Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 6: We begin our Tour of Prague in the Jewish Quarter

Tuesday we met our guide Renata at our hotel. A very pleasant Czhec native who is a tour guide here. We spent a pleasant morning with her walking through the old Jewish Quarter of town and listening to a very interesting history of the German occupation here. I was very moved by some of the things that we saw and heard here. In one of the synagogues is a memorial to all of the Jews who were put to death during this time. The names were written on the walls and there were so many, more than 70,000 it took up all of the walls. In another part of the museum there were children's drawings saved by a woman who was an art teacher and encouraged the children to express themselves through drawing. She was eventually put to death as were most of the Jews but the pictures survived, hidden in a suitcase until after the war. These drawings depicted things like life in the camp, life before they came to camp etc. One that really struck me was a picture of a dinner table with many empty chairs. As people were taken from the camp they didn't come back and were taken to places like Auschwitz and Dakou to be killed. The kids would see them leave and not return. As I viewed all of this I was very grateful for this woman who did what she could in very dire circimstances, what a difference she made in those children's lives and then to be able to reach out and touch the world after her death with this memorial. Inspiring!

We ended our tour in the Old Town Square our tour guide left us for the day. We had lunch in the square and some yummy gelato and spent some time shopping and wandering around. We found a chocolate shop and watch them making candy by hand. Lots and lots of handicrafts to look at and buy. We saw the Powder Tower, a tower where they used to store the gun powder. So many interesting buldings. Things are so old here, it is amazing. After we went back to the hotel for a nap we headed off to go to Swan Lake at the Statni Opera House. Brad had booked us box tickets and it was wonderful. Really fun and the ballet was beautiful. I have not seen much ballet but this was so much fun to watch and really well done. We sidled home in the rain very happy and was a good day!

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