Would you ever believe you might run a mile and a half downhill in the rain in your SWIMSUIT to make it on the last train out to where you needed to be?
NO?! Well, me neither, but I may have done just that.
My day heading away from Loket and into Karlovy Vary started off pretty well, with nice weather and an on time train. When I arrived in Karlovy Vary I headed for the Jan Becher museum, home to the creation of Becherovka, a traditional herb liquor. This (quite nasty tasting) 38% proof alcoholic beverage is made with the mineral waters of Karlovy Vary, herbs & spices, alcohol (a lot, duh), and sugar. It tastes incredibly like cough syrup, but I didn’t discover that fact until the tasting at the end of the factory tour.
Upon entering the Becherplatz, which is essentially like a Disneyland for spirits lovers, I purchased a tour ticket and sat down for a Karel IV beer at the cafe. Light and refreshing, brewed in the onsite brewery, and only two dollars, I couldn’t resist. After a rather forgettable tour of the Becherovka brewing process, tour attendees got the chance to sample Becher’s most popular liquors. I made some new friends as we sampled the traditional Becherovka and cringed, then the cordial and gagged, and finally the Becherovka Lemond, which was absolutely by far the best. After the tasting, I convinced some new acquaintances to join me in the restaurant for lunch. The highlight was most definitely the beer ice cream float we enjoyed at the end of the meal. I bought some Becherovka lemon and a beer mug to carry with me before leaving the Becherplatz and making my way to the Elizabeth Baths.
The mineral water of Karlovy Vary is said to be very healing and therapeutic. As such, it has gained a reputation as a spa town. In order to gain the full benefits of the spa-like atmosphere, I booked a massage at the Elizabeth Baths for right after lunch. I enjoyed an hour long relaxing massage, then made my way to the main stretch of mineral “water fountains” – literally fountains through which the mineral waters have been directed. I bought my very own “drinking cup” to sip the piping warm mineral waters and hope the toxins away with. So far, so good. Nice beer, nice food, nice new friends, nice massage, nice warm spa water. As I made my way up toward the hill overlooking the town, things turned for the worst. In my next post, I’ll explain the more stressful and crazy part of my day in this small spa town.