The delightfully goth Sedlec Ossuary (bone church) is located in the middle of an industrial wasteland, on the outskirts of a small town called Kutna Hora, about an hour east of Prague by train.
The tourists flock here in drones, buzzing through the ossuary and taking their fill of happy snaps, barely seeing the place except through the lenses of their cameras. We linger til the first throng disappears, and enjoy the few minutes of silence we have. The second coming appears in another flash-flood, but soon disappears as well, and we are finally left alone, having the whole establishment to ourselves for a good half an hour. It seems odd that a minute ago you couldn’t take a step without a dozen Nikon flashes blinding you; now, we are able to take a grand photo of the place without a single soul to disturb us.
The trams of Prague crawl like caterpillars through the winding laneways; antennae and headlights alive with retro kitsch. They are cheap (putting us back a mere AUD 0.70 for each trip) and convenient (stopping just around the corner of our hotel).
We jump off at the Western end of Charles Bridge. The towers of Karluv Most are open to the public, and after paying a nominal fee, we alight the rickety old stairs to the top.
The view is priceless. It stretches across an expanse of sunburnt rooftops, split in quarters by the river and it’s bridge. We are alone, save for a few feathered companions. A bell rings in the distance. We count the chimes to twelve o’clock, and watch the current of tourists wash down the bridge, mesmerised by the constant flow of bodies.
What better place to first savour the gems of Eastern Europe than the Czech Republic – home to the beautifully spooky Bone Church, medieval town squares lined in cobblestones and crowned in gargoyles, hearty and food and beer, bohemian crystal, and a culture that is rich with folklore of witches and golems.
We landed in Prague after almost 24 hours in transit. Not quite knowing what to expect, and armed with all the pent-up excitement of a life-long dream, I watched as he steps out of the airport.
My husband, after all these years, has finally made it to Europe for the very first time; and more significantly, to his Prague… the one he was always told he had to visit, the one city that he would feel a sense of belonging in, the one he dreamed of. The look on his face says it all, and I feel an overwhelming gratitude that I am here to share it with him.
Read more to find out why Prague quickly became one of our favourite cities in the world.