Pageviews past week

Monday, July 8, 2013

Prague and the Czech Republic

Prague is beautiful--no if's, ands', or but's about it.  Everywhere we turned was something old and cryptic and architecturally magnificent.  Its town square is massive and was a teeming mass of tourists and statues.  It felt strange and undiscovered to me--like a secret that had just been let out of the bag! The suffocating blanket of communism has been lifted, but it still felt to me like the country is still awakening.
We spent a good deal of one day and part of another in the Old Jewish Quarter, mainly because we'd heard it housed one of the most complete collections of Jewish artifacts in the world.  It was incredible.  We wished we'd had time to go to Treblinka which was the first attempt by the Nazis to try a concentration camp concept.  One exhibit in the synagogues of children's art was especially moving.    Treblinka was established as a sort of "showroom", so teachers were allowed to teach and some semblance of order maintained to present to the world for show.  The art was the result of a very in-depth program carried out by a heroine who attempted to teach the children to look for the good in their surroundings--prison though it was.  Very touching.
 They wanted a bundle of cash to go into the cemetery, so I took this image from google.  We could only look over the wall. Please don't think less of me.  Every headstone was leaning on another just like a bunch of sleepy kids on a school bus. 

Crossing the famous Charles Bridge.  You'll notice the darkening clouds.  We got poured on multiple times in Prague, the rivers flooded, and some Aussies we met had their Danube cruise completely 86-ed!!!  No refund either!  Act of God...come on, people.

A funky statue to Franz Kafka outside of a synagogue.

The Prague,Czech Republic Mission headquarters and meetinghouse!  What an oasis!  Paco and I would sooooooooo go back there as missionaries if they'd have us.

Can you believe this cool snail?  He was creeping up a tree along the trail to...

Krivoklat!!!  This was the darndest castle I've ever been in!!!!!!  12th century torture at its finest!!  We hopped on a train from Prague to go exploring and ended up here.  (Thanks google images for the blue skies.) The flooding tried to prevent us from getting back to our apartment--delayed the train for a couple of hours.  But to compensate we met a very gregarious Czech who returns to Prague yearly from his home in Toronto where he's lived since the communists came in the late 40's.  He gave us a running commentary on all things Czech, communist, and in-between all the way back to Prague!!!  He was articulate and wise.  We lucked out befriending him.
From the top turret of the castle.

Waiting and waiting for the train.  Those folks to Paco's left were a group of Czech biking friends who have been biking in the Czech Republic on this particular weekend for 15 years!  This year they got rained out and had to resort to castle hopping--poor things. Once we  learned we could all speak English, they were so much fun!!

In downtown Prague right next to the snazziest modern mall was this group of human rights activists raising money by serving up what appeared to be 7-layer cake!!!!  Each layer was a  bright new color, and the pieces were huge!!

Ahhhh...Czesky Krumlov--Paco's Aunt Ginny made us promise to come here.  She and Uncle Tom made the Hadd pilgrimage to the homeland a few years ago, and she said not to miss this place--a UNESCO site.  We kept finding ourselves in UNESCO sites--all over the Czech Republic and then in Iceland!  This place is a walled medieval village built on an S-shaped river.  So so beautiful.  Once again we saw this from beneath an umbrella, but I didn't mind at all.  Rain just makes the colors jump!
From a charming charming toy store I ducked into.

Flooding evidence.

Marionnettes are to the Czech Republic what crepes are to Paris--everywhere!!!!
Isn't it so wonderful????
The raging flooded river of Czesky Krumlov. 
This bear (and another guy) live in the moat surrounding the castle at Czesky Krumlov.  I refrained from posting the picture of some amour going on down there!  These bears have been here (not the same ones, of course) for like 600 years!

A cathedral in Brno, Czech Republic where we stayed for a night.  You'll notice a lack of cathedrals on my blog postings.  You're welcome.  I'll put in just enough to pay homage.

Mural art in Brno 
Tomorrow I'll crank up some Straus, and we'll go to Vienna!!!  Ya'll come back, ya hear!!! 


Patti said...

I'm glad the flooding only inconvenienced you and didn't end your trip. It was really bad over there. We were watching it with interest over here because towns in John's mission were getting hit. Didn't know that about the marionettes, or the bears being a fixture at the castle. Clever idea, especially if you keep them hungry. What a beautiful place!

Tracy Giles said...

Beautiful pictures! Crazy floods! Glad you guys were okay :)

Shelly said...

Why did they poke his eyes out? To ensure he couldn't do another and ensure it a one of a kind? That's crazy!

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley