Day Four -- R. wanted us to see Marianske Lazne, a spa/resort town. Her husband drove, and my husband and I enjoyed looking at all the little Czech villages we passed along the way. The roads in Czech countryside are narrow and winding, with no shoulders and with minimal signage. If I were navigating, I would be so lost! We are used to the grids of middle America, where the roads are straight, and they happen every mile. The Czech roads probably grew out of foot paths and cow trails that wandered here and there in a more random fashion over their long history. It was lovely, but I quickly lost my bearings. (I have a terrible sense of direction as it is.)
We parked the car in a grocery store parking lot and went on foot to see the mineral springs and spa area. I commented that in America no one would park that far away from their destination. We probably walked .. maybe close to a mile?... to get to where we were going. This was not too far, and I liked the walk; it just seemed so European and so unlike the typical American. An American would drive as close as possible to the site, and then drive around and around, searching for the best parking spot and grumbling if it's not right in front. (Admit it: you've done, this - if you are from USA. Right?) We could learn a thing or two from our European cousins.... speaking of which, both Hubby and I lost two pounds from all the walking we did in Europe. We ate like kings but still lost weight. I vowed I would keep walking once I got home, but so far... I've broken my vow.
The day was gorgeous: bright sun, deep blue skies, and a chilly wind. It felt like Duluth, Minnesota, while standing close to Lake Superior. This is my favorite kind of weather. I loved it!
These mineral springs were/are thought to have healing powers. People come for treatment of various maladies. We (Hubby and I) tasted a couple of the springs and did not like them. Too much mineral content! Eww... but many people put the water in tumblers with a spout, and they walk around sipping the mineral water all day long. I'm a bit of a skeptic on the healing powers, but the area was beautiful, and I can see how a person would feel rested up and rejuvenated after being there.
The fountain that is pictured above and below is the Singing Fountain. It is choreographed to music and plays at certain intervals during the day. We timed it just right to be there for the show. I really loved watching it and listening to it. The music is by Czech composers. I'll post my movie of it here and see if it works for you:
[XYZXYZXYZ -- it didn't work, so I'll look further into how to upload the video. Check back later.]
After being at the spa, we went on to the Miniature Park. I loved this! They have carefully reproduced scenes of typical Czech country and city life. It's a work in progress; more pieces are added as they finish. I couldn't help but think how much fun it would be as a child to use these as doll houses and play there all day long. Unfortunately, they're not to be touched, so it's not a kid's paradise after all. Definitely fun to see, however.
This was our last night in Czech Republic. We returned home to pack and get ready for our next day's departure. R's son and his family came over to meet us, and for us to meet the sweet grand-daughter (I sent her a quilt last summer.) It was nice that we got to meet R's entire family.
And, of course, R fed us a delicious dinner: home-made potato/mushroom soup with Czech bread. Apparently many Czechs love to go mushrooming.
The next morning, Day 5, we were off to the train station. R and H helped us load onto the train and then said their goodbyes. I was overcome with emotion and cried as we hugged them goodbye. Our trip to Czech Republic was a dream come true, and so enjoyable thanks to the expertise, friendship, and guidance of R and her lovely family. We couldn't have asked for a better holiday in beautiful Czech Republic.
Soon we were on our way to Munich, Germany. We arrived in Munich in mid-afternoon with a big hello for Germany. My next blog post will tell you about our 24 hours of adventures in Munich.
P.S. We had fun trying to learn a few Czech words and phrases. If that movie of the fountain uploaded properly, you might hear me mumble a little something. I'm saying "thank you" in Czech -- "dekuji." I was thanking the two people on the left who moved out of my picture frame.
Other words and phrases we learned:
I don't speak Czech (this one came in handy a few times)