Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bones of the past

Chapel of All Saints, Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, mid '90s (me in huge jacket for some reason!).

So I have travel on my mind once again (though not at as much as this)... and that reminded me of a fairly bizarre holiday some time back in the mid 1990s (sorry, exact dates not a speciality in the 1990s for me... whole years are blurred...). For the holiday in question I went to the Czech Republic with my Mum (who must have been about 70) and, partly because she never went by plane (ever – she suffered high anxiety about all kinds of things... though you wouldn't necessarily know it even if you'd met her), we went on a bus trip. The bus looked like this (it broke down in Germany once or twice...):

Whilst in Prague, we stayed with a "local host" – the man on the far right in the above picture in fact. His wife had left him so he had room. It was a great holiday in many ways – lovely weather and wanderings – and especially good day trips to places like Kutná Hora – home of the famous "bone church" (real name – Sedlec Ossuary) in the first picture. I'm not normally one for churches but this is possibly my favourite one ever. The bone decorations didn't spook me out at all... I just thought they were amazing... but I only seem to have that one photo now (you can see many more here).

Some time after the holiday I wrote a simple little poem about the trip. It's not the kind of piece that's ever going to go on any grand adventures itself (not magazine or competition worthy, I don't think) so I'll put it up here instead. Hope you like it:

Prague on the Cheap

We drove across kingdoms in a purple bus
with an onboard loo, no mess, less fuss.
We stayed in a house with a lovesick knight
and he cooked us dumplings every night.
We visited art and clocks in squares,
we cruised on the river and bought toy bears,
saw a church decked out with human bones
and were pleased by the lack of mobile phones.
You listened to notes, I stared at rays,
as the sun said good-bye to pleasing days.
We were brave and adventurous, wandering free,
not bad for a pair like you and like me.


RF 1999 (the poem, not the trip).

And all that reminds me in turn of this song:


The Weaver of Grass said...

I love this nice gentle post Rachel in memory of your Mum.

Rachel Fox said...

I know. Another one.

hope said...

But your tributes to your Mum are sweet and reassuring. They're not overdone to the point of sainthood...although most Moms probably should be seen as saintly. :)

As for that!

Rachel Fox said...

That church is one of the most amazing places I have ever been, I think. The attention to detail is so impressive and the whole place is gruesome and yet hilarious and brilliant at the same time. It's certainly stayed with me more than many an art gallery trip. I don't know if I'll ever get back to see it again - quite possibly not.

And I can't find one single photo of my Mum on that trip. She took lots of me but it seems I took none of her. Bad daughter!


Rachel Fox said...

Oh yes... and fairly groovy 1970s film set in the church (complete with music and poem) here

Eryl said...

I'd love to go to that church. I have some pictures of it I cut out from a magazine years ago, but it had slipped to the back of my mind. Now it's going to the top of my list of things I'll do if I win the lottery.

positsb 29

The Bug said...

Sounds like a fun trip - and I like the light-hearted tone of the poem. If you don't mind my saying, light-hearted isn't something you give us very often : - )

Rachel Fox said...

I'd never heard of it before the trip, Eryl. We went on a few of the organised day trips and it was part of one of those. It really is worth the trip... though I'm guessing the country is quite different now (it was over 15 years ago...).

I haven't been putting much poetry at all on here recently I don't think, Bug. And I think you're right... I have been in a more serious phase of late.