On our first evening in Prague, we hopped on the top deck of a boat, enjoying the beautiful night and our new friends as the city of Prague floated alongside us.   The warm sun set over the colorful buildings of Prague and an accordion played in the background.  As we neared the end of the night, the nearly full moon rose above us and the sky turned a rich shade of azure.  It was a spectacular time, and we even started talking to National Geographic Expert Mattieu Paley about what makes for a good photo.

Trip leader Winston and Nat Geo photographer Matthieu Paley enjoy a river cruise with the students on their first night. Photo by trip leader Rebecca Stumpf.

Trip leader Winston and Nat Geo photographer Matthieu Paley enjoy a river cruise with the students on their first night. Photo by trip leader Rebecca Stumpf.

Prague in twilight. Photo by trip leader Rebecca Stumpf.

Prague in twilight. Photo by trip leader Rebecca Stumpf.

On our first full day waking up in Prague, we recovering jet-lagged students stumbled into breakfast. Our morning was filled with Czech language lessons with our leader Sarah and photography lessons by our National Geographic Expert Matthieu Paley and trip leader Winston. Matthieu gave us our assignment for the day- to photography people acting naturally in their surroundings- and then we split off into groups to explore and photograph the city!

Our group decided to have an authentic Pakistani lunch. Naan and chutney galore! We then took the tram to Petrin Hill, home to the Czech Republic’s version of the Tour Eiffel, for a walk in the park and a trip up Petrin Tower.  Everyone managed to photograph numerous park-goers interacting with the nature surrounding them. Members of the group were cheered on by Matthieu while photographing their subjects. The group then continued to explore and photograph the tourist haven that is the Charles Bridge. Caricaturists and performers were everywhere. One group of two violinists, a violist, a cellist, and a boxist (she played a box) played covers of Abba, Grease, and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Photo by student Miranda M.

Photo by student Miranda M.

Photo by student Miranda M.

Photo by student Miranda M.

Photo by student Natalie C.

Photo by student Natalie C.

Photo by student Natalie C.

Photo by student Natalie C.

Other groups explored and photographed Kampa Island, Prague Castle, and the local farmers’ market where they tasted all kind of fresh fruit and sausages! We ended our day with dinner at a typical Czech restaurant and everyone returned to the hotel, ready for a good night’s sleep and more adventures tomorrow!