Michael / day 75 / home

5:03PM My favorite shot from this entire trip

5:03PM Standing on the doorstep with suitcase in hand. My favorite shot from this entire trip.

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dinesh/day 70/prague

5:21PM Afternoon light captured in the glass facade of Cafe de Paris

5:21PM Grey sky captured in the glass facade of Cafe de Paris

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dinesh/day 69/prague

5:21PM Backstage at a performance of the Swan Lake at the Prague State Opera

5:21PM Backstage at a performance of the Swan Lake at the Prague State Opera

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dinesh/day 68/prague

5:21PM.On the road to Slavkov. 40 miles from the Austrian border

5:21PM.On the road to Slavkov. 40 miles from the Austrian border

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dinesh/day 67/Prague

5:21PM Waiting for the sun to appear under the Charles bridge

5:21PM Waiting for the sun to appear under the Charles bridge.

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.

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dinesh/day 66/prague

5:21PM Tramcar converted into a cafe smack in the middle of a street.

5:21PM Redefining drive-thru. Serving coffee in a converted tramcar.

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.

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dinesh/day 65/prague

5:21PM Man in Old town square who stepped right out of a Guy Ritchie movie.

5:21PM Man in Old town square who stepped right out of a Guy Ritchie movie.

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.

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