In this second article of the Travel Series, Rahul Karuppiah tries to put together some of his best memories during his stay in Prague last semester and the trips he took across Europe, that he managed to capture through his lenses.
Last semester I had the opportunity of studying abroad at Czech Technical University at Prague and needless to say it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I got to study in a totally different setting and also travel and experience the culture at some of the beautiful countries in Europe and also meet some amazing people. During my entire stay at Prague I had the chance to experience snow, rain, and then spring and finally summer and it is definitely one of the most happening places that I have ever been to. The University was one of the largest in Czech Republic and one of the oldest technical university in Central Europe and there were social events being organized in the city every other day throughout the semester particularly by the International Student Club in the University. I stayed close to the University which had a rather active student community and there were lots of international students (over 300) staying there, so every other day was exciting with meeting and talking and exploring the city with people from various backgrounds and cultures. In the end, I’m so glad I did this, I’ve learned so much and had so many memorable experiences that I’ll be ever grateful.
These are few of the many pictures from the traveling I did across Europe.
1. Budapest, Hungary
After my entire stay in Prague and traveling to various other cities, Budapest still remains one of my favourite cities across Europe. Popularly known as the Paris of the East, the city is extremely pretty especially at night with its remarkable architecture and lights.
The first picture is of the Budapest Parliament at night and it was one of the first pictures that I managed to capture just after I arrived. This Gothic styled building is one of largest in Hungary and is over 100 years old. The second picture is of the river Danube separating Buda and Pest, which were joined in 1873 to form ‘Budapest’.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Visiting Prague was a dream come true for me, and the city did not disappoint. It was one of those cities where you can roam aimlessly and discover a new street suddenly. Public transportation is the way to go in the city considering it had one of the best. I could literally get anywhere in the city using the public transportation. You learn the culture and then you have the added bonus of learning some more areas around town. Architecturally, it doesn’t get any more beautiful. The wide variety and preservation of architecture gives Prague an almost fairy tale like feeling. The old town, the bridges, the largest castle in the world, the fairy-tale scenery mixed with a completely different scene outside of the centre all make Prague a very unique city.
3. Vienna, Austria
This was shot in Heldenplatz in front of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. There were a couple of street performers making soap bubbles and entertaining a huge crowd. I saw that as a good opportunity to get some candid shots of kids playing.
4. Berlin, Germany
Berlin-Brandenburg were one of those weekend trips that I did with my roommate. The city was just 4 hours away from Prague and we stayed in a Hostel in Berlin. It was a vibrant and relaxed city with friendly faces everywhere and I even met Germans who had traveled across the whole of India including Chennai and Kerala and even the Himalayas and they were planning their next trip back in India. 😀
The first picture was taken just south of the Brandenburg gate at the Berlin’s Holocaust memorial which is a site covered with 2711 stelae in a uniform manner. There were people walking inside the memorial and that’s when I noticed a kid running between the slabs. The second one is that of a sky walk close to the Berlin Parliament.
5. Slovakian Countryside
Six of us had rented a car and some camping equipment and drove straight for Slovakia. Entering Slovakia, things changed pretty rapidly. Houses started to look different, and the culture within the country was noticeably different and we were constantly flanked with high rising forest filled mountains quite close to us. We weren’t sure where we would stop for the night or the route to the camping spots. And to be honest, we almost slept in the car for the first night because we got lost in the middle of the night and there wasn’t a single soul outside to ask for directions. We camped in Slovakia for 3 straight nights and even though it was a complete spontaneous trip with zero planning, it finally ended up being one of the most amazing trips I had taken.
From vibrant architecture to picturesque canals to beautiful streets, Italy is every photographer’s dream. With terracotta roof tops, hidden courtyards and streets alive with historical features, Florence and Bologna are cities to get lost with your camera. Wandering in the streets on foot between gorgeous building and amazing churches in a city, where bicycles and motorbikes are more popular than cars, is the best way to experience Italy.
7. Bohemian Switzerland, Czech Republic
This gorgeous place was just an hour of travelling by train from Prague, but it may as well be on a different country. You will find absolutely no trace of city life here. Home to peaceful swaths of farmland, quaint little villages and majestic rock formations, the place is a delight for all outdoor enthusiasts. I remember catching a bus back to the town of Děčín just to get some money because we didn’t have enough hard cash to stay in a hotel and there wasn’t a single ATM for miles.