Ohh, Betsy!

The extra hour August 3, 2009

Filed under: Seriously now,Travel — Anna @ 8:49 am

Living in Prague as a missionary was a dream.  It was emotionally and physically difficult but at the same time it was a dream.  Although others may argue, I believe that Prague is the most beautiful city in Europe.  And for six months, I was able to live and work there.  Granted, most of my work took place away from the center of the city where the most breathtaking sights were held, but the feeling that Prague brings -the beauty it brings to your soul- does not leave you.

One Sunday morning, my missionary companion and I rushed to the tram stop an hour before church began so that we could make the trek to our meeting house. Sundays were slow transportation days and if you didn’t catch the first tram, there was no hope of being on time.  We climbed on the first in a series of trams we would take to reach our destination.  As we plopped down in the empty car, I looked through my hazy eyes to see that the clock was an hour early.  No, we were an hour early.  We did not remember to change our clocks.  We somehow forgot that we could have had an extra hour of sleep which was very precious to the over-tired missionary.

We seemed to be of one mind when we discovered we had that extra hour.  Almost without any discussion, we stepped off the tram near Charles Bridge and took an hour-long walk through the city to our church building.  It was early in the morning, before any tourists were out and before any club mixes blared from stores.  As an added bonus, it was Sunday where most people were either sleeping in or hung over.  Times like this were rare in such a noisy metropolis.  The beauty of the city was only magnified by the calm that blanketed our surroundings. We walked across the bridge and the Vltava river.  We walked through Mala Strana and up to Prague Castle.  From there, we walked to our building.  We reached the same destination. The difference that Sunday morning was that we used the extra hour to walk and absorb our surroundings,  traveling on foot rather than sitting on a tram watching everything from the window.

Life doesn’t always work out on our timeline. We are anxious and we are impatient.  We are planners.  We are scheduled.  But sometimes, we are given an extra hour. An hour that isn’t missing, it’s a bonus.  So as I’ve grown ever-impatient in my life, I remember my extra hour in Prague and am reminded that the destination was the same, but I was all the happier for having walked a mile in a magical city.


17 Responses to “The extra hour”

  1. I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the process nearly every day. It’s so hard for me to grasp that. It’s like I’m brain dead about it. Miley Cyrus figured it out – why can’t I?

  2. Jessie Says:

    I’ve heard from many people with travel experience that Prague is one of the prettiest, coolest cities in the world. I really want to go there someday.
    Cool story…by the way.

  3. Ann Says:

    Good story. Can’t wait to go to Prague.

  4. Karin Brooks Says:

    I TOTALLY did the same thing with my companion and showed up to the church an hour early too. Sleep is so precious to missionaries. You were smart to enjoy the city.

  5. Abby Says:

    Makes me want to travel again. You know, I can’t remember the last time I felt like I had a free hour. Good job living the dream.

  6. Meag Says:

    You reminded me of my year in London. I used to love getting up early and taking the bus from my husbands house 45 minutes out of the city to my dorm. During that time I would sit up top in the front and just wonder at the green and the buildings. I loved just taking that time to sit and think and enjoy.

  7. JoAnna Says:

    Sigh… That’s some good stuff right there, Anna.

  8. Katherine MW Says:

    anna. i really enjoy this blog. thanks for sharing!

    • Anna Says:

      Thanks Katherine. And if I ever move back to Utah, I’m dying to be your photography assistant any time.

  9. Jeanettie boo Says:

    I’m going to call this “Anna’s Extra Hour Theory”…And I really like it!

  10. Angie Says:

    Thanks for the post. It took me down memory lane when Bri and I visited Prague. We spend many a days walking on Charles Bridge with a nice icecream in hand. Rubbing the statue so my wish could come true. BTW it did! I will tell you later what it was. Dang it is an awesome city.

  11. Audrie Says:

    Your memory is amazing. I really should have written in my journal like you said! I don’t remember the morning, it must have been with your next companion. I did have a similar time in Ceske Budejovice. There was fresh snow covering the namesti. The silence and the surroundings were just breathtaking. I won’t ever forget that picture in my mind. Here is, however, something I do recall from our time together…Do the stairs at Cerny Most ring a bell? Love ya!

  12. Joette Wangsgard Says:

    Ah Praha! It’d be lovely to go back again! Thanks for reminding me of that amazing morning! And, so wonderfully written to boot.

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