The main sanctuary of the synagogue of Congregation B’nai Israel Ahavas Achim was divided into two sections - a main seating area on the ground floor, and a balcony level.  In the Orthodox tradition the congregation adhered to, men and women would be seated separately, and the design of this grand temple made such arrangements easy - men on the ground; women up in the balcony, looking down upon the service and the men.  Only very young girls could sit with their fathers.  This arrangement worked well, because men could quickly arise and head to the front when needed.  This is a shot of the seating area taken from the balcony during civil twilight.

Print available here.

After Vysehrad, we went back to nap and let the skies clear. When we woke back up, it was time to head back out, this time for dinner at U malé velryby, or Little Whale.

Quite a story about this place. The chef, from Ireland, moved to Prague and fell in love. So he flies in fresh seafood daily and serves it at the restaurant. Or something like that. Needless to say, it was delicious.

Sated and fed, it was time to head back out into the night and take in Prague one final time.

Boom Island Lighthouse by Cedric Dean
Via Flickr:
Boom Island gets it’s name from Minneapolis’ milling days. This site was used by logging companies transporting their logs down the river en route to the saw mills at St Anthony Falls. The miniature lighthouse with the Minneapolis cityscape showcases the multiple views this great city can be admired.

I.
My eyes flick open at the first ring of the series of alarm I set up last night (which times I purposely set to end in odd numbers such as 3:41 a.m., 3:45 a.m., 3:47 a.m., etc. – just because I like to) . Blindly my hand gropes for my phone at my side, shuts it off, and turns on the flashlight. It is a bearably cold quarter to four in the morning up in the mountains of Bontoc and I’m particularly glad the cold isn’t as biting as when I came here several months back.

Resolute not to sneak a few more minutes of nap because that is not difficult at all in this bed weather, I sit up and look under my bed and across to check if my mates are already up in their bunks prepping for today’s engagement. But they’re still coiled up under the snug sheets. I do not dare burst their sleep bubbles.

Needless to say sleeping in a cozy bed is one of the best things here apart from admiring the ingeniously sculpted paddies,  jeepney toploading, and cups of warm native brew among others.

Bontoc, Mountain Province
July 2015