In the summer of 2015 I had this wonderful change to work as a tour guide for an Italian tour operator, that sent me to Prague for a month. At one of the free days I had, I took a trip to Karlovy Vary.
Why did I chose to go there?
I had no idea what Czech Republic would offer once I got to Prague to lead my groups. So my dear colleague who'd been Prague several times before, led me to learn to know all those lovely places. Starting from Karlovy Vary.
Karlovy Vary was settled early at bronze age as a fortification, and later in 1300 people started to recognise the curative effect it's spring water gave. And as all natural thermal spas also this one was actually "founded" by Romans. "Carlo the 4th" went there for the inspection round 1370. The story tells that Karel the 4th went to a Loket Castle and one day when he was out for hunting his dog got in to a boiling spring. Karel and his company tasted the water and with the help of his personal doctor figured out that such water could actually help to get better if not get cured from various illnesses.
On a contrary of many thermal spas where people go to have bath only, in Karlovy Vary the spring water is to be drink.
There are as many as 15 springs that have different effect on a human body. What I should have done was to have a medical check up first and then drink only from those springs that are good to me. But I was hasty and didn't think wisely. The most famous spring there is called Vřídlo (I had to copy and paste the name in order to have it written correctly). This particular spring shoots the water out up to 12 meter high with the capability of 2000 l/minute and with the temperature of nearly 74°C
Lets not waist any more time:I then run trough all the springs with a funny cup made to look like a small teapot and a cup all together and drank the water. The cup is something I need to buy, while the spring water is for free.
What comes to dining out, the prices for food and drink are just as expensive (or cheap) as in EU generally, comparing to other Czech Republic, where drinking beer is still cheaper than drinking water. Mario's Pizza was what I expected in Czech Republic. Nothing like at Naples thought. But at least I could afford it. Karlovy Vary was known as Monte Carlo of the Eastern Europe. It had famous and rich tourists mostly from Russia and other east block countries. To admire famous people is still possible, since Karlovy Vary has it's Film Festival end of June or beginning of July. Check the dates from the link below.
One of the many things I had to try was this typical drink:
It's a sort of herbal liquor that I was advised to drink after diner. Although I bought one at home, I still haven't opened it yet. Some things are just perfect right there, from where they originally come from.
Besides of the thermal Spa and springs I also wondered around, to have a look.Walking out there is so relaxing.
How did I got there? Simple. By a bus from Prague. These bus lines offer really an excellent service. For the price of the ticket I got newspaper I couldn't read and a cup of tea. I could buy some coffee and chocolate bars if I wanted to. Just like in low cost airlines, or in a train. We had a hostess that delivered everything. And in the bus I had free movies and free wifi.
Karlovy Vary is really a popular tourist attraction so if you want to go there from Prague, book your return bus trip straight away. I lost my chance to go back with my colleague, and stayed one night extra. Not that it mattered. I loved it.
My one person's hotel room booked with booking.com cost me with breakfast 40€ a night.
Karlovy Vary also has it's own airport. It carries mostly Russian tourist.
All photo shoots are from author.
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