Karlovy Vary Downtown

More Karlovy Vary James? Really? Yeah I know, enough already! I’m almost done with posting about our trip to Karlovy Vary, just one or two posts left and then I’ll move on to something else, I promise. This post i’m going to talk more about the trip itself, the good points, the bad and the overall feeling of the trip.

So let’s start with our hotel, the Hotel Derby, a three star hotel. Now we’ve stayed in a lot of three star hotels and I think they’re really going out on a limb with their three stars on this one. When we arrived, the cleaning staff and/or mates of the receptionist were all sitting around having a chat in the corridor and stared us out of it when we walked in….how welcoming. The reception itself was more of a small cubby built as an afterthought but the receptionist was very pleasant and friendly.

The room was actually quite nice, bright interior with nice furniture and a comfy bed. There was a balcony but alas like many places we have stayed, there was construction work going on directly outside. Scaffolding seems to follow us wherever we go, whether it’s Paris, Venice, Madrid, Barcelona or Luxor. And if it’s not on one of the sights, it will definitely be on our hotel. Karlovy Vary had both, with our hotel being next to a building site and the Orthodox Church being hidden behind the skeleton of construction.

So yeah the hotel was alright, nothing special, we could have given them three stars for sure. But then we had breakfast the next day. Visibly mouldy bread and cheese do not a three star hotel make if you ask me. So needless to say on our second morning we ventured elsewhere for sustenance.

Speaking of other sustenance, we had an absolutely delicious meal in the Charleston Restaurant on our last evening in town. It was really good and I’d definitely recommend this restaurant if you’re looking for somewhere to eat.

I’ll let the photos do the talking now so sit back and enjoy the delights of downtown Karlovy Vary.

