Field Trip to Kutna Hora

Trip Start May 25, 2012
Trip End Jul 07, 2012

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, June 1, 2012

Thursday was pretty uneventful for us---we had Czech language class and Abby and I made pasta with cheese, bell peppers, and olive oil for our apartment for dinner, made a birthday cake for Matt, and stayed in.

But then Friday was a big day!  We had to be up and at the bus stop by 8:45am to go on our field trip to Kutna Hora.  It's a little town about an hour away from Prague that used to be super important because of its silver mining.  Unfortunately, it was really rainy and cold but most of what we did was indoors.  We started at the Sedlec Ossuary.  In the 13th century, their was a high demand for graves at the Cistercian monastery and so many people needed to be buried that bones started piling up.  In 1870, a new family bought the monastery and hired a woodcarver to "get creative" with the remains that had been sitting in the crypt for decades.  He turned the bodies into decorations from a chandelier to a coat of arms.  It was interesting I guess to hear the history but I didn't care for the actual chapel. 

Next we took a tour of the Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist.  We wandered around the "downtown" area for a bit and then escaped from the rain at a little restaurant called Harmonia.  We had pasta and these almost quesadilla type things from there, hit up a coffee shop, and wandered in and out of stores for a while.  Kelsi and Alyssa stopped for crepes and coffee at two little cafe type places along the way.  Our tours of the Silver Mines started up at 2 and we got to hear a lot of the history of the royal mint that was there in the 1300s.  They put us in helmets and miners coats, handed us flashlights, and we went down into the mines!! It's crazy to think that people were stuck down there day after day... Our tour guide had us turn off all of our flashlights at one point to show what conditions the miners worked under and then he turned his light off as well and it was PITCH BLACK. He told us that if we said we could see our hand in front of our face at all we must have a crazy imagination--it was that dark! 

We left Kutna Hora and had time for a quick nap and piece of pizza before we went to the "Night of the Churches". It's something they do once a year where all the churches in Prague (or most of them) are open to visitors for a behind the scenes look at the church.  We ended up only having time to go to Kostel sv. Cyrila a Matodeie which is just down the street from our building.  We took a few pictures inside and then climbed a ton of stairs to go up and see the bell tower.  In true Czech fashion, it took forever and wasn't super organized which was fine except we had plans to celebrate Matt's birthday!

We made it home a little after 9 and took Matt over (aka across the hall) his chocolate and banana birthday cake.  They have an extra empty room in their apartment which was nice for people to meet before we went out.  Grant rapped for us while we were getting ready to go out ("I keep my eyes open even when they're...CLOSED!) We ended up going to this k.u. bar/lounge and then to Wenceslas Square for a bit before calling it a night!  We made it home on the night tram but not before a bunch of people grabbed fried cheese sandwiches from street vendors and Kelsi chatted up this Austrian couple asking us for help with finding a tram.  They were a doctor and barkeeper/business student visiting Prague for the weekend and had a ten minute long conversation with Kelsi before we had to jump on our tram.

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