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.

Check out the view from our hotel balcony, mmmmmmm construction.
Ah how’s it hanging Karl, are ya well? The statue of Mr. Marx and its beautiful surroundings.
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.
Lovely buildings here, lovely buildings there, lovely buildings everywhere.
The Castle Spa or Zámecké Lázně sure looks pretty on the inside.
The obligatory plague monument that no Czech town dare be seen without this Autumn/Winter season.
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.
Detail of the everlasting life fountain with plague monument in background.
The statue detail is quite intricate. Indiana Jones would hate this fountain.
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.
Karlovy Vary is like an onion. It makes people cry? No silly it has layers!
The courtyard in front of the Grand Hotel Pupp which you may remember seeing in the James Bond movie Casino Royale.
Om nom nom nom nom.
Another hotel, another feeling that you’re in a millionaire’s playground.
Gorgeous window, sorry about the tracksuit.
Awesome ad on the side of a building downtown.
The impressive Mill Colonnade which contains a number of springs.
“Excuse me i’d like a table for one please” A daft pigeon trying his luck outside one of the restaurants.
Ok this is definitely Rivendell, has to be. The stunning Park Colonnade which is home to a rather funky snake spring.
Detail of the Park Colonnade with its intricate carvings..
Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger (Very few of you will get this)
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.
This was quite a surprise to see actually. Like an indoor Old Faithful, most impressive.
Yep that says 72 degrees Celsius. You could wash the dishes in that.
No….1920’s gangsters?
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”
The interior of the former Kaiserbad Spa which is unfortunately closed. They are in the process of renovating however.
I think this is a strong contender for prettiest interior I’ve seen here along with the Museum in Hradec Kralove.
Oh my God it’s a ghost! Oh wait no it’s Sinead’s reflection. Phew 🙂
Lazy feckers, you’d walk around the town in 20 minutes.
Outside the Kaiserbad Spa.
Peekaboo, another church hiding among the trees.
The building at the centre is the Hotel Carlsbad Plaza, supposedly even fancier than the Grandhotel Pupp.
The beautiful exterior of the Kaiserbad Spa. Hopefully it returns to its former glory sooner rather than later.
The lovely walk along the Tepla River.
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.
The massive villas looming over Karlovy Vary are impressive buildings indeed,
Mmmmm Art Deco balcony.
Another view of the river with the Mill Colonnade on the right.
Funky disco windows.
Another example of the many layers of buildings within Karlovy Vary.
The suns rays bouncing off windows and back onto the Mill Colonnade.
The door at the side of the Mary Magdalene Church.
You’ve got to have an obelisk if you want to be a chic town.
My delicious main course in the Charleston Restaurant.
The quaint interior of the Charleston.
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.
Pigeons hanging around on the rather hideous Thermal Hotel.
Pigeons hanging around on a much nicer branch in the Dvořákovy sady.
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.

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


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