I went my wife and some of our family to visit some extended family in the Western part of Czech. Since we were already in the area, we decided to stop by and visit Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad in German or if you are from the UK)!
A video I made showing some of the sights along with some more pictures can be found HERE, or located above in my video bar!
Karlovy Vary, located HERE, is one of the Czech Republic's famous spa towns located around 80 miles West of Prague. They city, which was founded in 1370, has a population of around 50,000 people. The city has been featured in films like "Last Holiday," and the 007 flick "Casino Royal," among others. Each year the city hosts a large international film festival, which I think would be fun to attend at some point! Carlsbad, New Mexico; Carlsbad Caverns National Park; and Carlsbad, California all take their names from Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary).
One of the things that makes Karlovy Vary so popular is its beautiful location, architecture, and warm mineral springs that flow through a number of different drinking fountains around the city. It is said that drinking from the different mineral springs is good for a person who is trying to recover from an illness or other ailment. Around the city you will find many small stands that sell a wide verity of decorated cups, usually found with a straw built into the handle.
Around the city you will find different fountains with water varying in taste and temperature. I believe the hottest fountain I saw was around 72 degrees Celsius, or over 160 degrees Fahrenheit. There is even an indoor fountain with naturally pressurized mineral water.
The Czech Republic is pretty unique from the US when it comes to healthcare. If you come down with an illness, give birth to a child, or have problems conceiving a child just to name a few, the government will at times pay for you to go to one of these spa cities to get well. When I say the government pays for you I of corse mean it is paid from taxes!
While in these spa towns, one will typically stay in a very nice hotel with complimentary food, masseuse, and other such amenities. I have heard of people staying in these places for a number of months while trying to recover. The Czech people comment that the women who come to a spa town to try and become fertile will usually find out that the cure is the men she meets there. :)
As for the architecture and natural beauty of the city,
Yeah, it's not too bad :)