Today was one of those monster days.
Early morning wake-up to drive 40 miles North East to photograph a dog show. Spent the afternoon walking through the alleys of Old Prague trying to capture the essence of the city. In the evening we literally gate crashed the Prague City Police Union Ball.
It’s very late but I’ve got some great pictures to share.
The world has shrunk.
As I walked out of my hotel this morning I saw a giant H&M billboard covering stunning Gothic architecture. I turned the corner and the TGIF down the road was blasting Rihanna.
But I was in Prague and this didn’t feel very Praguean.
Now I know this might come across as elitism or snobbery but it’s getting more difficult to discover and experience something unique.
As supply meets demand, places have begun to resemble each other, dishing out the same T-shirts, hats, shot glasses and snow-globes with different spellings.
Icons that can be packed conveniently and stuck on our refrigerators.
It’s a conundrum faced by cities that are being invaded thanks to the Internet and cheap air flights. The revenue serves as a life blood. But it comes at a great expense.
The long term cost of the cultural dilution and decay brought by the onslaught of the tour-bus-cruise-ship passenger is devastating.
I don’t know if there’s an easy cure.
But I do know that I don’t want the storefronts in Algiers, Thimphu or St. Petersburg to look like the ones down my street.
It’s April but no one seems to have informed Prague that winter is over.
After the sunny days in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey the difference is palpable. But don’t get me wrong. Even on a day like this the city dotted with Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic architecture is gorgeous.
Driving around on ancient cobbled streets trying to visually size up the city, we ended up at an Easter Fair on the banks of the Vltava.
I find fairs creepy but fascinating.
Not sure if it’s the abnormally sized animals, the cholesterol dripping food or the bizarre graphics used to advertise the rides. The Czech version lived up to my expectations.
The rides were any mother’s worst nightmare. Each one was designed to a simple brief: Defy gravity and provoke nausea.
The airbrushed graphics were provocative illustrations of B list American celebrities. I recognized Cindy Crawford by her infamous mole and Whitney Houston for her hair. But then again it could easily have been Oprah.
The soundtrack was a continuous loop of Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Had I closed my eyes, I could have been at the State fair of Michigan.
But after a walk on the Charles Bridge and walking through the winding cobble stoned paths I was relieved to be back in the Czech Republic.
Got an early start tomorrow- so I’ll sign off.