The buildings were adorable; a color pallet of bright pastels along the river
. We were introduced to their cracker/cookie thing called "Karlsbader Oblaten." Yummy is how I will sum that experience up. We also went to the Russian side of the town. This is where all the tourists go. Apparently, the locals don’t even go to that side (our host hadn’t been there in 4 or so years). Everything is in Russian but for a tourist, they don’t know the difference. All the people are dressed in their furs and look as if they held some rather important connections. Other than the bitter cold, the snow was beautiful to be around. Very different from the sunny & warm Sicily I had been in just a few days before.
We also checked out the Becherovka museum (although we didn’t actually go into the museum portion.. just got a drink there). And went to one of the local restaurants our host recommended to us. Later that night us and our hosts went out to a near bar and had a few drinks (like I mentioned in the Prague post, they drink a lot..). After coming back we all ended up talking and hanging out for another 4 or so hours. We watched a hockey game until we all fell asleep. The next morning we slept in and attended our host’s English class. We were his show-and-tell for the day. It was fun and interesting to be back in high school…
Eventually our time in Carlsbad was done and we grabbed a coffee and hoped on a bus heading back to Prague.
On one of the days we were in The Czech Republic, Olivia and I took a trip over to an area called Karlovy Vary (a.k.a. Carlsbad). It was about a 2-hour bus ride away. There, we were staying with a host we found on couchsurfing. It's a rather small town and especially during offseason, it’s hard to find people who will open their couch to travelers. Our host was/is an English teacher and shares a flat with a police officer. I felt pretty safe. They were both wonderful. Our host showed us around the small town covered in snow (it got much more than Prague). The town is known for its healing hot springs. People come from all over to drink the prescribed magic water. It tastes disgustingly similar to metal. Either way, we tried all of them. No, I didn’t feel any different… but who knows! Maybe it has hidden powers.