Nestled Away in Spa Town

Trip Start Apr 27, 2013
Trip End Dec 06, 2013

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What I did
Mill Colonnade
Hot Spring Colonnade
Diana Observation Tower
Spa Forests
Beer Spa

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, May 24, 2013

Nestled away in the hills of Western Czech is a charming spa city called Karlovy Vary. Featuring natural thermal hot springs and healing mineral water readily available for consumption, it is quite the vacation destination for anyone seeking eternal youth. The river Teplá runs through the cente, which only seems to add to the charm of the city. Colourful buildings interlaced with designer boutiques and souvenir shops make for a very cool and charming getaway.
Upon our arrival, we were pleasantly suprised with our accommodation (not super high-end but was still a bit of a splurge for our backpacker budget). The first three nights were thoroughly enjoyable until we wanted to extend our stay but had to switch rooms as ours apparently wasn't available any longer. Quite a change for two rooms that fall under the same company! Regardless, sometimes you just have to grin and bear it!
We visited two spas during our stay - one for a brief massage and mineral water swim, and a second, less traditional beer spa to be soaked in an oak tub of malt, hops, yeast and beer; we literally brewed like beer. To add to the experience we had an hour of unlimited self-serve beer and beer bread to munch on. Beer spa kicked mineral spa's ass!

And of course we had to sample the healing mineral water, as there were 13 different springs all at different temperatures with different mineralities and flavours. We purchased our first souvenirs here - the Karlovy Vary clay sipping cups - in which we tried a few of the different available waters; what more can we say, besides they kept us warm on really cold and wet days. 

We also took a tour of the Becherovka Museum where the liquer was created in 1807, which was originally sold as a stomach medication until it gained popularity as an herbal alcoholic beverge for mixing or just for sipping on its own. Good for the stomach and for the soul! 

After five wet and very chilly days, we were ready to bid farewell to Karlovy Vary and continue our journey through Czech. Now off to the town where pilsner beer was created; Plzen!
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