On to Karlovy Vary

Trip Start May 18, 2007
Trip End Jul 18, 2007

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Where I stayed
Hotel Ontario Garni

Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hi all

The wake up call came early so we could catch a bus to Karlovy Vary, famous for being the premier Spa Town, dating back to the 1800's. The bus ride was impressive one - we took what the Czech's ride: student-coach line. The bus was big, equipped with on-board, luke-warm espresso and movies! Unfortunately, the movies were jinxed so we did not get to hear as it was in Czech - we have not picked up a single word in Czech thus far.

Our toothless taxi driver crammed us into a "Yugo" and our bags were almost as big as the car! Karlovy Vary is quite steep in spots and his poor little car could barely make it up the incline. We arrived safely, with two big "heave-ho's" of the luggage and we found our room at the Hotel Ontario Garni http://www.hotel.cz/ontario/  to be quite lovely, spacious and clean, with a spectacular view of the river and surrounding town - and we have half of the 4th floor with 4 large windows overlooking this toy-train town.

It was Laurie's birthday so Ryan sprung for what was called the "spa treatment". Well, you know how when you go to a typical spa the options are "massage - Swedish, hot rock, deep tissue"....here you could select from 1 major and 1 minor treatments, which were interesting to say the least. Some of the options were: carbon dioxide bag or bath, iodine bath, lymph drainage by instrument or manual if you prefer (manual is 500 korun more so much be special), pneumopuncture (requiring medical prescription), cryotherapy, cinnamon pack anti-cellulite, just to name a few. We passed on all these and selected the under water massage (major) and oxygen treatment (minor). Both interesting - the underwater massage was given by "Helga", an unusually large Czech woman, who ordered us to "get naked", and then jump into a warm mineral water tub. We both looked at Helga with our "deer in the headlights" look as we were not prepared to strip down in front of Helga. Well, do like the Czech's do - she honestly did not even notice. We did this separately as the tubs were quite small - poor Ryan could barely get his entire body under the water!

Helga grabbed her "special wand" which was a hose with high-pressure water coming out of it. Starting with the feet, up the leg, top of the arm and shoulder (10 min), then ordered us to "turn over" for the back side treatment! Again, foot, up the leg, butt, back but not the shoulders, and back of arms (she forgot to do the back of Laurie's arms as time was up at 10 min for the back side) - total of 20 min and the last order was given, "to the pool".  Next was the oxygen treatment. Ryan went first, swallowed the "vitamins" with a swig of mineral water (yuck) and inserted the oxygen nose thingy. (Aunt Karen - we were thinking of you as we inhaled pure Oxygen!). So this oxygen thing was supposed to cleanse you but after Ryan's 40 min of being plugged in and Laurie's 20 min (she unplugged early as she could not understand the point), we took a final dip in the luke-warm mineral pool, one last stroll across the reflexology rocks and hit the road, chalking it up to a Czech spa experience! We have never laughed so hard and tried desperately to get into the spa mood but the disco music in the background made it difficult. http://english.edenhotels.cz/

We enjoyed an amazing dinner at the Hotel Romance Pushkin!! WOW, best meal of the journey. Ryan had Czech Beef Goulash and dumplings (for the 3rd time) and Laurie had salmon that was so darn moist and delicious! The dessert was a Czech pancake (crepe-like) filled with a special cream, topped with fresh raspberries whip cream AND ice cream, dripped with chocolate. The meal was incredible and we closed the place down at 11pm, which says a LOT since unlike Prague, this is a sleepy town with everyone tucked in, except for us, by 9pm. It was creepy - there was literally no one on the streets and you could hear a pin drop in the entire town.

Wonderful day!!

Today's walk: 3.6 miles
Total for the journey (65.5 miles, 12 days)
Ryan and Laurie
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marlanko on

Spa Treatments
ROFL... I think the people a work are wondering why I am laughing so hard. Your spa treatment reminds me of Michael Thomas' spa treatment in India when two men walked all over him oiled up and basically naked. You are certainly more adventurous then me. What a way to celebrate your b-day. Love the adventure, keep it up!

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