Saturday the 31st Meryl and I woke up and took a bus to Karlovy Vary, a small town two hours away with thermal hot springs, which we thought we could swim in, so we wore our bikinis and brought towels with us. The bus ride was actually really enjoyable because it was a really nice charter bus and we got to see a lot of the Czech countryside.
We didn’t have a map or guidebook or anything, so it took us a bit to get situated once we got there, but we found an information desk, got a map and started walking around. The town is very beautiful. Apparently, over the years, loads of famous people, like Beethoven and Peter the Great have come to experience the “healing effects” of the thermal waters. The buildings are all really beautiful and there are several colonnades or promenades. As we were walking, we saw lots of soldiers everywhere and when we came up to one of the promenades, we saw what was going on. There was some sort of gun show where the soldiers were stepping in unison and twirling their guns (I can’t remember what that is called), but the weird part was, they were doing it to the Pink Floyd song “Another Brick in the Wall” (which I know you hate, Mom).
Then we walked down to where we thought the hot springs were so we could see the biggest one. When we got in there, there was only a fountain. We kind of looked around for where we swim and then it dawned on me…you can’t swim in them!! It’s like the hot springs in Yellowstone, but for some reason, I had gotten it into my head that you could swim there. However, you can drink the water and it’s supposed to have healing powers for all sorts of ailments, such as digestive problems and weight loss. So Meryl and I bought the little pink ceramic cups that you are supposed to drink out of and filled up from the fountains, which come in 3 temperatures, 30 degrees Celsius, 52 degrees, or 70 degrees. We tried the middle one and I was hoping it would help my lost voice, but I cannot even explain how gross it was. The water was salty and sulfur-y and we ended up pouring it out and trying the famous wafer cookies instead, which taste kind of like the wafer cookies we have, but without the frosting in the middle (so not very good, in my opinion).
At this point, we were a little bummed about not being able to swim, so we walked over to the pool to go swimming at the Thermal Hotel, where the International Film Festival is held. On the way, we went up to one of the stands with soldiers to see what was going on. Apparently, they were just promoting the Czech army and giving out little goodies. They gave us pencils, lollipops and condoms, which Meryl and I agreed was NOT something the US Army would ever be giving out…it was really bizarre!
We went to the pool and when we got there, of course, the sky turned almost black and it got freezing so we got out after about a half an hour, but at least we got to swim. It was up really high on the side of a mountain, so there were actually amazing views!
At this point, we were really tired, so we decided to head back to the bus station and go home. After waiting for the bus for over an hour, we found out we were at the wrong bus stop so it took us a long time to get home, but we did get to watch the movie The Corpse Bride, in Czech, on the way home. When we got back, we had another delicious meal of pesto pasta and Stella beer and met a nice older man from Paris who told us all about Paris and had been to Tampa. Of course, he thought Tampa was boring, but that’s pretty understandable when you are coming from the home of the Louvre and Notre Dame.
Meryl and I got ready and it was pouring but we went out anyway to find a bar. We found one that had a ton of guys in it, so we decided to go in and get a drink and ended up meeting a soccer team from the UK. They were the funniest guys I have ever met in my life and Meryl and I had a blast with them. We decided to go with them to Karlovy Lasne (the 5 floor dance club), where we danced on the 80s floor the entire time while I drank double scotch and waters! We also met a guy from Dublin, Stuart, who told us he would take us out when we are in Dublin, so Meryl and I are really excited about that (and me especially because we’re going to a club called Club Krystle!!).
We had another sunrise night (actually we stayed out past the sunrise) because I guess it’s very easy to lose track of time when you are dancing to 80s, so we didn’t do too much the next day, but I did go to TGI Fridays with Harris and Kyle for some good and highly overpriced American food. I had chicken quesadillas and they were amazing! Then it rained the rest of the day so we just headed back to the dorms, did homework and rested up for Meryl’s 23rd birthday on Tuesday.
One of my favorite memories of all life – Karlovy Vary! ❤