The first weekend of September was a cold one, at least in Germany. After a week spent in the blazing capital of Italy, this change in temperature was brutal. Sat in the comfy kitchen of PC’s parents by the heating wrapped in a comfy blanket, I don’t think I wanted to be anywhere else – although I hadn’t even wanted to come here in the first place (long story) – until PC’s stepfather proposed the idea of going to Carlsbad for lunch, which was just three-hours away and which also included crossing the border between Germany and the Czech Republic. For people living in the Eurozone, it might be normal to cross the border for their grocery shopping or fill up their car tanks but to this island girl, hopping to another country for lunch was certainly a whole new and exciting experience!
After a few wrong turns, we finally made it to Carlsbad or Karlovy Vary, as it’s called in this part of the world. The weather was unusually chilly but we warmed ourselves up by drinking from, or in my case by just holding the warm cups we had just filled at, the spring water fountains that could be found nearly everywhere around town. Don’t forget to bring your cups or even bottles as some did, unless you want to spend 8 euros on one. Carlsbad, historically famous of its hot springs – and their supposed healing powers –, is the Czech Republic’s most famous spa destination and attracts many visitors (read, hypochondriacs) from neighbouring countries as well as from faraway lands. Whilst we were not specifically there to indulge ourselves in some pampering, I think I’d have given anything to just go into one of the many hotels we saw and spend the whole day in their luxurious spa salons. Whilst this is certainly possible on a whim, if you were to stay there for a longer period of time especially for medical reasons then prior appointment is definitely a must.
However, Carlsbad is definitely worth a little detour even without the spa treat. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful little towns I’ve even seen, vibrant with colours even on a gloomy cloudy day. Walking along the main street following the warm Tepla River without any real destination in mind was truly wonderful and relaxing, despite the cold, although coming back home to a cup of tea was also great.