Prague:: Tour of Prague with Marcela Zackova/free afternoon/cultural dinner (as a group)/hotel in Prague
We started this morning, greeted by Hans and Marcela, our new tour guide. I was having a difficult time making out much of what she said due to being soft spoken and having a thick Czech accent, but it was obvious she’s an expert on Prague.
Prague is crowded. I’m reminded of my visit to New York city. There were moments were the crowds were shoulder to shoulder and went on as far as the eye can see. Being driven to the top of the hill, and left off where the castle and cathedral are, we began winding down the hill through the buildings and then streets. It took around 3 hours.
Many references to St. Wenceslas and the Habsbergs through this tour as well as the last. We were given SO much information. And were separated so often by big crowds, and noise, I found it difficult to follow her talk but knew to follow the melon colored scarf on a pointer stick!
This has been the hardest day for me so far. I’m a bit over-tired. I think there were lots of naps this afternoon. We have about five hours on our own this afternoon and I was hearing many say they were looking forward to getting alone or to being somewhere quieter.
Some trivia from the tour: Prague University was founded in 1348, Charles bridge is the oldest bridge in the country, there are five formerly independent cities that combined to create Prague. They don’t mess around with naming—it is, what it is. There’s New Town, Old Town, Small Town and the Jewish Quarter, I dare you to guess what their distinguishing characteristics are.
While touring we had our first peak at Strahov Abbey through the skyline and trees. She told us about the two libraries and around 140,000 volumes. They call the group there Premonstrators here. From the twelfth century and originally made of wood, it’s been rebuilt many times. We’ll have more on Strahov in a few days. I can’t wait to see this.
The Cathedral was loud and crowded, it was hard to hear the tour guide but I did catch a snippet of the story around the rose window there. It is a telling of the creation story, but it has eight sections.
The royal jewels are in the cathedral locked away, Marcela told us that there are seven keys to enter the area and all must be present to get inside.
We saw many more old tower, old bridges, blackened limestone, little shops along the bridge and statues along the bridge—even one of St. Norbert. The 30 statutes–half limestone, half replicas, a few bronze but all Saints–and finished with seeing the clock chimes…I have a ton of pictures.
Later today we will go to a “cultural dinner.” Fr. Sal told me I should expect to get many more photos tonight.
It is getting harder and harder to keep the days and events straight in my mind. Even through my foggy confusion it has been amazing. I love learning about these cultures and history of the Norbertines, and I’m eternally grateful.
I’ll post about tonight’s festivities, tomorrow. I’m sure it will be memorable.
As far as tomorrow goes: it is our last day in Prague. A day trip to Doksany by way of a 40 minute drive. We have another tour and lunch and will stay here for the evening again.