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Karlovy Vary (aka: Karlsbad), CZ

June 27, 2008 , 2008

Written August 18, at long last

Dear Friends and Families,


I have not been good about completing diaries lately. Between the barn project and real work, and the reality that no one seems to read these things, diaries just get pushed farther down the to-do list. I even considered stopping altogether, but Marianne reminded me that we write these for ourselves and WE will still want to look back. So, eventually, I need to finish.

This particular weekend we were going over to the Czech resort town of Karlovy Vary, often still referred to by its old German name: Karlsbad. In its heyday, Karlsbad was the summer home of kings and princes where royalty enjoyed the natural springs. From the size of the many huge mansions, they also enjoyed entertaining and showing off their wealth.

Apparently, in the Soviet era, Karlovy Vary remained a favored destination of those who could travel. Russian is still more common here than English. After the fall of The Wall, the newly-independent Czech Republic sponsored a renovation of the baths and, by now, most of the bold homes and hotels have been remodeled.

We were here to pick up an old friend from Kiev, who had signed on for a two-week treatment in one of the central spas. We were delighted that we could see her, even if it was just for a weekend, since the spa treatment is quite rigorous and they would only give her a day or two off!

This also gave us a chance to take a few pictures of Karlsbad. (The original plan for this diary was to add a story to most pictures, but that won't happen now. Better a simple plan implemented than a better plan always in the planning stage!)


Karlovy Vary has a few old churches, predating the Soviet era, I suppose.

The river that runs through town is also being remodeled and it does set off the buildings nicely.

Downtown also has some nice parks.


Mostly, we enjoyed just walking around, looking at the 19th Century buildings. I don't think we'll go in for spa-treatment however. It's a European thing and, in the end, I haven't adopted that part of the local culture.

So, that's the story. Short, but at least we will be able to remember s little bit of our first visit to Karlovy Vary.


John and Marianne.


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