I did not mean to wait this long between my last World Youth Day post and this one, but grad school kind of got in the way. Anyhow, I’m writing this now.
Our plane from New York City landed in Prague, Czech Republic around 11am Czech time (this means 3am Mountain Time) and we were all exhausted. I have so much trouble sleeping on planes that I barely got any rest on the transatlantic flight and now we were off again.
The Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic.
Our tour guide met us at the airport and we boarded a bus for a tour of Prague. We ended up in the town square. Here we were told to find something for lunch from one of the little cafes.
Well, this might surprise you but you can’t just tell someone with celiac disease to “find something” to eat. Yep, I found nothing safe and instead ate a granola bar I had and a Coke.
The old town square in Prague, Czech Republic.
After the town square, we took a very brief walking tour of Prague’s Old Town and then got to the Charles Bridge. Some Czech king built it a very long time ago and it is now a walking bridge with little, moveable market stalls.
The entrance to the Charles Bridge in Prauge, Czech Republic.
However, our tour guide lady was in a big rush and refused to let us stop at all. I was lucky to snap a few pictures while being herded across the bridge. The bridge has these statues every little bit and I think all of them are religiously based.
One of the many statues on the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic.
After again boarding the buses, we were on our way to Svata Hora. This is a Czech shrine and the name roughly translates to Holy Hill. We had a Mass said by our Bishop and priests in a very beautiful chapel. The altar piece was literally covered in gold.
The chapel at Svata Hora in the Czech Republic.
We did not stay at Svata Hora long because we had to get to Brno before our hotel closed for the night. The rest of the day of heavy driving finally got us there. It was a pretty packed first day in Europe and I was so happy to have a bed to sleep in.
The next morning, we had Mass in a conference room at the hotel. It was strange because we were all sitting at dining room tables set with silverware during the Mass. However, it was beautiful and the Bishop kept the homily brief because we were already behind our tour guide’s schedule.
After Mass, we had one of the fastest walking tours ever of Brno. It was faster than the one in Prague! We walked quickly for the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul where we stayed for only two minutes before heading back to the buses.
A statue near the Cathedral in Brno, Czech Republic.
In fact, the tour guide LEFT some of our group at the Cathedral and they had to find their own way back to the bus. Thankfully, they had one of our pilgrims with a great sense of direction with them.
The parish church in Wadowice, Poland.
We had a long bus ride to Wadowice, the hometown of Pope Saint John Paul II. There we were able to see the wonderful museum in what used to be the apartment building where Pope Saint John Paul II grew up. We, sadly, weren’t able to do much more than peak into the church because there was a funeral.
After Wadowice, we had a long bus ride to meet our host families for the next few days. These first two days in Europe were super busy and had A LOT of bus time.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of my crazy World Youth Day adventures!