Yesterday strung itself together in a rather surreal and unexpected way. After a morning of work and homeschooling activities, we decided to maneuver the car out of its tight quarters in the basement garage (no small feat) and drive out of the city for the afternoon. We learned a bit about the Czech Republic’s major agricultural crops as we passed massive fields of sunflowers, corn, and planted pine trees.
After about an hour we arrived in the town of Kutná Hora. A big change from the packed touristy areas of Prague, Kutná Hora is a quiet town with a wide cobblestone plaza at its center and a few ornate church towers peaking out above the buildings.
After wandering around a bit we found one of those few places both kids and parents can agree on: a pub next to a playground. The kids played, Ali made a new friend, and Brian and I had a nice conversation with minimal interruptions.
Nearby the girls also found a stand selling their new favorite Czech treat, trdelník. It’s a sugar and cinnamon pastry made by wrapping dough around a heated tube. They seem ludicrously excited about it, but I can’t give you a mouthwatering description since I’m abstaining after my gluten overindulgence in Bavaria.
Next, we went over to the most famous site in Kutná Hora, Sedlec Kostice, also known as the “Bone Church.” This Roman Catholic Chapel is famous for its artistic arrangement of human bones, created by a half-blind monk in pious remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Black Plague and Hussite Wars. These remains had to be exhumed when the cemetery’s popularity as a holy place of burial outgrew its space. While it probably sounds very gruesome, the Bone Church is actually a serene, humbling, and respectful space inciting reflection on the value and transience of life. In our day of varied activities, this certainly served as the somber and introspective part.
The girls apparently weren’t freaked out by the experience at all. In fact, as we were driving away from the church, they spotted an alpine slide, and we went from somber to silly in about ten minutes flat.
It was certainly an interesting day. School and work – playground and sweets – church of bones – speeding down a hill giggling with glee. We ended it back at the apartment with dinner and a couple episodes of Brian and the girls’ new favorite show, Baggage Battles, where people buy unclaimed suitcases in the hopes of finding untold fortunes…. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Another day in the Czech Republic for the Carisch crew.