At ONA, we are fortunate enough to experience incredible adventures with members of our global community through #whereONAgoes on Instagram. Photographer Kara Mercer has been a friend and supporter of ONA for the past few years, and her travels continue to inspire our own. Below, we highlight her favorite images and moments from a recent trip to Prague.
Where: Two weeks in Prague, CZ
Why: To be featured and teach a fashion workshop at Fujifilm World’s X-Photographers Exhibition.
What did you take with you: Away Suitcase, all my favorite winter wear, camera gear, a passport, and my Hudson backpack.
Best view: The Prague Castle.
Best thing you ate/drank: Trdelnik – It is a sweet delicacy that is baked on a coal fire. You can find them at pop up stands all over the city.
Conversation that will stick with you: Much of our trip was spent with other Fujifilm X- Photographers from all over the world. Some came in from the U.K. , Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, and many home bases. Naturally, the conversations about how we all approach photography and the social political issues we face from varying countries were some of my favorite discussions on the trip. It’s funny how photos bring up a lot of in-depth and interesting topics. I learned a lot about the ice swimming in the winter in Czech Republic and other cultural and regional activities that I’ve never experienced.
Landmark that was worth the hype: The Charles Bridge is stunning and the details were beyond anything I imagined. I loved the views of the colorful houses nestled around the water too!
Day trips? We took the train to Vienna and Brno. I would highly recommend traveling by train to anyone visiting Europe. It is a wonderful way to see and do more.
They have the best: Beer – it is actually funny for me to say, as I don’t love most beers. Czech Republic is known for their beer and if you take the train you’ll see hops growing everywhere.
Best thing $5 can buy? Mulled wine or gingerbread cookies at the Christmas markets. This trip really changed my view of traveling in the winter. I loved seeing the city decorated and experiencing all the markets around the city!
How to pretend you’re a local? Brave through the weather and walk everywhere. Most locals aren’t bothered by snowy days, they skip the Uber and head out on foot or take the Tram.
Travel tips: Research the city beforehand and find all the rad spots, ask locals when you get there, and keep your schedule flexible for whatever fun things happen throughout your trip.
Souvenirs: I can’t say I am much of a souvenir person. I had good intentions to buy a Christmas ornament to commemorate the trip, but we did purchase some Christmas gifts from the markets while we were there. Cheesy to say, but the time we spent with new friends there truly made it the best experience.
If you went back you would: Visit Cesky Krumlov. It’s an adorable little city you can get to from Prague by train. We had a lot of busy days with presentations I gave and a workshop, but next time we won’t miss it.
The shot you’re most proud of: The editorial images I had the opportunity to capture with Fujifilm CZ and Melia Marchi are some of my favorites to date. I love european architecture and design, also I got to shoot in a castle. How can you not be proud of that.