_DSF1309
Check out the view from our hotel balcony, mmmmmmm construction.
_DSF1324
Ah how’s it hanging Karl, are ya well? The statue of Mr. Marx and its beautiful surroundings.
_DSF1338
This little part outside one of the spas reminded me of Rivendell in Lord of the Rings, except for you know, the modern buildings, lack of elves etc.
_DSF1340
Lovely buildings here, lovely buildings there, lovely buildings everywhere.
_DSF1341
The Castle Spa or Zámecké Lázně sure looks pretty on the inside.
_DSF1342
The obligatory plague monument that no Czech town dare be seen without this Autumn/Winter season.
_DSF1343
This rather funky statue represents eternal life, day and night as represented by the heads with open and closed eyes and the snakes and fruit.
_DSF1345
Detail of the everlasting life fountain with plague monument in background.
_DSF1344
The statue detail is quite intricate. Indiana Jones would hate this fountain.
_DSF1443
The statue of a mountain goat near the Deer’s Leap overlooking Karlovy Vary. The mountain goat is to Karlovy Vary what the half horse is to Pardubice.
_DSF1444
Karlovy Vary is like an onion. It makes people cry? No silly it has layers!
_DSF1445
The courtyard in front of the Grand Hotel Pupp which you may remember seeing in the James Bond movie Casino Royale.
_DSF1447
Om nom nom nom nom.
_DSF1449
Another hotel, another feeling that you’re in a millionaire’s playground.
_DSF1451
Gorgeous window, sorry about the tracksuit.
_DSF1452
Awesome ad on the side of a building downtown.
_DSF1454
The impressive Mill Colonnade which contains a number of springs.
_DSF1521
“Excuse me i’d like a table for one please” A daft pigeon trying his luck outside one of the restaurants.
_DSF1524
Ok this is definitely Rivendell, has to be. The stunning Park Colonnade which is home to a rather funky snake spring.
_DSF1525
Detail of the Park Colonnade with its intricate carvings..
_DSF1528
Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger (Very few of you will get this)
_DSF1537
Alas you couldn’t get all the way up to the top of this impressive little tower, but you could walk around below it as seen in the previous blog post.
_DSF1540
This was quite a surprise to see actually. Like an indoor Old Faithful, most impressive.
_DSF1546
Yep that says 72 degrees Celsius. You could wash the dishes in that.
_DSF1547
No….1920’s gangsters?
_DSF1563
I didn’t have a dip myself but i’m informed the waters of the Tepla river are rather warm. The name itself means “Warm River”
_DSF1632
The interior of the former Kaiserbad Spa which is unfortunately closed. They are in the process of renovating however.
_DSF1638
I think this is a strong contender for prettiest interior I’ve seen here along with the Museum in Hradec Kralove.
_DSF1657
Oh my God it’s a ghost! Oh wait no it’s Sinead’s reflection. Phew 🙂
_DSF1672
Lazy feckers, you’d walk around the town in 20 minutes.
_DSF1673
Outside the Kaiserbad Spa.
_DSF1682
Peekaboo, another church hiding among the trees.
_DSF1692
The building at the centre is the Hotel Carlsbad Plaza, supposedly even fancier than the Grandhotel Pupp.
_DSF1693
The beautiful exterior of the Kaiserbad Spa. Hopefully it returns to its former glory sooner rather than later.
_DSF1696
The lovely walk along the Tepla River.
_DSF1708
English, German, Russian and Spanish guides. Hmmm I think you forgot your own country there…..The cups are what spring visitors drink out of. Alas we weren’t brave enough to sample the waters.
_DSF1709
The massive villas looming over Karlovy Vary are impressive buildings indeed,
_DSF1725
Mmmmm Art Deco balcony.
_DSF1728
Another view of the river with the Mill Colonnade on the right.
_DSF1735
Funky disco windows.
_DSF1736
Another example of the many layers of buildings within Karlovy Vary.
_DSF1739
The suns rays bouncing off windows and back onto the Mill Colonnade.
_DSF1779
The door at the side of the Mary Magdalene Church.
_DSF1785
You’ve got to have an obelisk if you want to be a chic town.
_DSF1798
My delicious main course in the Charleston Restaurant.
_DSF1801
The quaint interior of the Charleston.
_DSF1810
The statue of founder and first President of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. We were there on the 28th of October, the anniversary of the forming of Czechoslovakia, hence the wreaths.
_DSF1816
Pigeons hanging around on the rather hideous Thermal Hotel.
_DSF1821
Pigeons hanging around on a much nicer branch in the Dvořákovy sady.
_DSF1836
Ah go on then, some more details from the Park Colonnade.

Night time in Karlovy Vary was a strange occasion. During the day, the hustle and bustle of tourists and rich Russian shoppers filled the streets but come sundown they all left. The streets laid empty, the shops deserted, the restaurant staff waiting around for customers that would never arrive. It was quite surreal and we couldn’t think of a reason why, except perhaps it was off season and the town may be more of a day trip location.

_DSF1498
Ghost town: The streets of Karlovy Vary were eerily empty at night time during our stay.
_DSF1499
The Mill Colonnade which was full of tourists during the day, lies empty and quiet once the sun went down.
_DSF1503
Empty streets filled with smoke from nearby fireworks and steam from the thermal springs.
_DSF1505
And the prize for tackiest window display goes to…….
_DSF1513
If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Someone could though as it was gone the next day.
_DSF1514
The Tržní kolonáda at night.
_DSF1518
Interior of the Mill Colonnade.

So overall impressions of Karlovy Vary? Definitely worth a visit that’s for sure. The architecture is fascinating and the views from the Diana Tower and the walkways above the town are wonderful. To fully appreciate this place and everything it has to offer I think you need to be very wealthy indeed as the majority of shops in town only cater for the super rich (whoooh Jurassic Park reference). Alas us being poor student types were only able to look from the windows. But yeah if you’re a millionaire, you’ll absolutely love it. The rest of us will have to make do with a stroll around the town and maybe a wafer or two.

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s