My Beautiful  Bones – Kutna Hora and the Bone Church 

View of Kutna Hora from St Barbara’s Church

One of the highlight’s during my four day visit to Prague and country number 35, the Czech Republic, was my day trip with Discover Prague Tours to the medievil and Unesco World Heritage listed town of Kutna Hora and Sedlec Ossuary, better know as the Bone Church.

Our modest group of 15 met up with our tour guide for the day, David from Colorado, and after brief introductions, we made our way to Prague’s main train station, Praha hlavni nadrazi for a scenic and comfortable 50 minute trip to Kutna Hora. 

Arriving at the main attraction of All Saints Chapel and Sedlec Ossuary, I was totally blown away by the sight on entering the ossuary. 

The bones of at least 40,000 people are contained here, most of whom died from the plague. It is a display that is a reminder of both life and death, and of people  who once had hopes, dreams fears and aspirations.

The bones were originally organised by a half blind Cistercian monk in 1511, but the current artistic display was arranged by a Czech wood-carver, František RINT, dating back to 1870.

This includes a human bone chandelier which contains all 206 bones of the human body, and the  Schwarzenberg coat-of arms.

” Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living” (Jonathan Safran Foer).

Granted, as amazing the sight was to see, I did eventually feel a bit weirded out and was happy to return back outside to the “living world”. 

Our day continued seeing some of the main sights in Kutna Hora including the impressive Church of St Barbara , and the Italian Court, former home to the Royal Bohemian Mint.

I would highly recommend a day trip to Kutna Hora, with Discover Prague Tours. David was an excellent and entertaining guide, and I suggest you opt for the lunch option. The hot lunch was cheap, delicious and of large proportions. 

This day trip was the highlight during my visit to Prague and the Czech Republic  It was nice to see the rural parts of the country, and Kutna Hora is a beautiful town. Sedlec Ossuary is quite a mind blowing sight to see! 

Kindred Spirits

   
One of the things I love most about travelling is meeting other people who are doing what you’re doing. Enjoying life! Removed from the routine and monotony of your normal every day routine, travelling can make me more open, more daring and more willing to connect with others.

I was incredibly fortunate to not only meet a fellow traveller to share my vacation in Iceland with, but blessed to meet someone whom I not only felt an instant connection with, but on spending time together, I’d felt like we had been close friends for years!

Such was the rare moment when I met Deanna from Los Angeles on a dog sledding adventure with Extreme Iceland in Reykjavik on Thursday April 2nd, 2015. I was the second person to  be collected, so De was already on the mini bus. Friendly from the moment I sat down, we got talking straight away and I took an immediate liking to her.

As the mini bus took nine of us east outside Reykjavik to meet the huskies, I knew she was someone I wanted to spend more time with. As soon as Deanna said all she does is live to travel, I was hooked. She has travelled to 47 different countries, compared to my 23. For an American, I was impressed with her tally. Her outlook on life, work and travel was identical to mine. And like me, she had experienced her own life changing event that meant we both valued and understood what really matters the most in life.

The dog sledding venture was surreal. Eight beautiful husky dogs pulled the guide, Deanna, me, and two other Americans in a circular loop under a light snowfall. The landscape was a white out of snow, with the dogs and the sled providing the only form of colour.

  
The sled moved a lot slower than I anticipated, but any faster and we risked losing our balance and falling off. On the way back, I was given a chance to stand, which gave me a totally different experience and perspective.

My invitation to Deanna to join me for dinner at the end of the evening turned into five days of adventures together. Several dinners spent at local restaurants sampling the local salmon, soaking in Laugardalur, a local outdoor thermal pool East of the city, a day trip touring the sights of the Golden Circle, and an indulgent paddle and pamper in the geothermally heated Blue Lagoon, I felt like I was spending time with a close friend I’d known for years, not days.

 So many memorable moments, from running ten minutes back to the mini bus because we couldn’t find it, sharing earphones to listen to music, and a heartfelt hug goodbye at the bus, life and travel is so much more meaningful and special shared with someone who touches your soul.

It’s been a long journey these past 23 months since losing the most important person in my life, quite unexpectedly and tragically. And for the first time since that fateful day, in my first overseas trip, I saw a part of me emerge I thought had died when L did, the part of me that feels excited about life, adventurous and willing to go live it to the full again. Deanna herself said to me she hasn’t felt this alive and happy in a long time. I couldn’t agree more.

Until our next adventure together, thanks Deanna for making my trip to Iceland so memorable!