Is it strange that one of my favourite places to go is a cemetery? But not just any cemetery. In Hradec Králové there is a cemetery, located in the forest, which is tranquil and beautiful. It is looked after so well it compares to any small park you could wish to visit. But, of course, it is not a park and you must remember this when you visit there.

Czech people take care of their family plots and graves to a very high standard. Most cemeteries are clean, well maintained, and have fresh flowers and candles lit. It is traditional, in most families, to visit and clean at least once per year. But, sometimes, it is even weekly.

Now, I am not a religious person. I believe once you are gone, you are gone. The Czechs too are a very atheistic people. So this tradition seems to be carried out for a different reason. Respect for family; for the past, the present, or for the future.

If you visit the forest cemetery you will see gravestones scattered amongst the trees, in a very natural setting. They are immaculate, even in winter. And, if you are very lucky and quiet, you may even see a deer peering around a trunk at you. Here is one place that, when you pass away, you really do return to mother nature. 

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© Neil Hayes, neilsworldofenglish and neilhayesphoto

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