Sunday, October 15, 2006

Prague 1

Lan and I had a heck of a time trying to get here on the train. We started a very sleep-deprived day when our train left Budapest at 6:50 a.m. We found our seats and realized that we had a whole cabin to ourselves and were able to sleep for the first 3 hours. Then we kept stopping and more and more people got on. When people joined our cabin, all of a sudden it was full. THEN after frequent interruptions from different country and train officials stamping passports and checking tickets, one man told me and Lan to leave the cabin and give our seats to an older couple. This was the most inconvenient thing that could have possibly happened. We had paid to have a seat reserved, so I was perplexed as to why they needed mine. There were people just sitting and standing in the aisle, so when Lan and I were trying to get out, we had the older couple in our way because they had decided to come on ahead into the cabin, then all the people in the aisle to get by. All this with bags coming from all sides. Impossible. We finally got settled in the next car and made the rest of the trip ok.

We got a hotel room, a subway pass, and headed out. We were trying to figure out how to buy a ticket for the tram, so I asked the man next to me if he spoke English. Homeboy was from Ohio, and his dad lives in Kingsport! CRAZY how small this world is. After getting on and off the tram, we got lost trying to find our hotel. This wouldn't have been as big of a problem if Lan and weren't carrying about 50 lbs. each. Our shoulders are still killing. We took it easy once we found it and just headed to the Old Town Square, which is beautiful.

Saturday, we headed to the Lesser Town, checked out St. Nicholas's Cathedral and walked up in the tower. St. Nick's has got to be one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. It literally brought me to tears, but it wasn't the beauty itself. I sat before the main altar, noticing the incredible ornate-ness of the designs and thought about how much time and effort went into its constructions versus how much time and effort we or they put into our walk with Christ. I have to think the chasm between the two is large. Very sad. I spoke with Lan about the competing themes within churches. Is God glorified by majestic architecture, design, dress, and music? Or does it distract us from Him? Did the Purists have it right? Should we focus on NOTHING external and simply dwell on Him in our minds and hearts? I'm torn.

We then traveled to Petrin Hill, which houses a large replica of the Eiffel Tower from which you can get an incredible view of the city. So we did. By the way, I took about 4 rolls of pictures yesterday from every possible angle. I just kept thinking of how proud my father would be of me. I am so my father's daughter. On our way down, we took a not-so-beaten path and walked down an almost vertical hill. Adventures...

We always take time to souvenir shop when we see something interesting, and we've heard all kinds of people speaking variations of English here. Many, many tourists.

Today, we got up to get to the Prague Castle and St. Vitus's Cathedral. It was awesome. And of course, we took the tower up at the Cathedral, which was 287 stairs! Let me just tell you that Lan and are honkin' kickin it. We walked up the tower at St. Nick's, the Eiffel Tower, and now the 287 steps at St. Vitus's. I'm not sure my legs are going to fit into my jeans anymore. lol. We're at least power kickers now. lol.

One more day to see it all here. We're going to a symphony/dance performance tonight, and we're way excited. Talk to you back in Budapest.


Anonymous said...

You found somebody with a Kingsport connection-That's Crazy! Can't wait to see all your pictures- you're right, Dad's going to be so proud.I bet ya are exhausted.
Love you,

z.c. said...

In Haggai we see that God put a desire in Haggai's heart to rebuild the temple and give the Israelites a proper place to worship. Many complained that it was not as ornate as the original solomonic temple. God desires for us to establish places to congregate and worship but when the place gets in the way of the message God allows the babylonians kick it old school.