It is my first week in Vienna, exactly 10 years ago in late January 2011. My head spins with dreams of discovery. I have never seen Prague, Budapest, Ljubljana or Zagreb, though I have tasted Bratislava, where I’ll head for a semester-long Fulbright gig next week. The medieval alleys around Fleischmarkt and behind Stefansdom, where I have scored a friendly and impeccable Austrian hotel here in the center of the center of central Europe — Vienna’s Innere Stadt— are oddly quiet. After das grosse Gulasch at Kaffee Alt Wien, more than I could finish, I wander the Graben. This was once the Roman moat, which strikes off from Kartnerstrasse, the old road to the province of Carinthia to the southeast.
If you haven’t yet heard, there is a church full of bones located in the village of Kutna Hora about an hour east from Prague. It’s picking up a lot of hype and we can see why. This bone church is filled with bones and skulls from nearly 70,000 victims of the plague. Although it can be a bit eerie and cold, the sight is definitely worth the trip. Inside the church (Sedlec Monastery), you can see interesting configurations on how the bones are set up and displayed. You can see some of the bones arranged as some sort of shield, chandelier and into many decorations. Although it’s not as big as the catacombs in other parts of the world,
Looking to explore an old castle and a medieval town? You’re in luck. There is an old Gothic castle perched onto of a hill only about 45 minutes away from Prague. The river also flows nearby and the the small town is beautiful, quaint and worth checking out. Interested? Here’s how to get there. First stop is getting to the main train station — Hlavni Nadrazi. There you can purchase your tickets round-trip for 99 crowns per person. You can do this or you can avoid the hassle all together and just purchase it online at http://www.cd.cz (highly recommended). That way, you can just pull out your smartphone and show them the code (saving paper, yay)! If you’re going during the