Key Bridge Marriott, Rosslyn VA / Konica C35, Agfa Vista 400
This is the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel seen from Rosslyn Gateway Park. This was one of the first Marriott hotels, originally built in 1959 and I believe it is the oldest Marriott still in operation. Last year the Arlington County Board approved a makeover for the hotel and construction of new residential developments on the site so soon this view will be gone, replaced by more nondescript high rises jammed together in too small a space.
Flights from Tbilisi to Prague tend to arrive at odd hours of the day, either very early or very late. Perhaps things are better now but when I visited back in 2011 my flight landed around five in the morning. I arrived at my hotel before six before my room was ready so I dropped off my carry on, pulled out my camera and went for a walk. It was 29th January. At the airport it was -14° C, in the city it was a balmy -11° C. Brass monkey weather. I had just arrived from Tbilisi where it was a tropical 6° C. Still, on this, my fifth trip to the city, I finally got some pictures that didn’t consist mostly of tourists.
First stop was Charles Bridge. Normally the bridge is crowded with tourists, jazz musicians and sellers of souvenirs. On this morning it was empty other than one or two people who crossed in the twenty minutes or so I was there. The sun was just starting to warm the sky behind the old town and the colours were muted, almost washed out, in the soft light. Despite not being able to feel my fingers it was beautiful. Below is my favourite shot from that morning, an image that has served as my background picture on every computer I have owned since. I’ve also processed this a dozen different ways over the years depending on my mood. This is the current iteration.
Here are a few more taken on the bridge around the same time.
In Prague’s Mala Strana district there are good views of the structure of the Charles Bridge and it’s hard to beat cobbled streets and colourful buildings, particularly in soft morning light. The St Nicholas Church is a baroque monstrosity that squats in the middle of Malastrana Square, totally out of keeping is style and scale with the rest of the neighborhood.
On a cold but sunny day I went down by the riverside to take a shot of the Charles Bridge. I also took a couple of shots of the bridge and some of the Old Town buildings from the Legion Bridge, a little further down the river. I particularly liked the wider shot because of the bright reflections on the water.