Musings on the Vltava River

Aiman Khan
April 5, 2017
Vltava River at Night

As part of the IES Abroad World Heritage Tour trip, we spent three days in Prague. Although it was EXTREMELY cold (it was early February), Prague was altogether an incredible place to be. It felt like a completely different world to me, and my favorite part was just walking through side-streets and less populated parts of the city with a cup of mulled wine to keep me warm. I was fascinated by the presence of both Eastern and Western cultures in Prague, and amazed by the architecture. 

On our last night in the city, we had dinner in a boat cruise on the Vltava River; this was by far one of my favorite experiences of studying abroad thus far...

A bit overwhelmed by the previous five days of socializing, I went outside to the upper level to be alone and look out onto the river. It was unbelievably beautiful. I took out my camera frantically and tried to take as many pictures as I could, experimenting with every kind of angle, but I couldn't figure out how to work with the lighting so that my camera would capture what the river, with the city shining into it, actually looked like in person. So after about ten minutes of exasperation, I gave up and decided to just enjoy the moment and actually process what I was looking at. Staring at the gentle waves made by the boat as it cut smoothly through the water, I became entranced by the entire scene that surrounded me. The lights of the city reflected off of the water like a painting, and they made it possible for me to see all the way down the river until it twisted several hundred meters away. To the top-right was the Prague Castle on a hill, the shining apex of this magnificent city.

I stared out onto this scene until I could see it behind my eyelids, and I was no longer upset that I didn't get a good picture. I still carry this image with me and I can still recall the feeling of pure bliss I had on that boat. I thought about everything that went right in order for me to be able to experience that moment, and everyone that I loved who I wished could see what I was seeing. Although my heart ached in that moment for my family and closest friends, tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. I had never before seen something so breathtaking. I couldn't feel more blessed. 

Attached are some pictures I took while on the boat and while walking around Prague during the daytime; none of them do justice to the city. 

 

Aiman Khan

<p>Hello! I am currently in my second year at the University of Virginia, studying Economics and Music. I&rsquo;ve decided to take a semester to study music in what is quite possibly the best place in the world to do it &ndash; Vienna, Austria. I have been playing the French horn for ten years, but I can&rsquo;t wait for the new experiences Vienna will bring me, and to document and share all my adventures!</p>

Program:
Destination:
Term:
2017 Spring
Home university:
University of Virginia
Major:
Economics
Music
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