Marianske Lasne: Chillin with the oldies

Trip Start Feb 06, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Pension Bavaria

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Thursday, July 7, 2011

After a couple of weeks of non-stop sightseeing, I was excited to relax for a bit.  Originally, I had planned to visit Karlovy Vary, the most popular and largest of the 3 spa towns just southwest of Prague.  My Lonely Planet recommended a stop at Marianske Lasne instead since it was less crowded.  This town is not your typical tourist destination.  In fact there are no hostels to be found.  I found a killer deal on for a single room including breakfast for only 25 € per night.  The pension owner even offered to pick me up at the bus station so that I wouldn't have to walk!  You should have seen the smile on my face when I saw the room.  It was a queen sized bed with a giant bathroom all for myself!

I took the bus into town and quickly realized why there are no hostels in this place.  The only people who vacation here are OLD people!  There's absolutely nothing wrong with old people but it was quite comical to see the bus filled with a hundred oldies and then me.  I definitely got some weird looks from them.  They probably thought I got lost and went to the wrong town!  

The main attraction of this place is the abundance of mineral water springs scattered throughout the town.  In the main centre, you can fill your bottles with the different kinds of water.  Some types have such high sulphuric content that you can't even drink it without gagging.  The proper way to drink the spring water is to have a sip from your porcelain spa cup (I wasn't about to pay $8 for a cup) and then dull the sulphurous taste with a giant water called oplatky.  They come in different flavours like cocoa and hazelnut but the original flavour tastes the best!  Also, if you stay in a fancy hotel, they offer wellness programs for everything from lympathic drainage to hydrocolonotherapy.  

For dinner, I went to a local pub which unfortunately had no English menus.  German? Yes! Russian? Yes!  Clearly, English speaking tourists do NOT visit this place.  I took the Deutsch menu and used their free wifi to translate the dishes.  I was expecting a hot plate of some sort with sausage and cheese.  I received a cold cut platter with 3 different types of cheese, sliced salami like sausage, and slices of pork fat.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some!

After dinner, I waited around for the Singing Fountain night show.  It's exactly like the fountain at Aberdeen Centre and it plays once every 2 hours to set music except for the 9pm and 10pm show which includes a light show.  It's fairly lame but hundreds of people always gather around to watch the fountain do its thing.  I think I watched it 4 times during my visit :P

The next morning, after my amazing breakfast, I chilled in my room to update my blog.  It was incredibly peaceful and so relaxing!  Not that this trip has been stressful or anything...  In the afternoon, I walked through the beautiful park into town and went into one of the fancy hotels to enjoy their Roman Baths.  From 2pm, the baths are open to the public so I did some more relaxing and enjoyed the steam baths, different temperature pools, and various saunas.  If you're looking for a party, don't go to Marianske Lasne.  Otherwise, it's a great place just to unwind and do absolutely nothing!
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