Monday, August 07, 2006

Final Destination

Note: Long post with pictures.

I am home now. It's so nice to be back. James Blake is playing tennis on TV and pizza is on the way. Once I get home after a long drive, I never want to get out again. My drive home was interesting. I noticed that my car was slightly vibrating, but it stopped if I dropped below 65, so I lowered my speed and didn't worry about it much. It wasn't shaking badly like during my last Tour O' Texas when my tire almost exploded. But I drove in 114, where you have to slow down to at least 45 mph in all the towns along the way. When my speed dropped to about 55, my car started seriously shaking. So I stopped at a service shop. The guy felt my tires, and told me the tread was separated, and I was lucky it hadn't come apart while I was driving. He didn't have the tire, but he made a call to find a tire for me, then drove his motorcycle home to get his truck so he could pick up the tire and put it on my car. Gotta love the customer service in small Texas towns. So I'm off, driving about 74 in 70, when I pass a state tropper going the opposite direction, and he starts flashing his lights and pulls me over. Lifetime Police Pullovers: Four; Lifetime Tickets Issued: Zero. I was going to be pretty pissed if I got a ticket for going four miles over the speed limit.

So, back to Europe.

We had to catch a 6:45 a.m. train from Munich to Prague. It was one of those trains that splits somewhere along the way, with the front half going to one destination, and the second half going to Prague. We got on the right half. We arrived in Prague in the early afternoon, so we toured the Prague Castle.

This is the Cathedral, the highlight of the Castle. I didn't get to climb the tower because we had a few more sights to see before closing time. The pictures I took of the cathedral the day we visited did not turn out well because it was a rainy and overcast day. It started to rain while we were exploring the castle, so we had dinner early. It was delicious. Not very Czech - just chicken and rice - but it was delicious. The next day we toured the Jewish area, Josefov. We visited three or four synagogues and the Jewish Cementary. Most of the synagogues were musuems, but one had the names of all the Czech Jews that died during the genocide. One of the ladies in our group found the name of a man that was related to personal friends of her family. Our guide convinced the lady supervising tourists to let her take a picture of the name to take back to her friends. The same synagogue had a marker indicating the water level during the 2002 flood, the reason I wasn't able to visit Prague during my backpacking trip of 2002.

Graves were dug above graves to make room for all the bodies in the Jewish Cemetary. There were some American Jews praying over one of the graves. There were rocking and reading from their books. It was an interesting sight.

According to my pedometer, I walked 17.65 miles this day, the most miles I walked in a day for the entire trip.

I got up the next morning at 4:15 to watch the sunrise from Charles Bridge. It was just under a mile from our hotel to the bridge, so I ran to the bridge when it was still dark. I realized during my run that it was very cloudy, and there was no sign of a sunrise. I got some good pictures while it was still dark. Completely empty. It was great!

I'm done posting for the day, even though I have more to tell. I'm getting very annoyed that every time I insert a picture, it inserts it at the top of the blog and I have to gradually move it down the page to get the formatting I want. The last two pictures I inserted without formatting, thinking maybe that would be easier, but it wasn't. I'll try something different tomorrow. Blogging is still new to me.

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