on our way up to karlovy vary for this year’s festival (more to come on that later), we stopped by petite mariánské lázně (marienbad), only a handful of kilometers from the german border where we arrived by an excellent, fast pendolino train. in addition to karlovy vary which we know quite well by now, i consider mariánské lázně to be another town that makes up northwestern czech republic’s famed “spa triangle” (with františkovy lázně making up the third point). i had heard enough about this little town (called one of the most beautiful in the country) to want to make a little stop there… and i was fully dedicated to it being a real vacation day. just relaxation and enjoyment. no worries, no more talking about lesson plans… just those holiday feels.
we got excellent weather (probably the best on our entire trip) fortunately, and as soon as we settled into our beautiful hotel nestled at the foot of a large swath of forest lands and enjoyed a welcoming cappuccino, we set out for the city center…
we watched a smashing concert in the colonnade and danced to old jazz standards under the beautiful ceiling. once again, i was the youngest person willingly there. what can i say? i’ve accepted the fact that i’ve got pensioner hobbies and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
mariánské lázně and this czech spa triangle area has been well-known as a favorite destination of the likes of goethe, chopin, franz joseph I of austria, wagner, nobel, and king edward VII of england. another reason why we were the youngest there – spa towns in czech republic tend to attract pensioners by the droves, looking not only to sip the famous curative waters as i so like to do, but for the inexpensive spa treatments you can get there versus triple the prices anywhere else in the region. it’s a win-win, and also, is such a gorgeous corner of the country, so there’s that. (below, the famous singing fountain, which played the beautifully haunting ‘conquest of paradise’ theme)
we chatted over iced coffees and ate fish for dinner with delicious local chodovar beer. our hotel had such a beautiful little garden that we took full advantage of before retiring and i made good use of the gorgeous stand-alone bathtub in our room – so indulgent and relaxing after a day of sightseeing.
you can’t just not use a bathtub like this one.
the next morning, the weather had completely turned and was pouring buckets, but still, we went on a hike through the lázeňské forest. i have never been on a hike in the pouring rain before (and without a rain jacket, too!) but it was surprisingly not so bad; quite beautiful and mysterious in the misty forest and of course, not a soul around!
when you’ve only got twenty-four hours in a place, i’m not too keen to just sit on my arse and pass the time just because a little rain! we came back inside for more cappuccinos to warm us up before our trek further north to vary.
it was such a nice little vacation within a vacation and had no cares in the world besides missing our ferdinand (below)– it was our first trip without him and the first day was so hard to leave him behind… he really is a part of our family.
if i had only known that that day, as we were dancing to jazz in the colonnade, ferdie had got loose from his leash (from my friend who was walking him) and spent the next seven hours doing lord knows what, finally found by one of the police departments! can you imagine? that ferdie is a slippery devil. good news is that he didn’t go far at all in that time, but i have no idea what he got up to! we’re calling it “ferdie’s big adventure”. (cue thin lizzy’s jailbreak)
more from our time in vary to come, but first, puppy dogs.
this post is a part of wanderful wednesday.