At least it's not raining...

Trip Start Jul 03, 2006
Trip End Aug 20, 2006

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Tuesday, August 8, 2006

So after spending a night in the city of Plzen, Karlovy Vary seems that much more glamorous. Here there is nothing but tourists, stores, spas and hotels, but in Plzen, I was the only tourist it seemed like. The hotel (if you can even call it that) was a room in some dorms. My suite mates were a couple old guys. I am really tired now from the walking I guess. I really like Karlovy Vary, everything that went wrong in Plzen is going right here. For example, the bus station is at the information center rather than on the outskirts. Karlovy Vary is a beautiful place. I drank lots of mineral water, it's a little salty but I think I feel healthier already. Haha. Umm, well I am planning on going back to Olomouc tonight. I will leave Karlovy Vary pretty soon and take a bus to Prague then a train back to Olomouc. The only thing I didn't do here that I wanted to was go to a spa or a hot bath or whatever. I would have tried harder to find one but I don't have anything to wear. If the spas are like the ones in Budapest then I could go in my boxers but I don't know. The people here are much more refined (in the sense that they are free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth) than the people in Plzen. I didn't really feel welcome or safe in Plzen. I don't know exactly why, maybe it was the warning from the guy in the bus...

My favorite thing I did in Plzen was watch a soccer match between Plzen and Sparta Praha. I am so glad I decided to go and watch it. I was just walking by the stadium and heard all the excitement but I almost didn't go because I wanted to leave that night and it was getting late and also because someone warned me that foreigners aren't safe at soccer matches in the Czech Republic. I didn't have any incidents during the half hour I was there. It was a perfect night for soccer, . I wish I could describe the excitement in the air, it was priceless. The whole crowd was so into the game, and there was a group of "hooligans" (crazy, rowdy fans) from Prague cheering AC Sparta on. They cheered and chanted constantly. They had about 10 different cheers they knew. You can always tell how dedicated a team's fans are by how many cheers they have.

My visit to Karlovy Vary is another experience I wish I had company on. It's just not the same by yourself. There are tons of tourists here but very few speaking English. There are more signs in Russian and German than English. The same was true in Plzen. Well, not the Russian signs, just German. Acutally, I didn't see much at all in Plzen geared towards tourists other than some well-marketed brochures. But the people only knew Czech and German for the most part. The cab driver said all the English speakers go to Prague but they get more German tourists in Plzen. So all in all, I like Karlovy Vary way better than Plzen. The only thing is now the weather is chilly and overcast. It looks like rain but there hasn't been any yet, thankfully. Hence the title...
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jackiebuchta on

It's so interesting to read your observations. The soccer match sounds like fun. I do wonder if your perceptions of Plzen were colored by the guy with the joint. And I'm not sure how much credibility I'd give to a guy who was high and probably paranoid. But you know what you saw, heard, and felt. Mom and I didn't have the same perception of Plzen, but that was a long time ago. Didn't you go to the brewery? I think that's more tourist-oriented. Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying Karlovy Vary, and if you don't get in the spa, at least you experienced one in Hungary. I bet that would be more fun with another person. Spanem Bohem!

jackiebuchta on

It is really dad under disguise of mom
We wonder who won the soccer match Plzen? Sparta?
Did the crowd get some of their energy from someone using a music system like they do at hockey matches in the USA?
keep on writing... DAD

valandbrent on

What? You didn't make it to a spa?
Even still, I wish I could be your travel buddy although I'm not what you had in mind. couldn't quite get a handle on how long you were in Plzen. Was it too long and that was part of the problem or was it not long enough to really get to know the town's nicer side? Either way, glad that Karlovy Vary has been a good stop. And since Dave started the shopping list I may as well ask you that if you happen to be in any antique shops in areas of the country where we have ancestors, please pick up any cheap kroj pieces (i.e. vests, handkerchiefs, skirts, aprons, you know) feel free to pick them up for Carrie or Claire in case they run for Czech Queen next year. What do you think?

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