Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kutna Hora and the Bone Church

As part of our trek into the Czech Republic we took a day and went to see the old city of Kutna Hora.  Its famous mostly for the old Bone Church that stands in its center.

The story goes that in the 13th century, Jindřich, the abbot of Sedlec monastery, returned from a visit to Palestine with a pocketful of soil and sprinkled it on the cemetery surrounding the Chapel of All Saints.

This direct association with the holy land led to the graveyard becoming a sought after burial site among the aristocracy of Central Europe. At the time of the thirty years’ war in the 17th century, the number of burials outgrew the space available, the older remains began to be exhumed and stored in the chapel, and it’s estimated that the chapel now contains the bones of up to 40,000 people.

Urban myth has it that a monk went mad and made things from the bones, and there are stories to suggest that partially blind monks entrusted with the care of the ch
apel were the first to begin piling the bones into geometric shapes. (Find out more here.)

The church was pretty cool.  This is actually the second ossuary that I've seen in my time.  The first was a church located just off the main Duomo square in Milan.  It was pretty creepy...and this one was too.

Wanna see?

This is the All Saints Church. The ossuary is in the basement and there is a small worship chapel on the top floor. Is a beautiful church and a graveyard surrounds it.

This is one of the gravestones I found particularly enchanting. I loved the ivy covering it...

And welcome to the entrance inside the Bone Church...pillars of bones, macabre wall drapings and a bone chandelier. Creepy, eh?

More bones piled in geometric shapes...

The two girls who thought the place was pretty weird...

And this little statue I found particularly disturbing...It just looks a little "chucky" to me.

And a few of the "designer bone statues" made by the monks...

John and I enjoying our little foray into the macabre...

Bella too!

People would throw coins into the pile of bones...I'm guessing kind of like a wishing well???

When we left the bone church we took a little walk down to the Cathedral of the Assumption Our Lady and St. John the Baptist. (Say that 5 times fast!) It was closed so they all did a Nacho Libre pose for me.

This is not ALL Kutna Hora had to offer...but I'm saving that for the second blog on this beautiful city...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Aqua Palace for the 44 Year Old...

For John's birthday he wanted to go to a water park.  Originally we had planned to go to Berlin and stay in an indoor beach (in cool little "tents" that are actually ON the beach) called Tropical Island...but wouldn't you know it that they were SOLD OUT for the month of April. 

So, I went searching and found Aqua Palace in Prague...rated one of the top 10 water parks in Europe...and booked us a little trip with our friends to go play in the Czech Republic for another weekend.

Aqua Palace was super cool...Giant waterpark with about 10 different slides...large wave pool, lazy river, kids play area, outdoor area (too cold to use!) and a few restaurants located inside.

We got there shortly after it opened and on a Friday so were able to take advantage of short lines and fewer people since kids were in school and it was a holiday weekend for us.  It was so much fun.  It was so much fun I didn't even bother trying to take my camera in with me, but I do wish now that I'd taken the time to snap a few photos for visual memories of the great time we had.

John went down a slide called the Kamikaze...bumped his elbow and had a giant goose egg on his elbow for the rest of the time at the park.  It was like a mandarin orange hanging off his elbow.  By the time we got home it had settled out into a bad bruise...

There was one slide that had a tube that shot you out into a funnel that you slid in circles around and around (kind of like being flushed down a toilet bowl) until you fell through the middle into a pool of water.  OMGosh that was scary.  I was totally unprepared for the speed that you shot out of that tube.  Exhilarating, but I only did it one time...there is something about being 6 months pregnant that makes the slides only appealing for one try.

Bella was so exhausted when we finished that she couldn't even keep her eyes open while John brushed and dried her hair.  It was very funny watching her nod off...poor kid nearly toppled out of the chair a few times.

John's actual birthday was on Easter Sunday.  The Easter bunny brought him a bowling bag full of goodies and presents...lucky guy...

He opened his gifts that morning and then Sunday evening when we got home I whipped up the fastest cake ever and we celebrated with cake and icecream...

Happy 44th Birthday John!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baby L has a cute little face!

Yesterday was my 30 week appointment for our little man...he is getting so big! evidenced by the cankles, belly protrudence and waddle walk.  :)  But...I was so excited to see that little mug shot yesterday it didn't even matter!

Look how cute he is! 

He had his foot up in front of his face with one hand wrapped around it the whole time.  We were lucky to get such clear 4D shots of his face...he normally won't cooperate at all with these ultrasounds. 

Just two months left...  Doctor and I talked about the birth process yesterday.  She is still not sure whether to just schedule a Csection or try natural...she said most of it depends on my blood pressure, evidence of any preeclampsia and my gestational diabetes.  As of yesterday I was a rockstar with BP...120/70 and no signs of preeclampsia...and the blood sugars are being managed...who knows what will happen with this little guy.

This pregnancy has been so different from my first.  This kid sits LOW in my belly...pummels my lower belly constantly...Bella was always stuck up under my ribs.  They were both kickers, but I have to say the lower they sit the worse it feels...he is super active...moving ALL the fact last night I was awake for 3 hours from 12:30 until 3:30 because of his cartwheels and high kicks...maybe he'll be a dancer or a gymnast? 

Regardless....I'm so excited to meet him...its coming up soooo fast.  If this was my Bella pregnancy...I'd have a baby in just over a MONTH!  Eeeek!