TRAVEL – PRAGUE
This week a few pics of St Vitus Cathedral. I usually take a photo of the name of a church, but this time I forgot and I’ve had to hunt on Google maps street view to identify it.
It was quite awe inspiring. It’s 600 years old and has in turn been called St Vitus, St Adalbert and St Wenceslas. (When I was little and sang that carol “Good King Wenceslas looked out…” I thought it was – last looked out – and wondered what happened to him after that. My writer’s mind had him hung drawn and quartered, strung up, boiled in oil, burned at the stake or something worthy of the saint status).
In olden days in was the venue for coronations of kings and queens. It’s a Roman Catholic place of worship and this form of Christianity was forced on the Czechs under dominance by the Habsburgs. I discovered that in 1910 Catholicism was the professed religion of 96.5% of the population. The latest figures show 39.8% as atheist and 39.2% as Catholic.
HISTORY – ISABELLA OF SPAIN
To be honest, Ferdinand is a bit cheesed off acting as a servant to one of the merchants. He’s a bit of a spoiled brat and doesn’t like being bossed about. He’s not too good at this undercover stuff, and grooming the mules and serving at tables and to now skulk around dressed in servant’s clothes on the way to a country where he is only going to be the king consort is demeaning.
The party travel mostly by night, but when they stop at an inn, they become fearful they have been discovered. As soon as they finish their meal, they decide to press on with the journey. They discover that they have left the purse with all their travelling money behind. It’s too risky to go back for it, so they ride on, penniless. Is there no end to this excitement?
Of the 54 African countries I have only lived in and or visited 12 of them. I count myself very privileged to have travelled deep rural, into informal townships and many places not frequented by either tourists or local residents.
With the film crew, we spent days in communities talking to local people, in broken English or with an interpreter. We also talked to wealthy people in positions of power. People are the same the world over, yet I saw more resilience, more fatalism and more courage than I have seen in so called civilised, western countries.
They have a more happy go lucky approach too, as this picture below shows – yes the caption is true, I saw the paperwork.
I was thrilled to hear that Truth, Lies and Propaganda was chosen by a book club in America. I do hope I get to hear what they thought of it.
Till next time, take care.