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Kutna Hora

July 6, 2011

Today is a holiday in the Czech Republic. Because it is a holiday, the trains and buses do not run on a normal schedule (no great surprise)…which we found out the hard way when we went to the train station, with the intention of visiting Terezin today.

Here is how the conversation at the information desk went:

Us – We would like to go to Terezin today and need information on the buses.

Information Desk Guy – That will be a problem. You see, the bus TO Terezin leaves at 3:00, and the last bus FROM Terezin leaves at 3:30.

So…we decided that Terezin was not happening today, and to go with Plan B, Kutna Hora (we were going to do Kutna Hora on Friday). This meant going from the bus to the train station. This also entailed another interesting encounter. We purchased our tickets, looked for our train on the board…and because there was no train name (or number) on our ticket, we did not know what to look for on the board. So we went back downstairs, to the information section. Unfortunately, the man behind the desk should not be working in this position…we got up to the desk to ask the question, and he got upset, then told me I was not allowed to eat in that room (I had one potato chip). I asked him to please answer our question, and he was very rude, then told us there was a train that had just left for Kutna Hora, and the next one was in two hours.

We had a hard time believing that there was only one way to get there. So Jen went back a few minutes later to another person (a woman), who was far more helpful, and twenty minutes later we were on our way, and got to Kutna Hora at the same time the man had told us we could leave for the town.

Our first destination in Kutna Hora was the Sedlec Ossuary. I had been to a bone church in Rome in 2006, but this one was different in how it was done, and also the fact that I was allowed to take photos – yay!

A little bit about the Sedlec Ossuary – it contains approximately 40,000 human skeletons, which have been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. Yes I got photos and no I cannot show them yet – not until after I am able to upload and go through my photos (see yesterday’s post as to why I cannot right now). The church has an interesting history, stretching back to 1278.

After what turned out to be a 3.5 km walk to the center of the city, we made it to the silver museum, where I wanted to go on a mine tour. The somewhat unfriendly man at the cashier told me “the tours have been sold out since 2:00 (implying that we should have gotten there sooner). Okay, saves me some money…so we went to the St. Barbara’s Cathedral.

On the lane that leads up to the cathedral, there is a small shop that advertised wine tasting and local wines. Well, of course that was enough to bring me inside, where we tasted two wines, and bought a liter of a locally produced Pinot Gris. We thought we would bring it, along with the snacks we had packed, to the stone fountain, sit, have a snack, and chat.

Unfortunately, the fountain was covered with scaffolding! Just my luck to run into scaffolding yet again in my travels…actually, I consider myself fortunate that I have not encountered any in Prague. We found a bench near the fountain and had our snack anyway, then it was back to the city and some socializing with a friend of Jen’s.

Still want to do Terezin…hope to do so on Friday before I leave, barring more transportation challenges!


One Comment leave one →
  1. July 6, 2011 2:57 pm

    In Bosnia, I learned to respond to surly folks who make comments like “… the tour has been sold out since 1400…” to ask simply, “Whose fault is that?” In such political/social cultures, this is usually very confusing for them, and often leads to interesting followup conversations, thus achieving cultural enrichment at no expense to you.

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