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Published: July 14th 2011
I got up early since I was making a day trip to the small town outside of Prague called Kutna Hora; it was just over an hour by train to get there. My roommates had been out partying the night before and didn’t get in until almost 4 am, so I was really trying hard not to wake anyone since I knew they weren’t going anywhere for a while. Luckily I think I managed to get out of my room without making too much noise (a little hard since I was on the top bunk).
While walking to the train station (about a 10 min walk from the hostel) I was minding my own business when I passed a man and woman walking together towards me. As I passed them the guy said something really angrily to me in Czech me and then proceeded to try and spit on me! (Luckily he missed!) I have no idea what I did; I literally was just walking alone not listening to my iPod or chewing gum or anything. I wanted to ask him “What did I do to you?” But instead I just kept on staring straight ahead and walking the entire
time this unfolded.
I got to the train station without any other problems (it’s the little victories that count!). I had looked up the times for the train the day before and saw that a train left for Kutna Hora quite often so I wasn’t worried about catching a particular one, but once I got there I couldn’t find it on the departures board. I decided to go up to the information desk since that is where everyone goes if they have a question. (It’s also usually the first place an out-of-towner goes and the person at information is literally the first impression they get of a place.) So usually the information attendants are nice and speak pretty good English. Well either they were short staffed, this person woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or she was just born that way. She was mean! I butchered ( / couldn’t remember) the name to the town, but I did know from reading up on it that it was an old silver mining town. So I tried to explain it that way and she got frustrated with me and just told me to look at the departures board,
I told her I had just come from there and was she sure it was on the board, it’s there she said. Ooooook! So I go back and blankly stare at the board again, which didn’t get me anywhere.
I wasn’t going to give up, so I started pressing buttons on all of the kiosks (all in Czech) until I got to one and I found a British Flag icon (the International sign for English!) and I pressed it and I was able to search for my destination ( yay! Small victory! but-uhoh now I have to remember how to spell it! I am a pretty good speller in English, but not so hot in Czech 😉 ). Through trial and error I found it, and the train was leaving in a half an hour, yay! Perseverance paid off. I waited for my train and then hopped on.
To be honest the best part of the day was the train ride. It was on an older train where you can put the big windows down halfway and feel the breeze of the country air. Plus the countryside was some of the prettiest I have seen! Field upon field of
Massive head trauma
The skull on the right side is the one with healing - so he lived through that giant hole in his head
sunflowers as far as the eye can see, it was spectacular!
I arrived to the train station at Kutna Hora, and it was probably the oldest, most forgotten about little sleepy town I have been to. Luckily I got there in time before the information lady closed up shop (only open until noon). She was very kind and gave me a map and told me how to get to the main part of the city. I was also fortunate since a lot of other people were there for the afternoon, so I just followed them as we walked the ten minutes to the first part of the city from where you can catch a bus into the main part.
I walked to the bone church, which as history explains it is where a member of the church went to Palestine and brought back some dirt from the holy land and spread it around the church. Once everyone heard about this they wanted to be buried there. Soon they had too many bodies needing to be buried there, and along with the 30 years’ war going on they were over their limit. So I don’t know exactly how it turned
out this way but the church decided to deal with the problem by using the bones of tens of thousands of people to decorate the inside of the church!
Now with growing up with Halloween that my Dad sometimes would take fairly seriously, my first thought was that it was a fake, a replica of the real thing. But no! This was the real McCoy, there weren’t any barriers around the decorative skulls, femurs, and other bones, so you could reach out and touch them (I chose not to). It was very well done and on one wall there was a family shield made out of all sort of bones, with a skull depicting a raven picking out its eyeball, all made out of human bones!! There was a massive bone chandelier in the center (it was pretty but just not my style) and little exhibits in the corners showcasing the skulls with massive head trauma from the warriors; one even showed that a guy lived through the tennis ball-sized massive hole in his head from the amount of healing you can see around the hole in his skull!
It was such a welcome surprise to be able to
go in and see the bone church and the graveyard around the place was super creepy; I took pictures because it just looked like it should be at a haunted house!
There really wasn’t much to see there so I packed it up early and went home on the 3:00 train. Instead of staying in one of the cabins (I was in there with a few old people who looked like they thought if they smiled it would send them to an early grave) I put the window down in the hallway and just stood and let the wind blow in my face as I watched the patches of sunflowers go by. What a magnificent train ride!
At one point I was standing by the window but looking down at my camera when all of a sudden a train was speeding past us the opposite direction and the gust of wind created by the two trains blew me back a few inches, plus I jumped because its scared me! (Trains scaring the bejesus out of you must run in the family, right Dad 😉 – Dad was falling asleep on the balcony in Istanbul when a train came
Up close of the skull on the shield
A bird is depicted picking out the eye!
by, jet-lagged and tired from the day, he didn’t know what was going on and almost fell out of his chair!) Other than that the ride went by too fast as it was such a pleasant journey.
I got back to the train station and bought a few things at the grocery store there (sadly it’s the best one that I have found in my travels around Prague) and then went back to the hostel to whip up an early dinner as it was my last night in Prague and I had a long train ahead of me in the morning.
While eating dinner I looked up the train schedule and saw that there was not a direct train from Prague to Frankfurt. Hmmmmm. It wasn’t looking good for me and my horrible sense of direction as the proposed way of travel to Frankfurt would be to catch a bus from Prague (easy enough, I can scope out where that is after I finish dinner) then take the bus to a random bus station (not looking good) then walk (yes walk) to the next train station (where?) and then that train would take me to Frankfurt. The killer is that the itinerary says that the walk is 10 minutes from the bus station to the train station and the time between the time the bus arrives and the train leaves is ten minutes! This was leaving too much up to chance; everything would have to go exactly according to plan: that is a).The bus arrives on time and b). I find the train station without any problems. Of a). and b). - one I can’t control and one I kind of can’t control 😊.
I started to look for alternative ways of getting to Prague, and again from trial and error (theme of this whole trip it seems) I found a direct train to Berlin from Prauge, then a direct train from Berlin to Frankfurt, and all without too much layover time! The best part was that it was only going to be 2 hours longer travel time, which I didn’t mind since it was giving me extra time to enjoy the train and the German country side! So with that plan in mind I was happy and I started to pack up and get ready for bed, since as sad as it sounds, I couldn’t wait to get out of Prague!
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