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Easter Sunday in Prague

April 25, 2011

This year’s Easter Sunday was certainly very different from what Jen and I are used to.  Typically it is spent with family going to the sunrise or normal service, followed by a large meal (that includes deviled eggs – so good), then an Easter Egg Hunt, and finally rest and relaxation for the remainder of the day.  While our families were still doing these things back in the States, we were experiencing Easter in Eastern Europe in the city of Prague.  Where the tradition is for the men to take a handmade whip and hit the women until they give up their eggs.

We started the morning off fairly early by meeting up with Kim and Brian and walking through the old square, across Charles Bridge, and to St. Thomas Catholic Church.  None of us are Catholic but we enjoyed a great service anyway.  It was all in English, which was very nice, and only lasted 90 minutes, which we were expecting 180 minutes.  Plus, the Father sounded like he was from the Northeast, had a great sense of humor, and thoroughly explained all of the traditions.  Growing up Methodist, we did recognize many of the hymns and readings but we simply were not accustomed to all of the incense!  At the end of the service there was a brief processional and benediction and everyone was incredibly nice.  A great Easter morning service.

Relaxing at the Park in the middle of Prague

After our time of worship, we headed to a park on an island in the middle of the river but first stopped by a local store to pick up food for a picnic.  We spent probably four hours just sitting in the sun, talking about life, and watching people around us and in paddle boats.  It was a fantastic time with friends and I even had a chance to doze off for a little while.

Eventually we decided to get up and head back to the hotel, stopping along the way for Kim and Brian to buy a couple of souvenirs and for all of us to pick up some dinner.  We ate from street vendors again and Jen had her great Old Prague Ham and I had the typical sausage on a bun.  After making it back and giving the girls enough time to change clothes and freshen up, we were off to the symphony.

Now, I personally love the symphony and when we saw signs for a performance that showcased various pieces by Mozart, I was hooked.  The performance hall was the Prague Municipal House in the Smetana Hall, which was very pretty and quite large.  The seating was very unusual, with only two options for tickets – reserved up front or open seating everywhere else.  Even the boxes and mezzanine were considered open seating.  So, we got there early enough to have some pretty awesome seats, maybe the best, for the cheapest price.  The chamber orchestra was quite small – only 26 players.  They were accompanied by 21 vocalists and a female conductor that was not so great.  The performance started off pretty weak but by the last movement they really started playing much better and became quite enjoyable.  Overall, it was a great experience and I wish we had a picture of the four of us, but the language barrier seemed to prohibit us getting one that was not blurry or just the tops of our heads.

Following the symphony, we did something that I do not believe I have ever done on Easter before.  We went to a bar.  It had been a long day but we were not ready for it to end and just wanted to sit around and talk more.  We had a hard time finding a good place that was still open and settled on an Irish pub for a little while until the music got too loud for us to talk. So we left and eventually stumbled upon another interesting spot. 

Hanging at at "Bed Lounge"

Somehow we meandered into a bar called “Bed Lounge” and the name pretty well describes it.  It was lit in changing low-light colors from blue to red to white to green, had some special house/techno music playing, and all the seating was simply beds.  After finding some “seats” downstairs we ordered drinks and somehow proceeded to run off all the other patrons.  Not sure if this was due to our dancing, awkward picture taking, loud insults of the club, or what but I don’t think they cared for us all that much.  Soon after we arrived, we decided to leave.  I’m guessing the owner was not happy that we cleared the place out.

After a final walk through the old Prague square we headed to our hotels and called it the night.  What an interesting and memorable Easter Sunday.

He is Risen,
Steven

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