Day in Karlovy Vary

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

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hi all -

We slept in today with breakfast at 9:00am, another traditional Czech breakfast featuring liquid yogurt, wieners, variety of cheese, salami, eggs and cereals (including oatmeal!).
Today was a day of picture taking, heading to the highest point of Kilarney vooley (Ryan is hysterical and when prompted, he will pronounce the town's name a million different ways - god know what will happen to us in Paris!).

We strolled along the river to the Hotel Pupp, one of the oldest hotels in town, dating back to 1834, to catch the funicular. We noticed so many groups of people gathering around and stepped in for a closer peek. It was the mineral water, spouting out of the ground ranging from 128 F - 158 F, dipping their special porcelain mugs under the spouts of "healing water". It was a frenzy!! The topper was the lady with 3 large thermoses' to fill and would have had more if she could carry them. Ryan scooped up a handful and called out to Laurie "you have to try this - it is the BEST water I have ever had". Well, Laurie saw all these frenzied people and the happy look on Ryan's face, sure, try it - BLECH! It was the worst rusty-nail-soaked for a hundred years-"water" that we had ever tasted. Mind you, we only had a drop but was enough to run to find a coffee shop to wash out the taste. We can only imagine the "curing" this stuff does - it is the Czech way. Russians visit Karlovy Vary for 3 wks at a time to drink this crap water, as much as they can to "cure" their ailments (the most popular ailments are the gastrointestinal and locomotive, whatever these are!).

We found the funicular and for a cheap ride we found ourselves on top of the town. Oh we missed the stairs of Prague so we climbed the 142 stairs up the tower to capture the town from a bird's eye view. What a great climb to this viewpoint, as we fought off silly little Czech teenagers, pushing and shoving their way to the top. It was a blue bird sky day with huge white puffy clouds which we were hoping for today, as the rain from last night caused us a bit of a worry.

After the overlook we took a 1.3 km descent through the forest, minding our blue tree markers. Oh, but not without incident! Ryan always has to get the "better" shot so what does he do? (Karl, he is so much like you!). He meanders off the trail and all of a sudden, he started to go down, slipping on the loose ground, clinching that damn camera, swirling around to look at Laurie and honestly, we were not sure how to rescue him in case he kept going, and we were the ONLY idiots walking down from the funicular - bunch of woosies here! Ryan adamantly refuses to believe this story when reminded of the look that Laurie captured, it was clearly an "Oh Shit Moment" - again, he is stubborn and wanted to grab that special vantage point. Nothing happened to Ryan, but Laurie laughed her ass off the entire way down the beautiful trail.

It all paid off for Ryan today as he made up for his scary moment on the trail and found a peaceful little trail that ran on top of the town, each step more amazing views than the last. We swore the hills would not stop and just when we thought we were ready for a snack, oh no, we headed back UP the steep streets for the better shot. We had a great photo day and hope you enjoy the posting from Karlovy Vary.

Our last Czech meal was delightful - Ryan had pickled herring with onions and Laurie had creamed mushroom soup with a yummy apple strudel for dessert.
Mom - The Czechs have something to learn about GOOD pickled herring. We swear that Ryan had enough pickled herring for a group of 4 people and he ate almost every morsel. Reminded us of his kipper breakfast in Bath, UK when it was served it was an entire FILET of kipper!!

We have completely taken down the internet access of the hotel so have borrowed the manager's computer to post our blogs. Every time we plug into our laptop, the entire hotel computer system blows so we are dependent upon Barbara, hotel manager, to get our blog fix in.

Thursday will be a full travel day to Salzburg, Austria, where he "Sound of Music" was filmed. We will spend 3 nights there, making a day trip to Hallstatt (Ryan has renamed this cute little dot on the map, Hallgen Daaaz).

While we aren't thrilled to spend the entire day to travel from Eastern Europe to Austria (but we are a helluva long way's away from anything), we don't have much of a choice but will enjoy the scenery - all part of the adventure. Additionally, we'll acquire two more country passport stamps (not much to thrill Ryan!).

Today's walk: 6.0 miles
Total for the journey (73 miles, 13 days)

Lots of love,
Laurie and Ryan

p.s. Karl - enjoyed a very good pumpkin strudel today - you would have been drooling.
p.s.s. Roger - more stairs today, 199 one way UP, with dizzying views. You would have been shaking.
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