May-14, 2008 268 resize

Perhaps unknown to many, Czech is famous for its ornate spa towns that date back hundreds of years. Back when physicians prescribed these bubbly waters to heal every ailment from sinus problems to infertility to cancer, these Czech spa towns were incredibly popular and would bring visitors from around the world. The most famous towns are known as part of the West Bohemian Spa Triangle and include the towns of Karlovy Vary, Frantiskovy Lazne, and Marianske Lazne. The first two we visited today.

Frantiskovy Lazne was our first stop of the Czech spa towns. It has over 23 mineral springs and a tranquil ambience, but I mostly liked it for its historical town center painted in yellow.

May-14, 2008 274b 750x500May-14, 2008 279b 750x500May-14, 2008 275b 750x500May-14, 2008 418v resize

The ornate town center was also full of mountains, from which you could fill your water bottle with fresh mineral-rich waters.

30 minutes away is Karlovy Vary, an even bigger Czech spa town part of the same Bohemian spa triangle. The spas here are focused mostly on medicinal purposes rather than relaxation. It is also popular to add mud to the water baths here which is said to help with joint and muscle pains. Regardless, we stopped here mostly for dessert in a lovely European cafe.

May-14, 2008 244b 750x500May-14, 2008 261 750x500May-14, 2008 241 750x500

Though we were just taking a small drive through these towns on our way to dinner, I’d be happy to return one day and see what all the bath hype is about! Until then, here is where our night ended: with an extravagant family dinner set in a castle, with all the meat you could wish for:

May-14, 2008 194 750x500May-14, 2008 199 750x500