Sunday morning I journeyed to Florenc to shoot my metro stop photos. I ran into a giant bus transportation center where people from all over Europe leave or arrive in Prague. I took a break at a small coffee shop in the middle of the bus station called the Crossroads Cafe. Here I could look out of the large windows to observe the busy bus station. Frantic lost tourists stepped off their buses and immediately ran to find maps. Many visitors were excited to be in a totally new place. I couldn’t help but think about all the means of transportation and how without it, we wouldn’t be connected with the rest of the world. I remember flying over to Prague and thinking I was in a dream when I stepped off the plane. It was crazy that after 12 short hours (it seemed short since I fell asleep), I could been on the other side of the ocean. In Prague, public transportation is a huge deal. With one metro pass, you can basically go anywhere in Prague with a few simple rules. Just don’t forget your pass (or you’ll be fined), make sure you and your friends are not too loud (or you will be shushed), and stand on the right side of the escalator (or you’ll be pushed around), and give up your seat to the elderly that walk on board the tram.
Thinking about all this makes me wish that we had a tram or metro system in Austin. It’s nice to be able to look at a map and go to any part of the town by taking a few trams. Where would we be without our trains, cars, boats, and planes? We would be stuck in one place and wouldn’t be able to experience the world. After sipping on my simple black coffee, these thoughts were too much to handle early in the morning.
Early Sunday morning, we decided to climb the stairs of the most well-known icon of the world, the Eiffel Tower. The tower was much more impressive and massive than I ever imagined. The detail and time and effort that must have went into creating such a masterpiece was unbelievable.
The Eiffel tower is constructed into three levels with each level placed at a huge height. You can either climb the stairs to the second level then ride the elevator to the top or you can take a lift to the second level and then the elevator to the top. We arrived at the Eiffel Tower when it first opened for the day, however, the line for the elevator to the second level was already a hour and a half long. If you don’t want to take the stairs, I would recommend coming at least one hour before the Eiffel Tower opens.
We all agreed that climbing the steps was the best option when we saw the long line. However, taking the stairs was not an easy task and this was apparent when we saw that there wasn’t a line or hardly anyone on the stairs. Taking the stairs was definitely a workout and our feet were screaming at us since we had walked miles the day before. The climb up the Eiffel Tower made the journey up Prague’s Petřín Lookout Tower seem like a breeze. It was rewarding to know that we went up by foot as far as we could on such a famous landmark. We decided to not go up to the very top by elevator because the wait was 45 minutes.
The view from the middle level was plenty high for us. The expansive view was absolutely breath taking. If anyone comes to Paris, they have to make sure to take the time to overlook such an amazing city.
In the bright and sunny hours before breakfast, I decided to walk to my metro stop area to take pictures. I did not have a schedule planned, so I decided to take my sweet time while sightseeing. Between Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, I noticed old wooden souvenir shops all lined up down a wide street. Little did I know I was looking at Havel Market, one of the oldest markets in the city, dating back to 1232. It originally only sold produce, but now it mainly sells trinkets and handmade gifts with the words “Praha” all over it. It also sells flowers, paintings, chocolate, crystal, and other items special to Prague. The morning was the perfect time to shop around and snap pictures before the bustle of busy tourists arrived. I soon eyed one shop owner (photographed above) who was making sure his necklaces were all lined up in the way he wanted before the flood of afternoon tourists arrived. His organized and detailed manner made me appreciate the thought and time the shop owners put into their work to please the tourists. It was nice to be able to notice these details without the masses of people usually on the streets. Maybe I should walk around in the morning more often to acknowledge small moments like these.