Czech Republic 2

Kutna Hora and its ossuary were a perfect day trip from Prague. What's an ossuary, you ask?

Seems that in the mid 1800's Kutna Hora became the site of a minor silver rush and was innundated with thousands of miners. Naturally, these miners forgot that this is the perfect situation for the plauge and they started dying off in droves. The local, and small, church had more bodies than it could bury until one mad monk, in a fit of future tourist industry genius, started decorating the church with the bones of the plague victims.

Given the chance, though, who wouldn't make a chandalier out of every bone in the human body, or their country's coat of arm out of mortal remains? In all, an estimated 40,000 people, dead, entertain visitors better than any train wreck could.

We walked around the town after that and followed some people in medieval dress to a town-wide annual festival on medieval culture and food. Hopefully Cory will get some of those pictures to me.

Through situations and circumstances to numerous and complicated to recount (we needed a new passport), Cory and I found ourselves staying an extra couple days in Prague. All in all, not a bad thing, as it gave us the opportunity to spend more time enjoying the sights of the city. And by sights, I mean the women.

We left the Czech Republic by way of Cesky Krumlov and ended up staying there for a few days. And no, we didn't just stay there to catch the World Cup Semifinals; it just happened to be a good place to watch them.

Every country seems to have its own quaint, "best-preserved" medieval town in Europe. Germany has Rothenburg, Romania has Sighisoara, and the Czech Republic has Cesky Krumlov. And Cesky Krumlov was as beautiful as any of those with its red roofs and green hills under blue skies. There's even a river which winds and wends almost completely around the entire town. The second panoramic is on of my favorite pics of the trip.

From our base at the Hostel Merlin, run by 19 year old Sasha who looked more mature than I will ever be, we explored yet more cobblestone streets and the gardens of the town's castle.

We also happened into a restaurant that was built like a cross between catacombs and a brick oven. Low, curved adobe ceilings and random branching rooms held wooden benches, double-bladed axes and animal pelts on the walls and an open fire pit which cooked all the restaraunt's food. The meat in this place, served on a slab of wood of course, was the best I can remember having. I think I know where I want to go when I die.

Another of our Cesky Krumlov events was canoeing down the rocky, foot-deep river and following erroneously-translated, or maybe just confusing for us, directions on which side of the river to stick to to avoid the occasional deadly and canoe-destroying rock ledge/damn/thing. And that's all I want to say about that.

Who would have thought that a town half the size of downtown Grass Valley on the southern border of the Czech Republic would have one of the coolest, most atmospheric bars out there? The M-Club was another low, curved stucco roof, cave-like, dimly but colorfuly lit place with a bar at the front and a pooltable in the back. And in the room past the pool table; huge leather couches set around tables that were hung from the ceiling, a projection screen showing nothing but the Czech fashion channel, and a soundtrack that included Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins, Gypsy Kings and Nick Cave. Yeah, this was the perfect place for the group of Czech guys on the other set of couches who were happily getting stoned.

On to --> Slovakia & Hungary

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