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Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Where in the World is Elena Maria?

A Traveler's Reality Check


For those of you that follow my blog, you may be 
asking, "Is she still in Prague?" since that is the only
place I have posted from so far.  The answer is ~ far 
from it ~ literally,  We are on the other side of the
world in Japan right now.  I have not been blogging
much because I have been having a wonderful time
on my trip.  I learned a big lesson on my last round
the world journey, it all goes by so fast and you should
enjoy every minute.  So that means I have not posted 
everyday as we have been traveling.  On the last trip
I often missed dinner or another fun thing to do so
I could edit photos and write the blog so I could get 
up to the minute reports out.  I learned that was foolish,
there will be plenty of time to blog once I'm back home.
I'm imagining sitting in the gazebo with an iced coffee
and a cute doggie at my feet.  So stay tuned, more photos
and info of the sights, the food and the adventures are
to come.  Including bumping into a friend in Turkey,
riding elephants up to the Amber Fort in Jaipur, India
and getting assaulted on the street in New Zealand.
But now it's time for a nap...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic


As a day trip from Prague we decided to head
out to a lovely village called Kutna Hora.  We 
left early in the morning and took the tram to 
the main train station in Prague.  From there 
we took the fast train for about an hour to the
main train station at Kutna Hora.


There is a Visitors Center at the station that
can give you maps and advise you as to what 
you can see in the time you have.  We took a
short walk to the Cathedral of Assumption of 
Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist at Sedlec,
This is a Unesco World Heritage Site and has a 
very interesting history.  


  The city was prosperous due to silver mines and the 
area reflects the wealth of times gone by.  The town 
was the cultural center of Bohemia and became a royal 
city.  The cathedral was built in the late 13th century
 and was burned in the 15th century, it was a ruin for 
over 300 years.  When the church was restored it was
 done in the style called Baroque Gothic.


Then it was a short walk up the road to the
Sedlec Ossuary.  The ossuary is said to contain
the skeletons of 40,000 to 70,000 people.


The bones are artistically arranged into swags 
and a chandelier.  I confess I found it to be a
bit creepy and hightailed it out of there pretty
quickly.


We then took a short bus ride to the town center
of Kutna Hora.  While we were on the bus we 
stood up to get off at one point and an older gentleman
in the back of the bus motioned for us to sit down, it 
wasn't time to get off.  When it was the correct stop, 
he motioned for us to get up.  He also told us through
hand signals where to walk and to not turn at the 
crossroads but to continue walking.  We shook hands
 and thanked him and thought we were following his
 directions but we turned at the wrong street and a lady
who was also on the bus yelled to us to keep going
straight.  Now, of course, neither of these people spoke
English but they were happy to assist us through hand
movements.  We find this all over the world, so many
lovely people who help us find our way in remote cities
and villages.  This is often our best memory of a place.
The churches and museums can all blend into one but 
we always remember the people we meet.


We did find the beautiful Cathedral of Saint
Barbara.  This is one of the most famous gothic
churches in central Europe.  Saint Barbara is the
patron saint of miners which is appropriate since
this is a former silver mining town.


The glass windows in the cathedral are stunning.
The color and design are so vibrant.


Within the town you can enjoy a wine garden
right along side the vines.  The views of the 
valley are lovely.


We found a restaurant with a garden terrace 
and enjoyed a lovely lunch.  The Czech Republic
is known for their beer and I have been told it is
very delicious if that is something you might like.
Personally, you couldn't pay me to drink beer, I
have never liked the taste.


Be sure to stroll through the town and look at
the pretty buildings.  Then it was time to get to
the train station to head back to Prague.











Friday, May 29, 2015

Prague Castle


On our first full day in Prague we decided
to tour Prague Castle.  The castle sits high 
on a hill and is visible from many parts of 
the city with a particularly good view from
Charles Bridge.


We got our jet lagged bodies moving amd took
a taxi up to the castle.  At the entrance to the
castle we were greeted by this lovely sculpture.
Not the most welcoming...


,,,and only to be outdone by the brawny guy
with the club.  I guess it sent a message in 
days of old saying don't mess with us.


Much of the castle facade is under 
construction so I tried to crop the ugly 
blue plastic out of the photos.  Due to 
all of the wrapping we weren't able to
get the full view of what this looks like.


Prague Castle is considered the largest
ancient castle in the world and dates
back to the ninth century.


The reality of Prague today is it is no longer
an eastern European outpost visited by few
travelers.  Nowadays it is packed!  We found
this at the castle, throngs of tour groups are
weaving their ways behind a leader holding a 
ratty old umbrella with a scarf tied on to it.
We saw the long line at the church and all 
decided we had no interest in waiting.


So, instead we wandered around and
enjoyed the architecture.  The kids 
found a tower they wanted to climb.


Meanwhile, Midi and I followed our
noses.  Someone was cooking something
that smelled delicious ~ like something 
that would come from Grandma Kosty's
kitchen.  We ended up in a cafe, watching
the world walk by, admiring the view and
dreaming of what we would have for lunch.


I would say the best part of the castle
is the view.











Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Eats ~ Istanbul

I am editing food photos in the middle of the night and
it made me so hungry I had to nip into the Turkish Delight.
The foods of Turkey are delicious!























Saturday, May 23, 2015

Eats ~ Prague

We have had a lovely visit to Prague and have had 
the chance to sample some delicious food.  Here
is a sampling...