The last month has brought many changes in my life. I quit my job, entered university again (courses will start in October; sociology and educational science) and I’m about to move out of my beautiful, wonderful, bright apartment with a terrace and into a small, rather dark apartment I’m gonna share with my sister. I’m pretty excited about it all, as is my mom who never really understood that I didn’t want to finish uni in the first place.
Anyway, we decided to celebrate my life change by seeing to it that I wouldn’t just let my 6 weks of break time pass me by and let the time get swamped and lost by organisational details: so the two of us went on a weekend trip to Karlovy Vary. Karlovy Vary is a spa town, famous for its hot springs, so we booked a spa package and just let ourselves get spoiled for the weekend.
We arrived Friday evening and moved into our huge room, but didn’t do much else. Both my mum and me are big on hanging around and reading, so that’s how we spent the evening.
On Saturday morning, I went for a swim (how could I forget how much I love swimming? I really need to do it more often), then had a massage (which, I discovered, is not really my thing. Unless I had a really bad masseuse, but my mom was really happy with her. So I think it’s more like saunas, which I really don’t get either) and a paraffin pack for my hands (which was mostly warm and comfortable, but I don’t think that my hands feel any different now). And that was pretty much the spa part of our weekend, so afterwards, we just went for a walk through town.
Karlovy Vary has a beautiful city center. Most of it seems to have been built at the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century, so there are wonderful art déco buildings mixed with Wilhelminian style. As you walk through the town, there’s one awe-inspiring building after the other.
There are also wells everywhere, where you can drink the water of the hot springs. Which, admittedly, is pretty damn disgusting. (Maybe that’s why people think it’s so incredibly healthy.) But I think it’s really cool that they’re all public wells.
We also did a bit of shopping, but not too much, as the city center consists basically of hotels and luxury shops. If you don’t want to spend billions on clothes, jewellery and crystal chandeliers, you’re probably not going to find much there. We did end up in a wonderful gallery, though, where I could have bought approximately half the store, but couldn’t afford anything. I mean, look at this:
There was another sculpture that my mom got as an early Christmas present for me, a father and his child who look just like my dad and me 20 years ago. It’s amazing, but you’ll have to wait until Christmas to see it, because I didn’t take a picture and my mom won’t give it to me until then.
Anyway, after the stroll and the bit of shopping, we decided to call it a day and headed back to the hotel to spend the evening reading, watching TV and chatting.
On Sunday, we headed to the gallery at Becherova vila where they are currently having an exhibition from the Barrandov Studios costume department, showing costumes from movies like A Royal Affair and Amadeus, and also from one of the many fairy tale movies produced in the Czech Republic, The Loveliest Riddle (which they also showed in its entirety and which I’ll review tomorrow).
In any case, the costumes were beautiful. Unfortunately, all the info about them was Czech, but we had an extremely nice guide who told us a bit about them. Though my mom has that uncanny gift of getting everybody to tell their life story, so I now know more about the guide than I know about the costumes.
Afterwards we went through another stroll through the city, looked more closely at the Grandhotel Pupp , which is a freaking amazing building (or actually around five) and jumped on a little tourist train that putters through the city (and even out of it).
After the train had brought us back into the city, we had dinner and yet another early night. [Our nights were pretty much boring, filled with books and TV but extremely relaxing.]
Finally, on Monday, I had another swim while my mom got another massage and then it was already time for us to leave. But really I can only recommend a weekend like this every once in a while, especially if it’s in a beautiful town like Karlovy Vary.