09 May 2013

From Prague to Kutna Hora
train delays
Kutna Hora long walk in
Walk around with rain
Philip Morris Tobacco Museum and Cathedral
Cathedral of St Barbara:  UNESCO Gothic from the late 14th Century

Small town is not that different from big city

Small town is not that different from big city

We left Prague this morning.  It would been too expensive to stay over the weekend!  Still, we made our way by train to Kutna Hora.  This was supposed to be fairly easy, but on arriving at the station, they had no idea what platform it was going to be.  The train ended up being delayed for over two hours, and it was not until it pulled into the station that they told us the right place to be.  Apparently this is normal here, as no one else was worried, and everyone would just hang around the boards until their train was designated a place, then trundle off to catch it!

Looking forward to seeing some skulls

Looking forward to seeing some skulls

Kutna Hora is a Unesco town with a Bone church.  We had planned ahead for one of the few times and booked a pension.  On arriving at the station, we thought we needed to go to another station, so we asked at the information desk.  Yes, it was a different station, as this is about 3km from town, but when we mentioned the name of the pension she got a bit confused.  Apparently it is right outside!  Walking out we did see it.  The directions online were wrong.  Still, it was an error in our favour.  Checking in, there was a lovely little old lady happily babbling on the entire time, oblivious to our lack of the language.  The room was ok, and we then went for a walk down town.  We are skipping the church at the moment, as the weather is miserable and it was getting on in the day.  There was a break in the rain, and we thought we would use it to see town.
Walking into town was fairly normal.  For small town normal that is where the train station is over three km away.  We passed a large factory and came up to the church on the other side. Here we found out that it is the Phillip Morris Tobacco factory.  And they have a museum!  KH33postvert3KH31postvert1KH32postvert2We had to check that out.  Andrew was hoping for a tour with free samples at the end!  On entering a helpful man directed us into a couple of rooms where we got to learn the difference between Oriental, Virginian and the other type of tobaccos.  It is not the plant that is important, but the way it is dried.  Quite interesting in its own way.
Then they had sections on Tobacco here from before WWII and the communist era.

Kutna Hora is ready for summer!

Kutna Hora is ready for summer!

Phillip Morris helped a bit in the 1980’s and took over after Czechoslovakia left the Warsaw Pact.  It is still in use today, and pumps out over 5 billion cigarettes a year.  The company also helps the town a lot, and has preserved the church and monastic grounds it is set up in.  I suppose they must have some kind of conscience to do this;  It was also interesting to see brand development over the decades.  They even mention that smoking is detrimental to your health – once.

After this, we made it to town.  The town is quite small, but very pretty.  There are a couple of squares, a few fountains and statues surrounded by ornate buildings.  We came up to the Cathedral of St Barbara.

One of the best cathedrals ever

One of the best cathedrals ever

This is a fantastic Gothic cathedral sitting on the hill.  The flying buttresses holding it together are so numerous that if you used a piece of string, you would almost have another level.  Still, it is an amazing piece of architecture.  Yet again, the rain started up.  We were on the other side of town, and a long way from home.  Making our way to the road, we saw signs for a pub.  We decided to take refuge here and get dinner at the same time.  It was a nice pub, but they didn’t serve food.  Still, we got our 1/2L of beer and sat down to out wait the rain.  There was an Ice Hockey game on, and as this is the national sport, we settled in to enjoy it.  KH25posttown3A few hours later, and much more beer, the rain eased up a bit and we managed to make our way back to the Pension.  I have no problem with renting beer, but do you have to make the repayments in installments?



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