In the third edition in 2016, our partners DAN Travel Ltd. announced for a second time one large reward in special thematic section MY TOWN!

It was a Voucher for travel services on amount of 500€.
The same voucher is announced for the second time in the fourth edition of photo salon in the same section and again will delight some of the participants. In 2016 this award was won by Petar Shipchanov from Plovdiv, which was handed to him personaly on the opening ceremony! With lots of smiles and high spirits, he accepted it, and later with excitement and pleasure it use by purpose – do yourself a memorable trip to the Czech capital of Prague.

The first 3 frames (in the slider above) are from the opening and awarding ceremony on June 6, 2016 in SPA. The remaining 18 photographs (to the end of the slider) were shooted by Mr. Peter Shipchanov during his photo adventure in Prague.

Here are his impressions of this trip in a charming story:

In 2016 Photographic Fellowship (Fotografska Zadruga) – Plovdiv, a group of amateur photographers, where I am a member, took participation in the Third International Photo Salon Plovdiv.

I participated in the competition with several photos. It was great and very pleasant surprise to me that one of them (“Night of valkyries”, section “My City”) has passed the selection and even received the prize of tourist company “Dan Travel” – a voucher with the worth of € 500 for travel services. I was extremely proud and happy with that news. At the official opening of the exhibition III IFS – Plovdiv, which opened on 06/06/2016 at the Gallery of the Society of Plovdiv Artists, my voucher was presented by Angel Draganov, the manager of Dan Travel. There were many guests, photos, speeches… in general a festive atmosphere – as it should be.

When I took the voucher almost immediately I forgot about it, because this period is the busiest one in a professional plan. Mentioning the word “professional“, maybe it is appropriate here to mention that my rewarded picture is related to my profession – a violinist in the orchestra of The State Opera – Plovdiv. Shot in the break of the show “The flight of the valkyrites” on The Ancient Theatre in Plovdiv in 2014. I was lucky that in this short period of time they did technical maintenance / tests with the stage lighting – and that was exactly the moment I could catch. It turned out that this shot is successful and impressive not only for me but for the jury of the Salon and Company Dan Travel.

At the end of the season, at the moment I went on holiday with my wife, we decided fairly quickly how and where to use properly the award – Prague. We visited the office of Dan Travel to declare our intentions. Exactly on the next day we had a call from a very kind and helpful lady who introduced us to several offers that meet our criteria. We stopped on the individual package time 1 – 4 September, 2016 – flight and four-star hotel.

I had some minor concerns related to our trip because although I have traveled a lot (mostly by bus) it has always been organized and now for the first time we had to travel alone. But my fears were in vain. Dan Travel had done a perfect job. At the airport in Prague we were welcomed by an individual transfer – a private car to the hotel.

About an hour later after leaving our suitcases, changing our clothes and a quick meal on leg, we were ready for a meeting with the city. From the reception we bought tickets and got the necessary information required for our transport, which it turned out to be non-stop. The railway was about a hundred meters and the trams on every 5 minutes and moved with such a precision which allowed you to set your clock – a fact that made us a very strong impression. The journey to the center of Prague is 15-25 minutes, depending on how far you are going. Even with the passage of Vltava when you catch a glimpse you could immerse in another world. We went on Václavské náměstí and headed for The Powder Tower and Old Town Square to the Charles Bridge, where we caught the sunset. Already tired of getting up early and all the traveling and emotions, we decided to go back to the hotel.

The next day we visited the palace (Hradcany). The huge queue of tourists that winded over the whole square, made us change our route. We looked at the church Loretta, The Strahov Monastery (rather the famous library for the monastery itself was under construction and we could not enter). Passing back along the palace we saw that the queue was considerably reduced and this time we took our place on it. It took less time and what was interesting to me that the access into the palace was so secured like that on the airport – luggage control and metal detectors. It was almost the end of the working day and the gallery was to be closed and we considered to make a thorough view of the Cathedral “St. Vit ” for the next day. We began to realize that these four days, actually full three shouldl be insufficient to look at what we had planned. From there through the streets of the old town we climbed the Metronome – a facility with a height of 24 meters situated near the monument of Stalin. Then we went back to the hotel for a quick rest and to get my tripod and went back for dinner and night shots. Night Prague was lovely lit and had a special charm, till 1:00 a.m. After that hour the lights were off and the places of interest as well.

The third day started with the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chamber of Commerce. Besides the permanent exhibition, we found a visiting exhibition – cycle “Slav Epic” of Alphonse Mucha. In the National Gallery of Czech Republic were offered different types of tickets. The main one – valid for all permanent exhibitions and sites in theNG; limited – valid for visiting exhibitions; and combined one- valid for absolutely all exposures and all items in the NG of Prague. So in order to have the possibility to see the permanent exhibition and the visiting one, we had to take the combined ticket, which gave also the permission to take pictures (without flash and tripod) and could be used within six days. Unfortunately we were leaving the next day afternoon…

To see all exhibitions at the gallery took us about 5 hours and at the end we were almost in a hurry for time was running out. Due to lack of time the planned visit to the Cathedral “St. Vitus’ and the palace were out and we decided to go to Vyšehrad. There it was waiting for us- the reconstructive presentation of the coronation of Charles IV. Quite a lavish ceremony and service in the basilica “St. St. Peter and Paul. Unfortunately that time my photography luck betrayed me – thinking that Carl was about to enter the church I stayed inside, but it turned out that he was already there and would come out, but I couldn’t find it out at that commotion… Definitely impressive ceremony and a wonderful experience… that day we decided to have nocturnal images of Vyšehrad and were back to the hotel for an easel and back.

Last day. After breakfast we fixed our luggage and left it in the room to the reception and again headed for Old Prague. We were able to look the Convent “St. Agnes” where it was exposed medieval and early Renaissance church art exhibition, also an Asian art at the Palace Kinski and finally we were able to taste the so called “tradelnik “- a local specialty tapes bakery dough rolled in sugar, coiled flat on thick wooden skewer / cylinder and baked on coals. We also tried the natural one and that filled with ice cream and chocolate. Unique!

We must go for departure. Again we were offered the transfer by car to the airport, last beer and…

Goodbye, Prague!

The team of IPS Plovdiv thanked to the winner for this wonderful sharing!
But now, let us remember the picture that win him this award – “Night of valkyurite” from ever, the magnificent ancient theater in Old Town of Plovdiv.