Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Karlovy Vary- The Tinsel Spa Town

Towns en route to Karlovy Vary
We had to cancel our planned journey to this lovely city due to an unforeseen emergency. I rushed to the Praha Hlavani Nadrzi station early in the morning to cancel the tickets but as the same was booked through Internet, I was explained by the girl across the counter that I could do the same by logging into the site. I returned back to the hotel and did as advised and it helped. I was relieved that there were no deductions and the money would be refunded in full. That spoke volumes of the efficiency and customer friendliness of the Czech Rail system.
The confluence of rivers in Karlovy Vary
The next morning we landed at the station yet again and purchased the ticket to Karlovy Vary (also known as Carlsbad), which we were more determined to see than ever before. The train station was buzzing with activity. The shops inside were decorated as the Christmas had just gone by and the next day was the eve of the New Year. At the designated time the train rolled into the station. The train left the station and slowly rumbled along stopping at small stations en route. The trains are comfortable and the scenic beauty of Bohemia is captivating. The journey is circuitous but at no point in the three-hour long train ride, we felt bored. It went through towns like Usti Nad Labem and Chomutov before reaching Karlovy Vary As we stepped out of the station we witnessed the entire view of the town as the station is perched atop a small hill. As we were not carrying any luggage we decided to walk down to the city centre which was about 1.5 km away. The pleasant walk through the dense cover of trees brought us to the confluence of the Rivers Ohre and Tepla very close to the town. 
The beautiful Colonnades
The Old Colonnades with columned walkways add to the beauty of this sparsely populated town of about 50000 people. After arriving at the City Centre we arrived at the bus station where we were informed that bus is available to reach the foothill of Diana Tower, which offers the majestic views of the city.
The Geyser in the heart of the town
The bus journey to the city centre was very exciting as the bus climbs a gradient which offers splendid views of the colourful colonnades, ensconced in tall trees and snow-covered peaks in distance. We arrived in about half an hour and were bedazzled with the beauty of the place. Right ahead of us was the geyser belching out a stream of hot water and a few people enjoying the warmth of the spring. The first thing we did was to have a feel of the magical spring water known for its curative properties. There are more than 15 springs located all over the town that offer more than 50 treatments. People come from far to get these treatments and experience the rare wonder.
The Diana Observation Tower
A number of top-notch hotels, showrooms of the trendiest brands are located in the vicinity. As the light was failing we located the Funicular next to the Grandhotel Pupp near Marianska Lane. This transports the holidaymakers atop the viewing points with a stopover at the Jeleni Skok( Deer Jump). Further up is the Diana Tower which offers the remarkable front view of the Karlovy Vary! There is an elevator as well as a flight of steps to choose from to reach the top. The Diana Observation Tower is a massive tetragonal brick structure with bevel corners erected on a prismatic stone base with a lookout platform. It is 40 m high. A gust of freezing cold wind and the fairyland-like view was the reward of coming this far. On a clear day, one can see the mountains extending to 70 km distance. The views remain etched in the memory forever.
A view of Karlovy Vary from the Diana Tower
There are several other attractions like a visit to the  Moser Glass Factory and Museum, the lovely Church of St Mary Magdalene, the Orthodox Church of St Peter and Paul, castles and various theatres that screen the movies during the Annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

The buzzing market place in the City Center
The day could not be complete without flavouring the best coffee and cakes of Café Republica in the heart of the town. As it was getting late we took a bus back to the bus station and yet another connection to the train station. The return journey by train was very eventful as more than 50 men and women boarded the compartment carrying crates of beer and several eats. The din in the compartment with lively singing brought the curtains down to this lovely day trip.

PS- Pictures were taken by self during the trip


  1. This seems like a wonderful experience, Rahul. A geyser in the middle of town is fascinating too!

    1. Thanks Corinne!It was indeed a lovely experience to see these beauties.

  2. Karlovy Vary does look very pretty. I can't get over the geyser that close to all those buildings. It's super cool. But it must be a volcanically active area too, right?

    1. The place does not have any volcanic activity to my knowledge but there are many thermal springs that add to the glamour of the city, Divya:)