After packing my life into two small bags, I embarked on the most wild adventure of my life, travelling directly from my temporary home of 8 months in Sicily, hitching rides through Italy, flying to Germany, swinging into Prague, flying to Greece, Budapest and then settling in Australia. I took way too many photos and have way too much to say for just a single post, so in no particular order, this series accounts my trip up until now.

I love day trips when I’m travelling, especially in Europe. You get to see more off-the-beaten-path villages without having to move hostels every night. I’d budgeted extra time in Prague to do just that, however, because of lack of organization, we couldn’t go to the beautiful UNESCO Český Krumlov (the most popular day-trip from Prague) as I’d hoped, but made a spontaneous visit to Karlovy Vary instead. A [very Russian] spa town located on natural hotsprings, Karlovy Vary was one of the strangest and most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

Strange because not only are spas and baths the most popular activity in the entire city, but also drinking the hot sulfur water is proclaimed to have great healing and health properties. It’s so weird. Everyone (aka, Chinese and Russian tourists – I have no idea if any locals do this) walk around the city from tap to tap drinking the hot spring water from these strange little teapot-shaped mugs, enjoying the scenery and shopping for Russian fur hats.

We happened to be terribly sick on that rainy day so we tried it in an effort to soothe our pain filled throats. It tasted really weird, like hot, bad tap water. But apparently it has fabulous health properties so who am I to talk?

After gulping back liters of this off-tasting water, one of the best things to wash it down (and kill the bacteria in a sore throat) is Karlovy Vary’s local liqueur (every European town’s got one), Becherovka, which tastes a lot like Jagermeister or grappa. It has a flavourful taste (especially the lemon version) with a sizable after-burn.

Pro Tip: My best suggestion for booking day trips from Prague is to book your bus ticket early, and book with Student Agency. They’re SUPER cheap AND come with free movies on the back of every seat, free magazines and free hot beverages! However they do sell out.

And hey, my cold was almost gone the next day, maybe there’s some truth in the nasty water?

M

#solocosebelleabroad

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2 thoughts on “Karlovy Vary: a pleasant mistake [photography]

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