Friday, April 30, 2010

Prague Holiday

I'm finally getting around to writing a small post about our trip to Prague! We were able to get away from Kharkov and spend a week with the McDougle family in Prague a couple weeks ago. Thankfully for us, we arrived just before the volcano erupted in Ieland, and the flights from Prague to Kiev resumed the day before we were scheduled to return! Of course, David was hoping we might get "stuck" for a few more days, but we were fine in the end. :)

Prague was a really neat city, the streets were just beautiful. The colors of the buildings were pretty each street and sidewalk was made of cobblestones. I think the majority of the rooftops in Prague are red, something you can even pick out as you're flying into the city. Three famous sites we were able to see were Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock Tower (in Old Square), and Prague Castle, all very nice. On the right are two pictures from the castle, one of a street called Golden Lane which was formally living quarters and workshops for the workers at the castle, and the other is a little view looking in the castle grounds (including the massive cathedral). I think the clock tower was our favorite (picture to the left). Every hour the clock puts on a show for the tourists and the little windows open up and the twelve apostles move across, two at a time. We were also able to go up into the tower and look out over the town, which was especially fun.

While we were there, our friends from Legacy (Collin, Marissa, and Caden McCormick) who are currently living in Germany, drove in for the weekend to meet up with us and see Prague. It was such a neat surprise and we had a really great time together! It was also our first time to meet their 9 month old son, Caden. (See picture to the left of Caden and David.) Anyway, they came in Friday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon. On Sunday morning, we were able to worship together with the church in Prague, which was really encouraging. Of course their meeting was in Czech, but the preacher there would summarize what he was saying in English for us. It was neat to worship together with another part of the body! We had a great time with the McCormicks... thanks so much for coming!!

Speaking of the language... although Czech is also a Slavic language, we were really only able to catch a word or two every so often that was the same or similar as Russian, so we were really blessed that so many in Prague spoke in English. In fact, we did almost all of our communication in English. For the couple of times when they didn't understand English, we were able to communicate in Russian. It was nice that we were able to fall back on that!

One of the best things about Prague was being able to have what we can't have in Ukraine. For example: Subway, KFC, Starbucks, Mexican food... yumm! (The picture to the left was taken at our favorite Mexican place.) We only have one American chain, McDonalds, in Kharkov, so it was so nice eating our other favorites we don't normally get to enjoy. David and I also were able to go see two movies, in English. In Kharkov, the only option of seeing movies in theaters up until recently has been to view them in Ukrainian (which we don't understand at all). Now, however, we are be able to start seeing shows in Russian, according to the changes made by the new President. Anyway... the food was fabulous and made the trip GREAT!

We also made a day trip to the Prague Zoo which was actually really nice! David went early to start looking around, and the rest of us joined him a little over an hour later. We all looked around, seeing some of the big animals, then the McDougles left and David and I stayed around for a couple more hours to see just a bit more. The grounds were really well laid out, but we especially liked the area they kept the giraffes. They were all indoors at that time, but the glass windows were you could view them were probably about two stories high. You were able to view the giraffes on the same level, so it really showed how massive they are!!

For those interested, we would definitely recommend Prague as a good holiday spot! (But, come see us in Ukraine too, of course!)