Sunday Snapshots: A Reminder

St. Barbara’s Church, Kutná Hora, 2009

Kutná Hora is probably best known among tourists as home to the so-called “bone church,” which while decidedly macabre, wasn’t my cup of tea. St. Barbara’s, on the other hand, was as majestic from a distance as it was inside. There were a few visitors, sure, but no lines, no crowding, just arching ceiling above, medieval frescoes peering down at you, and warm spring light pouring through the windows. If you come to Kutná Hora for the bone church, stay for St. Barbara’s, and this church of frosted cupcake.

Speaking of sun, the days are getting longer and warmer, which hopefully means that summer is just around the corner. Soon most European cities will be teeming with tourists, buses, “theft-proof” wallet necklaces, and the bane of the 21st century, selfie sticks.

This picture can hopefully serve as a friendly reminder that one of my favorite parts of living here is that one can almost always turn a corner and find themselves very nearly alone. I’ll try to remember it myself when I’m fighting my way through boat people in at the farmer’s market in Nürnberg’s Hauptmarkt in a week or two…

Sunday Snapshots: Praha in Spring

Prague, 2009

April 2nd, 2009, lives in my mind as an Epic Prague Day. Friends from our TEFL course had passed around Europe and returned to Prague before flying back to the U.S., and so we took the chance to make the most of our time left together.  That meant doing one of the boat tours on the Vltava, feasting our way through the Easter market, buying beers to take on the spider bike, and convincing our spider bike driver to take us on an extended off-tour excursion as his punishment for picking us up late.

Then it was more wandering around the city, including this walk through the park filled with young and old (and a couple taking their cat for a walk); while we soaked up the Czech sunshine, eventually finding our way to a cozy pub that didn’t mind indulging some silly Americans, flush with sentimentality for the end of our time together for the evening. I miss those crazy kids.

Sunday Snapshots: Eight

Prague, 2009

Prague, 2009

Today marks eight years in Europe for me.

Coming off of a visit to the States for Christmas where it seemed in many way like I could just pick up with people where we left, rather than not having contact in (in some cases) years since my last visits, it seems strange. But here we are.

I was thinking about ports in storms after my last photo post, and that’s almost what today’s picture represents. On one of our first weekends in Prague, a group of us went hunting for English books and eventually found this branch of the Shakespeare & Sons bookstore. It seems almost every large European city with an extensive English-speaking population boasts a version of this store, but Prague has two. This one, located at the Malá Strana end of the Charles Bridge, is much smaller, more narrow, and has books piled on every available surface. In short, pretty much want you want in a pocket-sized used bookstore. And for a group of voracious readers who had already gone through a round or two of book trading, new titles were almost a necessity. Used bookstores are an absolute lifeline for most of us…. e-readers be damned.

Seems like ages ago, and yet it doesn’t. Another year, and still weird.