Friday, 8 April 2011

A day in Dresden – 5th Day

A white landscape

The first thing that comes into my mind, when I think of the 5th day of the tour is a white landscape, full with snow, with deer running free in the countryside. Where was that place? It was somewhere between Czech Republic and Saxony.  And what was our destination? It was the beautiful Dresden. 


The journey to Dresden was very relaxing, as we were listening to Vienna’s symphony orchestra. Nikos, our tour guide, was in a good mood and told us a lot of things about our new destination. According to Nikos, the best music instruments of classical music are manufactured in Saxony. Weaving and wood carving are also developed, while there are a lot of factories producing watches and porcelains. Speaking of porcelains, I remember a wall, in the center of Dresden, ornamented with tiles portraying a parade with horses and knights. I liked it, because it is well preserved.

Tiles Art

Speaking of sights, the most famous statue is the golden sculpture of August the Strong. Also, the most famous sight is the Palace in the center of Dresden. It is surrounded by museums, including the art museum, the one with porcelains and the armor museum. The Palace is built in Baroque style and it has a big garden, where celebrations and weddings of noble people and turneries were taken place some hundred years ago. It is said that during each feast, there were six lunches with so much food that people couldn’t stand it, so they vomit in some spots in the garden, designed for that purpose.

The Palace's Garden

To be honest, my memories from Dresden are a little bit “frozen”. The weather was so cold that during our free time as a group, I went to a nice restaurant and ate a nice hot soup. But the best part of that lunch was the dessert, a traditional, tasteful apple strudel!


Dresden is a city that I would like to visit again, but in a season with a better weather. I liked the style of this city and especially the view of the Elbe River. I think it is a place, where you should spend at least 3 days. Who knows,  I might visit it again…

Elbe River


Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Aristocratic Karlovy Vary – 4th day of the tour

Karlovy Vary
If someone would ask me to describe Karlovy Vary with three words, I would say that it is a picturesque, aristocratic, spa city in Czech Republic. The city is built on the base of a forest hill, while it is crossed by the Tepla River.  Beautiful buildings and luxurious hotels stand like ornaments next to the river, including spa centers and jeweler’s stores. It is no coincidence that the “Casino Royale” movie was filmed in a place like that!

Spring Museum

It is true that in Karlovy Vary there are a lot of springs and it is said that they have therapeutic abilities, each one treating a different disease (digestive problems, oncologic diseases, metabolism problems, obesity etc). Unfortunately, there is no welfare paying for a spa therapy in Karlovy Vary, the patient has to pay approximately 5.000 – 10.000 euro for a 6 week treatment. Nevertheless, there is a museum containing springs with water of 30 °C, 50 °C and 72 °C temperature, which is potable and curative. Although I didn’t taste it, because it had an egg smell, I got impressed by that museum and especially by the blower that discharges 2.000 liters of water every minute!


About the story of Karlovy Vary and how its springs were found, there is a sculptured paint showing Charles IV going for hunting on Karlovy Vary hills with his companion and hurting a deer. While the deer was running for its life, it fell into a pool with hot water. Charles IV got close to the injured animal and to his astonishment; he saw that there was no bleeding anymore. The deer left, while Charles IV went to the pool to check what had happened. He saw a spring with hot water and from that day he decided to take advantage of the springs.

Sculptured paint

Nowadays, Karlovy Vary is a very touristic area, where the visitor can do a lot of sports and get relaxed in one of the spa centers. Porcelains, Moser glassworks, the Becherovka liqueur, sweet wafers and the traditional water drinking cup are some of the souvenirs that a tourist can buy. I recommend you to taste the wafers, they are really nice.