Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hot summer days in Prague

Prague was fantastic! It had a historical feel different from anywhere else I've been. Though the city was heavily bombed by the Allies in WWII, the damage to the city was much less than that seen in Vienna, Berlin and other German cities. So maybe the different feel was authenticity. The streets were narrow and winding- a nightmare for navigation but a delight for sight-seeing and discovery. There was adventure around every corner.
It's hard to capture the feel of a place in words; I guess that is why people travel. We saw all the typical sights- the castle, the cathedral, the synagogues, the main market square, the pedestrian shopping district. But the mood on a hot summer afternoon in a shaded beer garden, the character of the people, the excitement of the tourists, the frenzied World Cup fans everywhere.
I finally found out who good King Wenceslas was. I tasted real Czech gulasch and dumplings. I drank the original Budweiser (Budvar) beer. I stood in a thousand-year-old castle great hall. I walked through a Jewish cematery with graves dating from the 15th century. I strolled through cobbled streets where centuries of people have carried on their daily lives. I felt the world grow yet smaller and at the same time felt that my presence in it is fleeting and insignificant. I am just blessed to be part of it.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Reading your post, I am brought back to high school history classes with Mr. Sharp and Kozba et. al. It all seemed so far away at the time, and I remember myself at least vocally complaining as to why we had to learn about these things which had nothing at all to do with our current situations and (more importantly) nothing to do with our current flames (rick w/curt p) (et. al) and whhhyyyy were we learning about countries that were not our own, much less learning about history period was booooring period.

Yet I also remember as a child, my grandmother telling me stories, and my mother telling me to listen and remember, because soon they would be only memories, and how far away they felt. Yet how I still took some of them to heart because they were family and even at that age, you realize how sacred family is.

And now I awake to read your words and soberly realize all I have learned in the interim years is to realize that there is "foreign" history at the same time there is "history", understanding that all of us are from the same place yet at the same time we are all from a different place...simultaneously feeling very small at the same time feeling very connected and bzuhomg your head is about to explode, until you begin a journey to experience the spectrum, as you have done.

My continued good thoughts to you and Aaron as you explore places I have not yet been but whose roots are somewhere intertwined in our past and present. How precious and ultimate is that journey. xo