I have been looking for short day trips out of the city for us and I had read about the organic farm called Bontanicus.  It is a historic village attached to acres and acres of gardens (both vegetable and flower).  The village was built in 1999, over the site of the ancient village rubbish dump of the town of Ostra.  They used recycled wood and stone to create the villiage.  The idea was “to create a backdrop and atmosphere of an Era in which Arts and Crafts were practiced in the Region, each of which was a vital and integral part of early survival developement and economic growth.” 

I decided to make this trip at the very last minute and had to hustle to get us out the door to make a 10:54 train (at a train station I have never been to).  First we had to hop on the subway and I was surprised how fast we got to the train station stop.  Those things can haul booty.  This train station was considerably smaller than the other one we have been to and less confusing too!  We found our train and good seats and we still had 10 minutes to spare.  I will admit, a part of me was a little unsure that we got on the right train.  Because when I looked at the stops I did not see Ostra on the list.  But, I thought… whatever… it’s an adventure!   We paid for our ticket on the train and the fellow collecting money did not speak english, but he issued me a ticket to Ostra… so it had to be right.  Well, thank goodness it was the right train. Ostra is small enough that it only came up on the list when we were coming up to the stop.  From what I read, we only had a 10 minute walk to the farm.  We met a very sweet Japanese couple from Arizona and walked with them.  Ostra was very cute and reminded me of the Mid-Western US.

Once were arrived, we had to exchange our czech money for the Village money (they called it “Grose”) and that allowed us to do activities and buy some lunch.  We walked around the village and found some goats and a water wheel.  We saw a people making rope, candles, paper, and panning for gold.  The village walkways and stairs were no place for a stroller, so I promptly ditched it behind a tree. 

We found a little door that opened out into the gardens!  For kids, this place must seem magical, with all its garden beds, lawns, and mazes to walk around.  Emmett ran pretty much the whole time!

Below, is what I think would be Wes’s dream garden patch.

Here is an amazing maze made out of small cedar trees (I think).  It is hard to describe with photos because it was so big and the little pathways were so tiny.  It was pretty awesome and I think Nana and Grandpa should grow one for Emmett and new baby.

We headed back for the village to eat lunch which was in the larger food hall.  In the back were a couple of girls grilling meat and making what they called “pancakes.”  

Our food came appropriately presented on pieces of wood!  Emmett liked that I think.  The food was good! 

After lunch, we stopped in on the gingerbread cookie shack and decorated our own cookies!  As they dried, we went back out to the gardens.

With more running and exploring we found an ostrich, some sheep, chickens and a turkey! 

After a few hours (Emmett was super tired) we headed back to the train station and made it home just in time for left over beans and rice!

I loved this place and am so glad we went out there.  Thank you Uncle Sean!!

The remaining photos are from the Zoo trip we made a few days ago.  Somehow they got lost in the mix.

I find much comfort when this kid sleeps… especially after the busy days we have here!


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