St Michael, why!?

Trip Start Apr 10, 2010
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Trip End Apr 10, 2011


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Schloss Schloss Schloss! That's what the inside of Bigwig sounds like when we drive around the Czech republic. Bavaria put us onto the word 'schloss’ which essentially means castle. And now Jena is weathering the chant that comes whenever a cool castle is in eyeshot.

This schloss just out of Prague was called Karlstejn. Can you pronounce that? We wound up paying for parking again which is totally against our ethics. But up the hill we were able to behold the amazing castle. It had a huge heavily fortified centre tower that was designed to protect all the treasure of Emperor Charles IV. It was fun wandering the whole way around the "Zamek" (That’s the Czech word for castle), and Joel had the great opportunity to hold a giant owl, Europe’s biggest owl, for a mere euro. Its eyes were crazy. It had that look an insane person gets in their eyes before they go bezerk. We’re sure it was just another tick in the owl timebomb before some tourist loses their eyes.

We had heard there was an awesome pilgrimage church in a town called Pribram. Little did we know that the church, Svata Hora, is a minor basilica, and the host for a wonderful artifact that has been the centre of many miracles and wonders.
The complex was more like a big square gallery surrounding a wondrous shrine. All through the gallery, right the way around and on the ceiling were frescoes of a lot of the miracles, nearly all being when and where people had seen an apparition of Mother Mary.
Inside the shrine they had a huge polished silver alter that contained the Svata Hora Maddona. A tiny wooden statue that people from all around the world come to visit and pray by. Very powerful place. We bought a St. Michael pendant for our shrine in Bigwig. He is pictured threatening the devil with his sword. Just what we need.

Our final tourist destination for the day was a bridge in Pisek which is the oldest stone bridge in Bohemia. The town itself was a bit of a throwaway, but the wonky old bridge was cool. It wasn’t even straight.

Later when we were camping for the night at a park, we were very unfortunate to back the van into a tree. Crashing. Yes, Bigwig got smashed. At first when Joel saw the damage it looked insubstantial. Nothing but a dented plastic bumper. Then when Jena had a look we saw the full extent of the damage. (Jena would call that a “boy look”).
The tree had pushed the back door hinge in about an inch and a half. We were devastated. Usually good things happen when we add to the shrine. How could this happen?!!
Later when we thought about it; the bad things that could of happened in the crash didn’t happen, ie. The lights didn’t break, the window didn’t break, and despite the fact that the secondary door is hard to close, it still locks up tight. But moreso than anything; it is the door that we don’t even use.
Good old St. Michael must have been doing some hectic sword work to make this all work out for us. He is like Zorro.
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