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Published: August 30th 2006
As you will see from the photos, I really like the Czech Republic! The architecture of the buildings is so beautiful and the towns are so picturesque. We started out in the hot springs region, in the west of the country. Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne are our favorite spa towns.
Karlovy Vary is the largest and the most well known destination. Since it was founded it has been host to such greats as: Bach, Freud, Marx, Goethe, and Peter the Great. They and all the current visitors come here to imbibe in the 12 hot springs that bubble up from the earth in this area. Thoughout town you can buy special sipping cups with drinking spouts built into the handles. Then you walk the length of the covered kolanadas and sample the very hot water from the spring fountains. The water is supposed to cure a variety of intestinal ailments. We can't verify that claim since the water tastes disgusting and we don't drink it.
Our main purpose for visiting the area is to enjoy the beauty, do the hikes in the surrounding wooded hillsides, eat the good, hearty food, and drink cappucino at the Elefant Cafe. This
The Mill Kolanada of Karlovy Vary
The kolanadas have been built over the hot springs to allow the people to stroll and sip without dealing with the weather.
Cafe has been the major coffee stop of the famous folks I've already mentioned. The other big attraction is the International Film Festival that is held every year in July. We have enjoyed it on previous visits, but arrived in August this year and missed it.
Prague was really crowded this summer. It's a beautiful city that was not damaged during WWII and has incredible Art Nouveau buildings that have been beautifully restored. Our favorite hang out is the Old Town Square and the streets and shops around it. There are numerous places to walk and explore, such as the Charles Bridge, the Prague Palace, St. Vitus's Cathedral, and the riverwalk along the Vltava River.
The Germany photos that I have included cover a variety of cities that we visited briefly. Munich was a bit of a disappointment. The city is not as clean as it once was and the Deutsches Museum seems really outdated. It looks like it's stuck in the 70's and hasn't been updated in the past 30 years. We couldn't understand why that would be the case in a major science museum.
The other thing that we did in Munich was visit the
The Bath 3 Kolanada
There are 12 major hot springs in the town. People use special spouted sipping cups to slowly drink the water. The water is supposed to cure a variety of illnesses.
Gyplotech Museum which had all the marble statues that were removed from the Aphaia Temple. This was the temple that we hiked to on the Greek island of Aegina. It was really cool to see the facade statues in their original arrangement. There was also a excellent model of the temple and the surrounding hillside that provided a good representation of how the site once looked.
As you already know, Stuttgart's main attraction was the Stones concert. Since I couldn't take any photos at the concert, I have included a photo of the photo in the newspaper. On both sides of the big screen, there are two levels of seats where people can pay $500 to sit on the stage with Mick and the boys. (By the way, we now have tickets to see them in Phoenix in Nov.!)
Our stay in Vienna was brief but very special. We visited friends that we met on the Trans-Siberian Railroad trip 8 years ago. They showed us the city, we rode on the giant ferris wheel in Prater Park, and we had a lovely dinner in a quaint Gasthaus. We also had a tour of the research facility where Alfred
works. It was a fun evening and was so good to see them once again.
From Austria we headed to Switzerland and we have been dealing with cold and rainy weather since we arrived. We have had a few warm, sunny days - but not many. It snowed last night on the lower mountain tops surrounding the lakes. We had to turn on the heat and to these two Floridians it felt like WINTER!!!! Today, it is in the low 50's with some rain, some wind, and some sun. It is supposed to clear up and warm up starting tomorrow. It's about time. Nevertheless, we are hiking and making the best of the situation. I have over 300 photos of Switzerland already! I will have to do various Swiss installments to share the best.
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