Up and out probably a lot later than I should have been considering my sleeping conditions. I mean, too much time in that room could give even the healthiest person any number of toxic mould related diseases. Off then to find a bus to Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad if you’re Deutsch, or just plain old KV if you’re writing a blog and going to have to repeat it a few times. It was only about a 15min walk to the main bus station but having arrived, I discovered that the first available bus to KV wasn’t going to be until 16:30. It wasn’t quite 11:00 now. So, I bought a ticket and wandered back to my “wonderful” hotel to dump my suitcase and to embark on more exploration of the capital. Over the river and up the hill and I found myself in a big, leafy park which cojoins the Royal Gardens. It was nice to have a break from the tourists for a while. Very nice, in fact. With just dog walkers as companions, I meandered until I reached the Summer Palace. For me, although less impressive when compared to the main palace, it was perfect. With a colonnaded balcony wrapping right around, enormous windows and muted tones, I decided that I could easily live here. Its small garden was also manicured to perfection.
Continuing along, snippets of views of the inspiring palace cathedral were to be found through the huge trees. Having been a little underwhelmed yesterday, today saw me quite impressed. I felt like I should be on my Lippizaner riding through the woods to my castle, ready to banquet with the king. Such were the views and feel of the gardens. On arriving at the main palace, I decided to go to the National Art Gallery situated there to see some 19th century Bohemian art. I mean, made sense seeing that I was in the middle of Bohemia! It was obviously a gloomy era with almost all of the painting dark and moody. Heavy oils but with photographic detail. I saw one painting of Jesus and my first thought was that it didn’t look anything like Jesus. Then I realised that I didn’t actually know what Jesus looked like. Funny how you get programmed without even realising it! I also felt a tad like a criminal in this gallery. Just one flash photo and I was a marked man (ok….woman). The evil museum security women kept following me around. Ok Ok!! I won’t use my flash! I get it! I was loving how these women were trying to be really discrete about watching me but their attempts made them even the more obvious.
There were actually quite a few restaurants and galleries in the palace complex but not having time on my side, one had to suffice. Next stop was the little tea shop I had found yesterday. Who needs alcohol when you have matcha! Wooh baby! This is powered green tea and because you get all the tea and not just an infusion, it blows your head off. Leaves you spinning. I wasn’t complaining. And along with an organic green tea chocolate, there was no coming down!
Suitably energised, I was off once again. Prague is just so charming and pretty. Thoughts of Strauss et al are never far away. There’s classical music everywhere you go. Whether wafting out of a restaurant or seeping through the walls of a concert hall or just a trio busking on the street corner. It took me all my time not to don my Baroque dress and wig and start waltzing around the pavement. Actually, I don’t own a Baroque dress or wig, but if I did…… Plus Strauss wasn’t a Baroque composer, but why ruin my little moment with the facts??
Sometimes loosing your way a bit can be a blessing. Especially when it takes you to a Belgium chocolate museum/factory/shop. I was shaking with excitement! I really don’t have a problem though, you know. Honestly!! The museum would have to wait until Saturday, but a chocolate shop can never wait! Mmmmmmm……champagne truffles, Amazonian passionfruit chocolate, coconut and chocolate, wasabi and chocolate and olive oil and chocolate (hmmm….I can see where they were coming from with that one, but not for me. Reminded me of the gall stone flush I did “just for fun” once that required you drink a cup of olive oil which I respectively puked up a few hours later).
Back to pick up my suitcase and walk to the bus station AGAIN. At least I had a ticket this time. The drive to KV was just over two hours, passing through a lot of agricultural land. Arriving at the spa town, I walked the 40 minutes to my hotel and I am pleased to say that it was an enormous improvement on the previous night’s debacle. It was located up a small hill right in the middle of the spa area overlooking the most charming of towns. The buildings here look like dolls houses all painted in pastels and surrounded by fur tree covered hills. Lovely, lovely, lovely.