'll have to look up the name of it) the first of two such gardens that day. There was a wedding shoot going on, and when our group snuck in to take our pics against this wonderful view, someone in the professional group took our phones, posed us, and took our photos! 

Everyone knows I take photos - lots and lots of photos. I have boxes of them from when I had a film camera, and a couple more boxes from my relatives who have passed on. And now, in the digital age, I have hundreds if not thousands, stored on my computer, on camera cards, on thumb drives, on - well, you get the picture.I've been trying to clean up my digital files lately, so as to free up space on my pc, spending a little time each day on the effort. A daunting task, given my trigger finger. If I had been doing this all along, as I downloaded new batches... but I didn't, so... Going forward, I'm going to be more diligent. I have been deleting duplicates, blurry pics, and those that make me think 'why did I take that?' 

I took this during Covid. We all had a lot of time on our hands. Since I have always liked puzzles, it was a good way to pass the time, and many of us were posting our puzzle progress on FB. Do I need to save it? Not really. But it does remind me of that time and how isolated I and everyone else felt, and how we did just about anything to keep from going crazy.

On my trip to Prague and beyond, I took right around 2,000 photos. Sounds like a lot, but one of my daughters pointed out "you were there 10 days, so that's 200 a day. Not a lot for you." My kids know me well. 

I did not take this photo. I'm the one in the white jacket. One of our group was speedier to the top of the hill while the rest of us debated about going up now (it was raining) or waiting until later and hoping the rain would stop. There was the option of lunch - soup was a high priority at the moment. The rain got heavier, so we opted for lunch. The rest of us never did make it up that hill.

The point of all this is not that I take photos, but what they mean to me. Yes, they are a record, yes they are fun to look at, but to me, they are more than that. When I look at a photo that I took, I remember almost everything about it. I know where I took it, when, who I was with, and whatever little tidbit of information associated with that moment is stored in my brain. It often takes me down the rabbit hole. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's poignant, sometimes it's downright sad. But it's always like taking a little trip in a time machine. 

June 2018. My family was attending a graduation celebration and we ended up at the London House at the end of the day. It was just getting to sunset, a fog was rolling in, the air was cool, and we all sort of wandered around, taking in the view for a bit. 

Photos - A time machine. We all have our own.

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me! maureenblevins@yahoo.com

and visit my website: http://mauverneen.com

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Prague (part two) It's all about people

  by Mauverneen

I promised more of Prague...

Love locks

It's hard to condense two weeks of experiences into a few words, a few pictures. Where does one even begin? It's easy enough to describe the museums, the churches, the restaurants, the walks along the river, but to convey the feeling? Is that even possible? Perhaps if I were a better writer. 

I love people-watching, and day or night, there were masses of people everywhere in Prague, especially on the weekend. It was hard to tell the tourists from the locals, until they began taking selfies. I tried taking one of myself eating a 'chimney cake', but the vendors were laughing at my struggle with the cake, my camera, my purse, my phone, and took pity on me and asked me to hand over my phone. Besides which, it was raining. I greatly appreciated that!  

On the trams, I think most of the riders were locals. The people were all very considerate, generally giving up their seat for myself, or other older women whenever I and my companions got on. Everyone was just generally considerate... the police officer who tried his best to give me directions when I was confused about which direction the museum I was looking for was in, and the elderly gentleman who rode the tram with me for one stop so he could better tell me how far to ride. In both cases, my bit of czech and a lot of gesturing got us through. In the heart of the city, nearly everyone spoke English - quite good in most cases - but venturing a bit further out, not so much. Especially the older population. 

Crowded Streets - cobblestones and amazing architecture

Old Town Square

Walking across Charles Bridge, with it's towers. Street performers, vendors and very talented artists set up their wares.
Early morning on Charles Bridge brought some delightful surprises... a fashion photo shoot

- and a portrait shoot.

The bridge is always crowded - even in the rain; a parade of umbrellas.

There's even fun under the bridge. You can ride a boat, have a dinner cruise, or rent paddle boats, some, shaped like a car, and some even shaped like swans.

Rush hour is the same in every city. Here in Prague, trams (streetcars) have their own lanes. It's a much quicker way to get around. Or, go on foot, which is what I did most of the time, clocking a little over nine miles on my last day.

Ah those famous chimney cakes! The delicious smell pulls you in. The cake is toasted, brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar as it turns.

The finished product is filled with ice cream. Oh so delicious and filling! 

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me! maureenblevins@yahoo.com

and visit my website: http://mauverneen.com



 by Mauverneen

I've always heard Prague was one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so when I had a chance to join a small group of like-minded folks interested in photography, I quickly signed up, even though I knew none of them. 

I spent some time over the following months learning some basic Czech, looking into what I might want to see while I was there, and endlessly debating whether I should go, or not - I don't like flying, there is so much unrest in the world, could I keep up, and on and on, worrying about all those things there are to worry about. Covid, I think, has made us all a bit more complacent, a bit more hesitant, a bit more afraid. I decided to go and I am so very happy that I did!

Prague is truly beautiful! It was not bombed during WWII (with only a couple minor exceptions), so the architecture is original, and amazing. I'm not sure when it shines more brightly - during the day or at night. The streets are filled with people; locals going about their lives and tourists going from one historical site to the next. I walked miles each day, putting in a little over nine miles on my last day there. I sampled the food, the sights, the sounds - my senses were bombarded, and I loved it. 

Our little band of photographers blended well - I feel I have made some new friends. It was rather nice to be with people who totally understood when one of us wanted to stop and snap something that caught our eye. No one was impatient, patting their foot, or silently wondering 'What? Another one?' And we all took pictures of our food!

Midweek we took a train to Děčín, where a guide picked us up and drove us to our accommodations at the Bohemian Cottage in Krásná Lípa, detouring along the way for a hike, for which we weren't quite prepared. Lunch, homemade dinner and breakfast at the cottage, a short walk to check out the area, another hike down into a canyon and then of course, back up (I thought I might die), a beautiful sunset, a glass factory, whew! I'm sure I'm leaving something out. Then back to Prague.

Inside the Prague Train Station

On this trip we got to sample not just the city of Prague, but some of the countryside, namely the
famous Bohemian Switzerland on the Czech/German border, meet some locals, visit museums, and, importantly, take unlimited photos! 

Sunset near Krasna Lipa

This is just a short overview of my two weeks in Prague. In future blogs, I will try to do justice to at least a few of the places I visited. Stay tuned, and join me on the journey.

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me! maureenblevins@yahoo.com

and visit my website: http://mauverneen.com