Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Taking the Cure" at Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad)

So, Saturday I went to Karlovy Vary with another teacher from the school. It is west of Prague (about two hours by bus) and has been bounced back and forth between Germany and Prague (hence the fact that it has a German name, Carlsbad, and a Czech name, Karlovy Vary). It is a spa town--the mineral springs were discovered by Charles IV (in what my guidebook refers to as a very "Beverly Hillbillies" moment). I did try a sip of the waters--basically hot water with a nasty aftertaste. I suppose I ought to have brought a tea bag...

Anyway, these pictures are ordered from North to South, following along the river (which flows from South to North). Everything was basically along the river. The whole town had a completely different feel from the other places I've been to in the Czech Republic. For one thing, it was cleaner. For another, it seemed a lot more affluent. Oh, and there were a lot (A LOT) of fat Germans there. Like, HUGE Germans. I almost started to have traumatic flashbacks to German Preschool.

Sadova Kolonada.

Mlynska kolonada.

Vridelni kolonada.

A view of Karlovy Vary from the Diana Tower (we took the funicular up). The bottom center building with the glass section that goes up houses the Vridlo, the hottest spring, which bubbles up about 15 meters.

Jeleni skok, Stag's Leap. I had seen a picture of this in my guidebook and I really wanted to find it (mainly because my guidebook has ONE picture from KV and this was it AND because there were signs for Jeleni skok all over the mountain, so I figured it must be something impressive). Anyway, my travel companion got off the funicular halfway down from the Diana tower and started walking. And walking. And walking. We stumbled across a hotel, a restaurant, a giant cross on the hill (which I had always thought of as a Central/South American thing, but I guess they exist in the CR too), and a couple of gazebos (and, not so surprisingly, a dearth of fat Germans). But no Jeleni skok. I had basically given up and resigned myself to the idea that we would never find it when we turned the corner in a switchback and saw a pile of rocks with this teeny, tiny deer perched on top. It was so small it was laughable. I, of course, burst out laughing (confusing the Czech couple who were making out in the scanty shade cast by the rocks and eventually scaring them away) and I tried to get a picture that would show the puny scale of this thing. I don't think I succeeded.

The Russian church. My travel companion and I were drag-ass tired but we had this last thing on our checklist, so we went (painfully) up a hill to look at the thing, take pictures, then gratefully head back down to buy bus tickets to return to Prague. Anyway, it was a neat looking church. Thankfully, it was closed so we didn't have to climb the stairs to go up and look at it.

So, that was my trip to KV/CB. Now I need to go out and jog, get a shower, eat some more breakfast (I've already eaten one breakfast and already my stomach is growling), find the DHL office on Vaclavske Namesti to mail my airline ticket to Texas, go to the school to change my September start date and see if there are any substitutions for today, go to the H&M to try to find a pair of capris, then probably go to the C&A to try to find a pair of capris, then give up and go back home, where I will avoid prepping this weeks classes until the last possible minute when I will feel rushed and won't do as good a job as I would have liked, at which point I will tell myself that the teaching year is almost over and I will do a much better job next year because I will feel rested in September, wll the while knowing that I am just lying to myself and that I will procrastinate just as much in September as I do now.


At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

Such neat places. :)

However, given your impression of the real deer-statue, if I had good Photoshoppin' skills I'd put a "real miniature Tiffany Lamp lampshade" over the deer.

Take care. :)

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

Wow, I just found lots of information about Moche erotic art. Interesting detour from the quick search to confirm that it was indeed Peru where my aunt & uncle visited last year.
Your comment about the giant cross on the hill reminded me of a picture my aunt had taken--it showed partially excavated Inca ruins on a hill...and on the other side of the hill, a religious statue stood extending its arms towards the city.
It was remarkable, to me, to see the overlay/re-use/etc of the spot between cultures.

At 1:38 AM, Blogger Ovonia Red said...

SO, I need to clarify something. "Travel Companion" is NOT a euphemism for something else. I just don't like to use people's names in my 'blog (unless they okay it--I just think it is inconsiderate to do so--I wouldn't like folks to do that to me).

At 7:33 PM, Blogger STAG said...

Wow. Wonder how many miles your traveling companion walked you to tire YOU out!


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