With a free day in Prague, I decided to go to the hotel lobby and take copies of every shiny brochure that they had in English. I thought that a day tour would be perfect. As I browsed, I decided that the place I wanted to visit was Karlovy Vary. My main criteria for picking this destination was that I had seen a movie that took place there, and that it looked beautiful on film. That was settled, and soon I was on my way in a van with a guide, a driver and a newly married couple from Spain.
The tour guide spoke English but not Spanish, so she was explaining things to us in English and French. The young Spanish woman knew French and was satisfied with this arrangement. And I could basically understand them when they were speaking in both French and Spanish because I had studied both languages.
Karlovy Vary is a very famous spa resort and people from around the world go there for the curative powers of the hot springs. I, on the other hand, had little to no interest in drinking the water but I thought I should at least try it. This is surprising since I was the child that sat at the dinner table for hours because I refused to eat vegetables.
People either purchased a cup to sip the water or brought their own with them. I saw people walking around with huge mugs filled with the steaming water. But I purchased the tiniest cup I could find, a dainty porcelain cup the size of a thimble. It had a handle on one side and a spout on the other. I filled it with water from one of the gushing fountains. The water was warm, so I let it cool down. This was probably a mistake, because I don’t think that you notice the taste so much when it’s hot. When I ran out of excuses why I shouldn’t drink it, I took a tiny sip. Immediately after I did this I poured the rest of the water out on the grass. I guess that meant no cure for me! However, I still have the cup as a souvenir.
Besides the water the city itself was beautiful, and I walked past a park where a band was playing. People sat on benches listening to the music. I never heard anyone speaking English while I was here, other than my guide. This was one of those times that I felt I could blend in with the crowd, provided of course that I didn’t try to speak.