I achieved something this vacation, sitting. Sitting without need to scurry to the next event. I sat at lunch in the Old Town’s square and in the outdoor and inner courtyards under tents, and I sat and enjoyed both the company and the setting – and I appreciated the sitting.
This old city feels both like an oasis of a hidden gem in a bubble and also the pulse of the most vibrant and easy city to visit. Huge but 100% manageable. It’s the city that doesn’t scare. Walking and trams and subways are easy. The people are amazing and history blends ingenuity with influences over a thousand years recorded and certainly longer into unknown times. The future? This city, it seems, could still run for a while if someone pulled the plug on the rest of the world.
I would return and return… How blessed on this trip to being a world traveler in an “easy” place with backup support as we are introduced to and revisit so much family, including some “world travelers” in my cousins, with whom we had dinner near a vast park stretched across the huge walking overlook (greens and flowers and skateboarding and young people hangouts) – which gave tremendous views accross the river. This is an area where people live, not just be touristy. And oh the views!!! There was even a local band concert setting up in that park overlooking the views.
The views of the city are from a different angle from each vantage point, we went north south east and west – and even UNDER things on this trip. Different angles and you notice different things, and I am meaning both the picturesque views and life point of views. We have different angles to see life. We often do need to sit in a café and ponder them, talk about them civilly and with experience.
No bugs… that’s a main reason I could really really enjoy outside this trip. No mosquitoes. Yes a fly found us a few times, usually just one, but I had a flyswatter and good skills from my childhood of swatting flies at my grandparents farm and house… SWAT. But outside? One fly on occasion, one yellow jacket here and there, some gnats at the woods, but no mosquitoes, none. We could sit. I could sit, I needed to sit!
This day needed to sit at the mall Starbucks WI-FI area because we walked and walked… 20,000 steps, 8 miles, 29 flights of stairs and we only did 2 towers! Good towers!!! A clock which is a marvel of longevity, even if the figures and mechanisms needed replacing time to time, especially when it was shelled by the Nazi’s at the closing moments of WW2. The protest/war/disgruntledness of sore losers, the last minute swipe of intending a mental attack on the nation’s spirits while on your way out. This clock walls and metal survived the fire, the sculptures were remade. The building (about half) was restored. One section was not.
We visited the art deco building next door to the mall (with the WI-FI) and the national museum a few blocks over, but those will have to wait for the next trip! We went to famous statue site of protests and victory gatherings when communism and the iron curtain fell. My cousin asked about the atmosphere in America with the changing presidential regimes, I said people are polarized and on opposite sides politically, separating us, but really people tried not to talk politics in mixed company to keep the peace. No bugging each other when you can keep the peace.
No bugs on the sitting in trip, but we did see spiders! I remember taking a peak in yet another root cellar from the 1700s, as a fortified mound in my cousin’s backyard, and there was a HUGE spider, size of a silver dollar. Spiders, however scary, are good for bug control. We too need to gobble up things that bug us to move our lives in peace. We need to set aside bugs and decompress on vacation. I’ve enjoyed this bubble of no bugging. Like walking the boardwalk one last time last night in perfect weather…
My scripture connection is to the attempt to dishearten the people by the Nazi’s (and yes there were concentration camps near here). War IS hell, but the people have survived and thrived… and the people who still worked the fields (farm fields, stone fields, trade fields) still stayed, and THRIVED.
It’s a beautiful city. God is good to let us be here.
See the world to see the uniqueness of each place. Enjoy the view!
Scripture from in 2nd Kings, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it……
He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down. The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon. But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.