Monday, December 8, 2008

prague, bones, and the robber: road trip part lll

as the road trip continued... the madness followed. our next stop was the capital of the czech republic, prague. welcoming us into the country was good old otis.

otis was the door man at our hotel who tried to make a few extra bucks off us by providing "better parking." thanks, otis, but we'll stick with the underground, secured parking the hotel offers. he still held the doors for us and we promised to say hello to his brother who is living in florida when we get back to the states.

again- this road trip didn't allow us much time to stay in prague long, so we had to make a plan to hit all the sights in one night. cade had prepared for the whirlwind tour by plotting out all of the mission impossible sights we needed to see and by mentally creating the scenes we would need to reenact once we found them. you don't believe me? here is the exact gate from mission impossible and the coordinating scene. i know it's dark, but see if you can recognize what is going on. tom cruise sure can hop a fence, eh?

we were also able to see the national museum where loads of movies have been filmed over the years including mission impossible, one of the bourne movies, casino royale and xxx. knowing that vin diesel and i have been to the same museum was almost life changing.

honestly, it is no wonder this city has been in so many movies. it is beautiful. the river, the bridges, the lights... i loved it. one of the reasons this city was able to retain so much beauty despite the war is due to prague's early defeat. this kept prague away from much of the war's devastating effects.

charles bridge...

so we saw the sights, ate on the river and loved the city. if you get the chance, we highly recommend prague.

the next morning we woke up early- we had heard of a little church outside of prague that was a must see. the church was famous not because it had beautiful stained glass or magnificent iron works. rather, this church is known for it's beautiful bone decor.

the remains of over 40,000 bodies, most of which were victims of the plague, are draped, streamed, piled and nailed to the inside of this tiny ossuary in kutna hora.

after a priest sprinkled dirt he had gathered from golgotha on the grounds of this church, the kutna hora ossuary became the desired resting place of of tens of thousands of bodies who wished to be buried on this 'sacred' plot of ground. in the early 1500s, as the bones piled up, a half-blind priest decided that instead of putting the bones in the ground, he would use them as a symbol of the resurrection in the church and got busy decorating.

the result... one of the creepiest places i have ever been.

this chandelier contains at least one of every bone found in the human body. personally, i love the hip bone flowers.

the coat of arms... which ironically includes many arm bones.

honestly, this was one of the most interesting places i have ever been. it was a bit overwhelming to think about how each one of the skulls draping throughout the chapel once belonged to a real person.... the priest made his point: we will overcome death.

after touring the grounds, we were finally ready to start the long journey back to brussels. cade, who drove the entire road trip, was relieved as we pulled into the city to finally drop the car off. it was getting close to midnight and we were excited to go home- but little did we know, the fun had just begun...

we had to drop the car at a station which is located in one of the more 'dangerous' parts of town. honestly, i have always felt pretty safe in brussels and that night felt no different. we gathered our things from the car and started walking across the street to the metro station. cade was carrying the huge backpack with all our stuff and the blow up mattress- he was pretty weighed down. as we were walking, a young guy came up and asked cade for a cigarette. cade, always so nice, smiled and told him he didn't have one. the guy looked a little angry and started pointing to cade's pocket... i don't speak french but it sounded like he was accusing us of lying. cade just kept walking. the guy started kicking at cade's shin- not hard- it was almost like he was fake tripping him. by this point, cade and i were so confused by this guy- and then in an instant it all made sense. as he was distracting cade by kicking him, he was reaching his hand into cade's back pocket for his wallet. cade realized immediately, dropped the mattress and reached back to stop him. the guy grabbed the wallet and ran- with cade following right behind, big backpack and all.
as the two were running, the guy was quickly going through the wallet throwing things he didn't want over his shoulder at cade... luckily, as he was paying attention to cade, he didn't see william coming as he dropped everything and ran after the creep as well. william ran the other way and cut the guy off, slamming him up against the wall. after cade got the wallet back, william let the guy go- but not before cade realized that all his credit cards were still missing! the boys were ready to chase him down again but cade figured he could easily cancel the credit cards and they hurried back to where jony and i were waiting.
i was still scared out of my mind- after cade and william took off, they left jony and i standing there with some scary dude who was asking me all sorts of questions in french. i had a feeling that this guy was part of the plan- he was going to jump me after all the boys took off. luckily jony stayed behind with me. as the guy was asking questions, jony and i realized that in the struggle, a bunch of things had fallen out of cade's wallet- the credit cards!!! we quickly gathered them up but the guy was still talking to us. i did not want this guy to think he could pull anything so as i shoved the credit cards down my shirt i turned and yelled at him in english that we just got robbed and to go away. the guy finally left us alone.
william and cade returned shortly after that to find all the cards were accounted for. in the end- the guy didn't steal a thing from us- he got nothing! i was shaking and cade and william were all hyped up on adrenaline. cade remarked that the experience was 'ideal' in that we got the rush of getting robbed without actually losing anything or getting hurt. i am still pretty convinced that nothing about that experience was 'ideal.'

this picture was taken about 5 minutes after the whole thing. you can tell how mad we all are...

i still love brussels, i am just a little less trusting than i used to be. cade now carries his wallet in his front pocket in shady situations and we pull mean faces and flex our muscles on the metro. nobody messes with the taylors...


Jed, Nanc n' the boys! said...

WOW!! I'm all sorts of creeped out with the bone worshiping church. You did a great job of writing about your robbery, I felt like I was there. But I also still want the re-inactment when you get back. I am going to give thanks tonight that your okay.

Ben and Missy said...

Great story! That is so exciting. How manly to chase that guy down. The Brussels underworld won't mess with you again. Well done.

Kate Gildea said...

Dear Taylors,

-You are not alone in feeling that way about Vin...what a babe.
-Bone creep me out, but I sure hope when you said you had a prize for me it's the Gildea coat of "arms"
-Great job on fighting off that creep, I am pretty impressed by you all...