Christinas Baby Countdown

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christina in Prague!


Touching the face of the St. who was made a Saint because he was killed by the's suppose to be good luck to give his face a rub :)
St. Vitus Cathedral
Subway station
Pretty View
Grave stones in the Jewish quarter
Fall Time
Awesome Tree!!
Ancient clock in the heart of Prague. On the hour the little figures move and the 12 apostles pass by the windows. Death rings his bell reminding you that this could be your last hour, so be ready for judgment.
View in the back is the castle hill in Prague
National Museum
These two towers represent Adam and Eve. The one on the left is Eve- notice she is more slender and a little shorter- Adam is thicker and taller so he can protect her.

I just came back from Prague about a week ago. It was a fantastic trip and I had lots of good and ......interesting experiences. First I'll tell you about where I stayed. We normally stay in a regular hotel, but this time we stayed in what is called a Hostel. They are common in Europe. They are very cheap and the set up is a little different from a normal hotel. There are four or five single beds per room. The always fill up the rooms, so if you are traveling with say, 2 people, you will be put in a room with 2 or 3 more people, man or woman. We were lucky that we went in a big group so no one had to stay with strangers. There are no personal bathrooms in the rooms. There are floor bathrooms and floor showers. Those were divided into men and women, but they were MTC style. I am a little shy of the community shower thing, so I woke up in the middle of the night to shower :). The carpet everywhere is filthy!!!! There is gum smashed into it, grime in the corners and suspicious stains all over the place. I took pictures of the carpet for you all to see! (They are on facebook Mar) Out of all the rooms, we had the most interesting. There was a strong smell of pee in our room which we thought at first was probably just because overall plumbing in the building wasn't that great. We later found the strong source of that smell to be the closet. We think someone peed in there . It was really gross. It was hard to sleep in the smell and we were all a little scared of getting sick from the filth, but we survived! The good thing about having such a nasty place to stay was that it basically forced us to take advantage of Prague. We didn't want to spend much time there so we were out in the city from break of dawn till we were to tired to walk any more. If nothing else, the hostel was an experience :)!
Ok onto Prague. It was a beautiful city filled with amazing architecture. We saw a lot of different styles of architecture from Baroque, to Renaissance, to Romanesque, to Gothic. They had it all in Prague!
We went to a famous Gothic cathedral called St. Vitas Cathedral. It was huge and intimidating. It was one of those that has gargoyles and daemons all over the place. We learned that they put the daemons on the church because they believed that a real daemon would perish if he saw the likeness of himself. This way, if any daemons tried to go into the church, they would see themselves in the statues of the daemons on the church and thus perish. They sound pretty superstitious to me. I kept thinking of how that compares the the simple beauty in the temple. What a difference!
We also went to see a Jewish Synagogue. It was interesting. It was also very dark inside, but beautifully decorated in gold and intricate designs. It is so interesting to go into the Jewish worship buildings. In the Catholic cathedrals it is so ornate and focused on show, but there is at least focus on Christ. The Jewish places are just filled with designs. There is so much missing. I can't imagine worshiping with an absence of Christ. The Jews we have met seem to be good people though. They are respectable people who hold tight to tradition. I have liked all that I've met.
One of the fun things we did there was wander through the street market. They had a lot of really fun things there. There are so many different crafts that people do. It is neat to see the unique style in different countries when it comes to crafts and street vendors. There were a lot of artists who did pieces featuring the well known sights in Prague. I wanted to buy some art so bad, but I needed enough money to keep myself fed.
As for the food, it was good and relatively cheap. That was nice! I think my favorite food place so far is Hungary. Italy probably follows that. Europe is filled with yummy food! It's quite a danger........think wedding Christina..... must limit yourself on all the wonderful food!!!! It's a strugle I don't mind having :).
One more thing, and then I'm done I swear! I got to see a lot of art while I was there. I saw a lot of Mucha. I don't know if any of you are familiar with his work or not. It is beautiful. He mostly did women in whimsical settings. Most of them are dressed which is a nice change! Also, they all have really long flowing hair. I really liked his stuff. Another artist I saw a lot of was Dali. Most of you have probably seen the picture of the melting clocks? That's Dali. He did some cool things with distortion of normal objects (like the clocks), but I didn't like him as much. He was a weirdo and he did a lot of creepy, distrubing, disgusting art. His style is really different. I think that's why it's famous, but I didn't personally love his stuff.
Shoot, I have one more huge thing to tell you, then I am REALLY done! I went to an exibit that travels all over the world. We were lucky that it was in Prague while we were there. It was called the body exibit. This was probably the coolest thing I did while I was there. At this exibit, they have tons and tons of human cadavers.....real ones. They have found a way to perserve the tissue so they can display all the parts of the body. None of the cadavers had their skin on, so it was a totall run down of the different muscles, the nerves, the blood system, the organs, everything! It was so so cool. I learned so much. Each cadaver was disected to feature a different set of muscles or team of muscles. I saw all the layers of muscle, tendons, veins, bones, ect. They also had every single organ in the body on display and a description of each. They even had a display that showed you the whole blood system. It was amazing! How they did it (I hope this doesn't freak anyone out) was they pumped a chmical through the bloodstream so it would get to all parts of the cadaver. This chemical made the veins perservable against another chemical that they would use to disolve the rest of the body. So you go into this room and you see all the veins, some so small they look like fuzz, of the body. It was all in the form of the body still. So it was like someone made a body out of strings and fuzz and let it float in liquid. That sounds creepy when I describe it, but it was SO interesting. I also learned all about the brain and the messages sent to nerves all down the spine. I wish I could describe it better. It just broke EVERYTHING down, every system, every function that your body performs and put it on display. I kept thinking, how could scientists have the gall to be athiest! How can you look at this intricate thing, where everything is so detailed and complex, yet perfect, and say that it crawled out of the ocean. How can you say that a supreme, all-knowing being didn't creat that? It just boggels my mind. Everything testifies that God lives. He is our creator, and what an amazing job He did. I worry that my world of people will be very simple. I don't know if I could design something like that! Anyways, that was an incredible, educational, and even edifying experience!
Ok, I'll stop! I love you all. Dad, I am so happy about your calling to be the Bishop of the Shilo Ward. You will be a wonderful Bishop. I wish I could have been there to see you sustained. I love you so much!
I love you all and pray every day that you are well. I will update you again in a little while about the things I'm doing here in Vienna. I will be staying here for the rest of the trip except for a trip to Frankfurt to visit the temple. So I have time to start being a tourist in Vienna! Have a wonderful day everyone and I will hopefully talk to you soon.
Life is beautiful!!!

Love always,