Must Know Czech Insights
First, let me just mention one little insight about the Czech Republic. The entire country smells like a bonfire at night. I’m so sorry to be a bit overt on the truth. When driving into Prague I couldn’t figure it out. I thought perhaps there was a factory in the area, but after a few hours of driving that didn’t make sense. I knew pollution in Prague was an issue, the statues on St. Charles Bridge are in-fact replicas that started white and turn black from the pollution, before being replaced (repeat cycle). These were incidental compared with the drive to Karlsvoy Vary, a small town in the western part of the Czech Republic accessible by two-lane roads. The smoke was so thick for hours of the drive that we couldn’t see anything more than the front of the car. Twisting roads, with the cars whizzing by in the opposite direction only seen at the vary last minute. It was on the drive, encountering many a country town that we noted all the houses in the town had chimney’s with black or thick yellow-grey smoke fuming into the air. We quickly deduced they were not burning wood, and more likely coal as if in the middle of the industrial revolution. Oyyy. Thank goodness we made it to Karlsvoy Vary alive.
Second little insight… Karlsvoy Vary or Karlsbad, Karlsvoy Vary or Karlsbad… both are appropriately used names for the town. Given it’s western location, The KV is a resort town for many a German tourist and is aptly given a German name by the tourists that visit (i.e. Karlsbad). All the famous Carlsbad’s in the U.S. (i.e. Carlsbad Taverns, Carlsbad, California, etc.) derive their name from Karlvoy Vary.
Perhaps I’ll just refer to it as “The K.”
What to Know about The K
- The K is a spa town, situated in Bohemia, Czech Republic
- Founded back in 1370, the town and baths have been frequented by many a king and Tsar over the years.
- This is a fairly small town, and surrounded by steep hills. Too steep for this runner!
What to Do in The K
- There are 13 larger hot springs, and hundreds of smaller hot springs throughout town. Let’s just call these the fountain of youth… at least I’m hopeful they were! You can buy a mug in various sizes and drink from these fountains of youth. I’ll let you know in a few years how that worked out for me.
- Apparently the thing to drink here is the liquor below. I thought it was awful.
- But I loved the wafers! Made with the same fountain-of-your spring water! I’m just sure it’ll make it so I never age 😉
- The spa. Couldn’t even tell you what treatments I received. I can, however, tell you that it was super cheap and super relaxing.
- Shopping, although I think this is a summer sport.
The town, as mentioned, is super small. It’s a great getaway, and apparently has film, food and wine festivals as the weather gets warmer. And cross-country races after the snow arrives. All the places we went to on the trip were so vastly different, a great almost end to a great trip before heading back to Stuttgart.