Tag Archives: surreal

Kafka’s brides in Prague

The only way to get any free time on a business trip is to get up early. And that’s what I did today, in Prague.

Charles Bridge, Prague

Mind you, this was after a night on the beer, Czech beer at that! So I only got to the bridge at 7.30, too late for the sunrise. But what a place Prague is – very beautiful, very atmospheric, cobbles, lamps and narrow streets. To me, it felt slightly sleepy, in a surreal way. A bit Kafkaesque…

There is definitely something slightly surreal here. A juxtaposition of old and new, the quaint with the incongruous…

Souvenirs and Surrealism

The statues are heavily catholic, strict catholic. No naughty romantic Italian flesh here!

But then the surrealist element crops up again. The fantastical astro clock, baby off the bridge, a bloke asleep on the job etc. All a tinge of weirdness.

And last but not least, my very own moment of complete weirdness. 8 o’clock on a freezing morning, a gang of newly-weds, from the East, posing by the clock. The must have been absolutely shiveringly cold. Why? What were they doing? Why a whole group of them? So far from home? Kafka would have loved it.

Imperial Russians ride again! (part 2)

Right! If you’re reading this without having read ‘Imperial Russia Rides Again, part 1’ then STOP! Go back, read last week’s post about the great city of St Petersburg. Notice that it seemed deserted; and then revisit this post on the Russians themselves. Where are they in the city and what are they like….?

Well, Russians are clearly different. For example, take a look at this menu. A lunch menu, mind you. Not exactly a threatening time of day….

(I always make my bodyguard stand outside...)

So I walked the city, trying to see what the Russkies were like. And to be honest, they seemed like a jolly bunch. Intent on having a good time, and downing a lot of vodka.

Wednesday night in St Petersburg

Maybe I was projecting, but it did seem like alcohol played a big role in the everyday life of the locals. As a Brit, of course, I could empathise…

Sailor on the sauce

Midday stumble fumble

Sleeping it off...

But although the booze was in evidence, that’s not the over-riding impression of St Petersburg locals. Much more was the sense that this is a romantic city, and the people are desperate to be in love. There were couples everywhere, frequently in a clinch. Padlocks on the bridges, swearing enduring love from Nadjas to Andreys. Weddings all over the place, with happy couples posing for cliches.

Do they keep the keys just in case, or chuck them in the river?

The doves, white, of course...

The city seemed to be full of beautiful women too. Perhaps not so bad, if the city is a romantic hotspot

Preparing for the evening on the town

Shapely legs posing with Pete the Great (high heels VERY common)

And my last impression of St Petersburg… Slightly anarchic, crazy and surreal. Understandable in a country that is still waking up I guess.

A changing hut for the inner city beach

Nostalgia for the old church? Nah, she's gazing at the speedboat!

This guy is scary!

Last image looks backwards. This chap was clearly from a previous era. I don’t think he’s part of the new Russia. He simply looks too melancholy, too,…. Russian?

Those were the days...