Ever been in a position where you don’t feel much about something or someone at first, then you gently start sensing something. You keep wondering what that feeling is and before you could realize, you find yourself deeply connected to it and one day you figure out that you have just fallen for it head over heels! Sounds like some lines from a romcom? Little clichéd? and a bit cheesy too? I guess so, but I am sure you all would have gone through this phase at some point.
Although, in this context, I ain’t talking about a special someone or some bollywood kinda love story. All this ramble is about one particular place, with one particular bridge, one particular sunset, the beauty and the darkness in it. Call me nuts, call me crazy but I have had all these feelings for this one place. The Charles bridge, Prague!
The very first day I landed in Prague, it was freezing, cloudy, white and sparkling with snow all over. I am usually fine with the cold but not a big fan of a cloudy weather, at least not for long.
Around evening, which was still cloudy, I started walking towards Charles bridge for the first time passing through those typical, lean yet beautiful European streets. I heard a lot about this bridge, its beauty, and exquisiteness from different bloggers, other travelers, friends etc. and I thought it will sweep my feet away as I step on it. But when I reached there, it was just fine.
It was an old but beautiful bridge connecting the lesser town(castle town) and the old town. I stayed in lesser town so technically I was walking towards old town through this bridge. The Vltava river was flowing beneath and I could see a cloudy view of Prague on either side and the castle behind. It was still a great view. But it was -8 C, windy and there were about 1000 tourists strolling and taking pictures and I just didn’t feel it for the expectations that I had. It was good, I thought and moved on.
The next day, it wasn’t the same though. It was more beautiful. “Is this the same bridge”? I wondered. Sky more vivid, river more blue and fierce, surprisingly fewer tourists and a more philosophical me. The right combination and it was all enchanting!
I crossed it every day, many times to reach the old town and it was different every time. Much beautiful, much deeper than the former visit. It displayed distinctive colors every single time. It was so mesmerizing that the damn bridge started growing on me. I would stay for a good amount of time, absorb it and then move ahead.
Then came the day, it was my last evening in Prague! It was around 6:00 pm and I was planning to visit a library and then head for drinks. I was in the old town walking towards my destination when I suddenly felt an urgent rush as if something was pulling me. I instantly wanted to go to the Charles bridge to see the sundowner which was at 6:15 pm. At once we skipped all other plans and started running towards the Charles bridge as we had to catch up with Mr.Sun’s setting speed. Have you observed how it takes an entire day to travel from east to west but sets in a flash when it is right on the horizon and absolutely beautiful! So not fair!
Gasping and panting as I reach the bridge and look around, this is what I see!
The picture that you see here is just after the sunset and by far one of the most beautiful sights of my life. The previous days as I described were slightly cloudy and I couldn’t see as many colors of the dusk as it was that day.
If you visit Prague and had it been a bright sunny day for you, then towards the evening, no matter where you are, no matter what plan you have got, leave them all, walk, run, fall but be here at the sunset to see what I saw!
This was the moment I realized how I had fallen for it. It was beautiful with a tinge of darkness in it. There was depth at that moment there, unexplainable gloom, yet alluring. Kinda like the pain of parting with a joyous hope of meeting soon. Like the grief of leaving something only to touch greater heights. Slight dark and yet beautiful. Metaphoric to what I was going through that evening, elated for what I had been witnessing so far along with a little weight, heavyheartedness of leaving it all behind.
I always had this thought that in order to love at all, in order to open your heart and mind, in order to evolve, to unfold ourselves, maybe we need to keep falling in love time and again, with ourselves, with people, with food, with coffee, with nature and as many places as possible. Loving a lot doesn’t empty your heart, rather it starts expanding, filling it every time, enduring more every time.
I left a piece of my heart at Prague, it was inevitable, I had to! And now I crave to leave a lot of those pieces around the world coz I know I am going to fall for many more, yet to be explored things in this life! 😊