Sunday in Prague

When we finally left Prague late Saturday night, Dan Shenk and I [david] tried to find our way out of the city—this was made much more difficult because the roads in Prague are not marked, so we just navigated with a compass knowing that at some point Prague would have to end. Dan was driving and all of a sudden there were bright blue lights flashing behind us. A couple of cops got out of the police car and approached my side of the car before realizing that it was a right-hand drive. They told us that we had gone down a one-way street the wrong way (but I don’t think there were any marked signs). When they determined that it was an honest mistake and that we weren’t drunk they let us go. I don’t think they wanted to deal with the hassle of ticketing a Canadian (Dan Shenk has a Canadian passport) with a British car in the Czech Republic.

We found a place to park outside of Prague (after finally finding its end) by a KFC. The next morning we got up and went back into Prague to try to find the English speaking church we found on the internet the night before. Again the lack of posting road numbers deterred our progress, but we finally found the church. We were afraid we were going to be about twenty minutes late, but I noticed that on their web page they posted a note that the church service was to start at 12:00 instead of the normal time of 11:00. We were quite glad for this change because it allowed us to freshen up before going into the church and find a place to sit before the service started. We were made very welcome by the pastor and other church members. This was the first church service that I have been able to understand since we left the U.K., and it was very refreshing. It was the first church service that was similar stylistically to my church back home, which made me realize how much I miss my church family back home and the actual church service itself. We first sang praise and worship songs (that we knew), and then the pastor gave a good sermon using I John 3. After the sermon we had a time of communion in which we ate real bread instead of the cardboard wafer served in high churches. The church attracts quite a few young families and young adults going to college in Prague; it was good to see a large number of peers in a church for the first time on the trip.

After church we walked Prague for several hours. We first saw Wenceslas Square, which turned out to look much more like a road than a square, but what do I know? There we saw a noble statue of the “Good King” who went out on the Feast of Steven. We next saw a statue of Jan Hus—an early protestant martyr—in the town center, before seeing Franz Kafka’s house nearby. Unfortunately, Gregor the giant beetle was nowhere to be seen. Next, we climbed a big hill which gave us a great view of the city and also contained the Palace. Matt had a very one-sided conversation with a guard who was standing by the gate to the Palace. I had to wonder what was going through the guard’s mind as Matt explained why his job was unimportant and how he was nothing more than an ornament. We decided to head back to our car and walked over the famous Charles Bridge on the way. The Charles Bridge was covered with tourists like maggots on a rotting carcass, but we were eventually able to fight our way through the teeming masses. Prague is a very tourist town; I knew that this would be the case, but the sheer quantity of them surprised me (and also disappointed me a little too).

On the way back to the car we found a cheap supermarket (Tesco) and purchased some normal extremely cheap bread, some other normal food items, some snacks for Dan Shenk—it was his birthday, so we decided to get him some small treats—and some cappuccino mix which has joined toast and popcorn as a delicious supplement to our meals. We piled our food purchases into the back of the car and headed out of town excited to see the beauty of the Austrian Alps the next morning.

david miller

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