One last day trip

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
Trip End Aug 15, 2008

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

(I actually spent a day back in Prague in between Olomouc and here, but I'm really running out of things to say about Prague, so I thought I would skip it this time, if that's okay with you?)

After spending so long in Prague, I figured I should get out and see a bit more of the country before finally leaving, so a long day was spent out in the east.

Arriving in Loket by bus is quite magnificent, especially early in the morning (I hope you all appreciate how much it hurt to get a 6.45 bus). The road descends into the valley in which the town is situated along small, winding roads, the views of the town castle improving all the while. Eventually, the bus reaches the town, only to turn away and continue along the road which flirts it's way around to the other side, teasing you with glimpses of the old town walls and buildings rising beyond, with the castle perched above it all.

Loket has to be one of the most picturesque little towns I have ever come across. A tiny place, it is possible to walk across the town in 5 minutes, but what a beautiful 5 minutes! Stop me if this is sounding like Česky Krumlov, but to the untrained eye the towns are remarkably similar. Both are surrounded by abrupt river loops, this time the river Ohre, (and in fact 'Loket' means elbow, and refers to the shape of the river around town) and both are overlooked by castles. Loket is somewhat smaller, though, and without so many backpackers. Unfortunately, in the morning the town was overridden for a couple of hours by school groups and bus loads of a more elderly persuasion, though blissfully quiet outside of those hours. Lots of pleasant walks in the Slavkov forested hills surrounding the town too, with some great views of the town. Again, I think I could have spend a lazy couple of days relaxing here.

The 3 hour walk from Loket to Karlovy Vary, an ostentatious spa town of some repute amongst elderly, overweight German hypochondriacs, came recommended, but unfortunately wasn't anything special in my opinion, taking me through far too many towns and along roads for a lot of the time. The pub situated near the Svatovssky Skaly rock formations (try saying that after you've had a few!) was a welcome relief, and probably the best thing about the walk, though it didn't make the last 10km any easier. The town itself was exceedingly wealthy, and not ashamed about displaying it. Not my cup of tea, but if you fancy eating disgustingly bland spa wafers and drinking spa waters from an exceedingly silly cup shaped like a little teapot, it's definatley the place to come!
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