We trained this morning from Eisenstein to Prague. It was very pretty; the countryside had a fresh layer of snow and the train we took went through the forest and through some very uninhabited parts of land. It’s times like these where I feel so insignificant. Here I am, an American student, able to study for a YEAR in Italy – what luxury! And when I go home, I have a nice house, a great family, and anything I could possibly want is within reach (there’s a Target close by, a grocery store down the street, and a one-stop-shop mall). I am so spoiled. I realize in these moments that there are people out there, who probably farm their own food (or stockpile it), make their own clothes (or drive really far to get them), heat their homes with a wood stove, probably have no education, etc. Life at home is so simple and life here can be so complicated. My life is literally one in a million. I am so incomprehensibly blessed to have the opportunities that I have. People in this world really don’t know how good they have it; because even the poorest person in America has an easier life than some people in Europe and the rest of the world and they are too spoiled to realize it. I’ve come to the general conclusion that 99-100% of Americans are blind to their blessings.
Anyway, once we arrived in Prague, we got settled in our hostel and planned out what we wanted to do. We trimmed to the top of their castle district and started our adventures with St. Vitus Cathedral. It was so incredibly beautiful, inside and out. The outside had so many intricate details; and the gargoyles were designed as rain gutters/spouts and shot water from the previous day’s snow out of their mouths. We also spotted an insane spiral staircase leading to the bell tower. Oh and there were some really nice mosaics on one of the walls too. Inside was spectacular. The stained glass windows cast beautiful colors all over the stone walls. The most beautiful window, in my opinion, was the one designed by Alfonse Mucha. It was modern but beautifully executed. The colors were brilliant and his style is so amazing. There really are no words to describe just how beautiful this thing was – it HAS to be experienced first hand. Also inside the cathedral was this room, I forget exactly to whom it was dedicated or who it was for, but I’m pretty sure it was a tomb of some kind. And in this room were enormous precious stones set right into the wall. These stones were the size (at a minimum) of a basketball probably. It was crazy!
After soaking in the cathedral, we meandered down the “Golden Lane” and peeked into St. George’s church (an old Romanesque church). Unfortunately the Old Palace was closed, which was kind of disappointing because it looked like it had really cool vaults. But it was only closed because the King of the Czech Republic was having a special dinner or something, so at least it was a cool reason. We also toured Lobkowicz Palace, which was the home of the Royal Family. Inside they had the ACTUAL Mozart and Beethoven manuscripts, like the Messiah and Beethoven’s 5th. They were HUGE! I couldn’t believe that the only thing separating me from this incredibly important musical work was a piece of (probably) bullet-proof glass. Afterwards, we accidentally stumbled into a medieval torture tower – that was a bit disturbing, but still weirdly interesting – but still horrifying.
After walking down in the freezing cold and taking some night shots by the river, we found this cafe called the “Slav Cafe” and had dinner there. I had this mushroom goulash with pasta and sour cream on top – it was SO yummy! And the restaurant was SO warm! There was also this photo of someone near our table and a bunch of people kept wanting to take photos of it. I have no idea who it was but it must have been someone important. There was also a famous painting called “The Absinthe Drinker” and I forget its significance, but it was cool nonetheless.
The rest of the night I used to catch up on journal entries and was also able to Skype Justin! The luxury of having good internet! I could Skype him from a random location better than I could in my own apartment. Figures, but I’m not complaining.
PLP Break Day 3 – Prague, a set on Flickr.