So it’s been a while between posts, but I have a good reason! The last couple of posts were written while trying to hide the fact that I was pregnant from people who I wanted to tell in person. Since then we’ve made the move to Munich, set up our first home, had a son (born April 2011) and done our best to balance our new found settled status with our love of travel. In his first 14 months Jake has been on quite a few trips, though most of them have been relatively short jaunts to nearby places in Europe. We went to Lake Constance when he was 10 weeks old, the Czech Republic soon after, Salzburg for a couple of days, Nurnberg for the Christmas market, a couple of trips to the Austrian Alps and a quite few trips to the mountains south of Munich. And then there have been the more serious trips, like 3 weeks in Australia and 2 weeks in Morocco, where we currently are. We also recently spent 2 weeks in northern Italy, mostly in the Dolomites doing some amazing hikes.
I think a lot of the parents we know think we’re crazy for doing some of the trips we do with him, and sometimes they’re probably right. The logistics of travelling with a child, especially without a car, can be a little overwhelming at times. The nappies, the food, the clothes, the pram/baby carrier/travel bed… It all adds up to a heck of a lot more gear than we’re used to taking. But we’re getting the hang of it, and it’s so nice to see him explore new places and have new experiences. We’re also lucky that he travels relatively well and is quite relaxed (for a baby). I’d like to think that he travels well because that’s how we raised him but realistically I think we’re probably just lucky.
There’s not enough space for a description of every trip we’ve been on (and I can’t remember the details to be honest) so we’ll leave it as a bit of a wash over post and maybe I’ll get motivated and write a post every now and again when we go somewhere interesting. It won’t be anything much compared to our travels pre-baby but hopefully we’ll still get to see some cool places with him in tow.
Well I’ve obviously been relaxing a little too much to update my blog. And for someone not really in travel mode I’ve still covered a fair bit of ground. Prague was great, I caught my family again briefly then flew to London to hang out with friends and sort out the Uzbek visa. While I was there I popped up to Edinburgh to catch up with someone else. And now I’m in Riga with Brett and we fly to Uzbekistan tomorrow morning.
But let’s start at the start: Prague. A beautiful city full of historic buildings but I wasn’t the only one to think so – it was swarming with other tourists. I wandered the old town during the day and hung out with my friend in the evenings when she was taking a break from school and paid work. We checked out some performances of the Prague Fringe festival and watched a couchsurfer play a gig at a little bar around the corner.
On a day trip out of the city I went to Kutna Hora, a small town an hour outside Prague. The first settlement was a monastery in 1142 and by 1260 people began to mine silver in the area. The city grew quickly in the ensuing centuries and even rivalled Prague as the most important city in Bohemia. These days it’s a pretty sleepy little town but people come to see the Sedlec Ossuary, which contains the artistically arranged bones of around 40,000 people. Back in 1278 the abbot of Sedlec monastery went to Jerusalem, brought back some holy earth and sprinkled it over the cemetery. News of this meant that Sedlec was THE place to be buried, and people from all over Central Europe were interred. Plague in the 14th century and wars in the early 15th century meant the cemetery had to be enlarged several times and in 1400 a new church was built with an area to house remains that had been dug up to make space for new burials. In 1870 a private family took ownership of the church grounds and employed someone to tidy up the bones. The results speak for themselves – chains of skulls, a family crest fashioned from bones and a chandelier that contains every single in the human body. It was interesting, but a little creepy.
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