Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prague part III - here and there

There are many things I love about Europe.
One of them?

Mass transportation.

Our rental car only got us from city to city...otherwise it was all metro, tram, bus and the occasional taxi.
Definitely our preferred mode of transportation.

Oh yeah, and a hell of a lot of walking.

More of Prague castle...

Umm, yeah.

And a peek at a traditional goldsmith's studio/home space in Prague castle.

One interesting side note:  
Every goldsmith always had a birdcage in their work area.
Apparently, birds were used to detect toxic levels of chemical vapors in the air.

Views of the city from the castle walls

St. Charles Bridge


I plan on coming back.
So much more to see...

I loved this city.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Prague part II - St. Vitus Cathedral

It is taking a great deal of time to sift through all the pictures of our trip.
Like I had mentioned before, I took several thousand pictures in some of the cities we visited during our trip, so yeah, I'm looking at hours of cataloging time!

Not work to me, though, just a whole lot of fun looking through and editing.
I usually like to set myself up comfortably, with coffee in hand in front of the large living room windows of Norbert's mom's house, and lose myself for a few hours.
(this works really well when the boys are nowhere near me....this is where Norbert, wonderfully, comes in :)

This post still resides in Prague.
Little by little I will be sharing highlights of those two weeks in all of the other cities we visited.

Today, however, is St. Vitus Cathedral:

The distinctly Gothic cathedral was erected in the 1300s as it stands today.
Prior to that there had been a smaller church, on that site, built as early as the 900s or so.

The size of this place is crazy massive and it really hits you two times:  first when you walk up to the cathedral outside its doors and have to crane your neck way up to the see the architecture in its entirety. Next, is when you first enter inside:

You can't possibly imagine the effect it has. 

There is this collective intake of breath of every group of people who first enter the great hall.
It is that remarkable.

And then, of course, are the details that add to the magnificence of the place, such as the rows of the stained glass windows.

Sooo much more amazing in person.

Try to view the people in these photographs as a scale of reference to how enormous this place is....

The cathedral also houses a great deal of tombs from kings and Roman Emperors.
Many of the pictures here are photographs of tombs.

The Emperor, whose tomb is shown in the top two pictures, had his tongue cut out and was thrown from the top of the hill that holds this cathedral. There are a great deal of these kind of stories associated with many of these tombs!

One part of the organ, above.

St. Wenceslas Chapel that holds the relics of the saint - 
Over a thousand semi-precious stones decorate the room. There is a small door, from this room, that leads to a chamber that houses the Czech Crown jewels. Apparently, they are only able to be viewed by the public once every eight years.


The cathedral is only one part of Prague castle, albeit the most magnificent, but we also visited a great part of the rest of the castle that day. 
Those will come next...

After I post this we will be driving to Tartu to visit more of Norbert's family and to celebrate, with them, the Summer Solstice.

Yep, on the road again!
We have really been living out of a suitcase for awhile, but honestly, five weeks into this trip and I am still excited for each day and for each new destination :)

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