There is a little village in the shadow of the mountains by the Wolfgangsee (lake really), which is the birth place of Mozart’s mom. It’s name is St. Gilgen, which is the equivalent of St. Giles, a rather odd name for an Austrian town. Mozart actually never visited the city, though the tourist rhetoric associates him with the town, to get tourists to come. It is worth a visit all by itself anyway, as it is beautiful, rather like a… Read more

Ever been to a truck stop? Ever sampled the food there. Well let me tell you, the truck stops on the interstate in Austria are a horse of a different color. Yes, you can get gas there, of both sorts. Admittedly, the old gasthaus gang was a little rustic. Well, they don’t look that way any more. Not at Landzeit toll road plazas! And as for the food they serve… it’s all top drawer, as the British would say…. and… Read more

Praha is a city of large squares, open boulevards, narrow winding streets, and decorated clock towers, guild halls, and generally fascinating architectural styles of many different period. First, lets look at some views from one of the hills on the new town side of the river looking towards both the old city walls, and the new car and train tressel. The cars run on top of that bridge, the trains under the under hang. Here we see a unique twin… Read more

Let’s face it, towering old cathedrals are not likely to be a fave rave of children, so just behind the cathedral was a little aviary of sorts. Here are some of the birds we saw…. If you are wondering why this snowy owl has his eyes so wide open in the middle of day, notice the beverage behind him they’ve been giving him to drink! If you think that exhibit is for the birds, then there are alternatives up here… Read more

The recent case of Britanny Maynard and her move to Oregon in order to commit physician assisted (or at least physician plus drugs assisted) suicide, has reopened the debate about what we should think about suicide in general, and doctors willing to violate their Hippocratic oath to assist others in committing suicide. I am not here concerned with the debate in the larger culture, but rather would want to talk about whether Christians should, under any circumstances, be in favor… Read more

Near St. Martins, and also in the Vysehrad district of Prague is the cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. It dates to the 11th century, but what you see now is mostly 19th century. It is one of the more beautiful churches in Prague, as you will now see, Notice the stained glass window with the picture of the sudarium cloth, the cloth with the image of the bloody head of Jesus thought to be the facial cloth found… Read more

While most Christians are familiar with the Protestant Reformation vis a vis what happened in Germany, Switzerland, and England, they are largely unaware of Jan Hus, and the reformation he undertook in highly Catholic eastern Europe. So first the statue, and then the history. Here is the memorial to Jan Hus who was executed for heresy July 6th 1415. Hus, as you will see, was educated in Prague, and was very much taken with the writings and views of Wycliffe,… Read more

Like many eastern European cities, there was a large Jewish population in the city prior to the Holocaust in WWII, and the sending off of millions to the concentration camps, of which there were two in Czechoslavakia. What you see in Praha then are old synagogues, mostly museums these days, though there is still some Jewish presence in this city. Here are pictures of three such famous synagogues in Praha. Clearly from the size and design of these synagogues, the… Read more

Perhaps you will remember Hippocrates (not to be confused with hypocrites), one of the fathers of medicine. Hippocrate’s motto was ‘do no harm’ and so promote health and well-being. There are not too many, indeed, I can hardly remember any super hero movies where violence, destruction, and death are NOT bathed in the rhetoric about glory, about self-sacrifice, indeed about a certain sort of heroism. This movie, Big Hero Six, is of a decidedly different ilk. It’s real hero is… Read more Read more

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