Loket and Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
We left the hotel in the morning, after a very nice breakfast, and drove for about an hour to Loket. The last 15 minutes of that drive were quite exciting, as we climbed very curvy roads to the top of a mountain and then took even curvier ones back down. I was glad my car had good brakes.
But we made it in one piece and suddenly found ourselves driving across a bridge and into town, Loket castle looming on the left of the bridge. We parked on the market square, next to yet another plague monument - I think every city in Eastern Europe must have one of these - and walked back to the bridge to get a good look at the castle.
Loket castle was undergoing renovation but was open to visitors. Since 3 busloads of loud and obnoxious tourists had just been deposited there and were waiting in line to get in, we decided to skip it and take advantage of the fact that we now had the little town all to ourselves.
Carlsbad, as it's called in German, was a bit of a surprise. It felt and looked like we were in the south of France. Palm trees everywhere, crawling with visitors, expensive shops... But is was nice in a 'we're not going to hang around here for long' way.
However, we stayed for a few hours, walking up and down the river, enjoying the beautiful houses, the collonades with their hot and cold springs, the hussle and bussle. We had an overpriced sandwich in one of the posh coffee houses and washed it down with a nice dark Czech beer. We walked back along the other side of the river to the monstrosity of Soviet concrete called the Hotel Thermal, where we had parked the car.
And then it was off to Berlin. I programmed the GPS to take us to the closest border crossing with Germany and this meant even more curvy roads.
At some point, we crossed the border again, but it still took a while to get on the Autobahn, where we could pick up speed. We headed past Dresden and basicaly drove along the Polish border towards Berlin. Since we wouldn't get to the gallery before closing time, I called them up and asked to reschedule our pick-up for the next morning.
We arrived in Berlin sometime around 7pm, parked the car at the hotel and checked in. Feeling rather famished, we then headed to our favorite Indian restaurant for a good meal.
We called it an early night as we had about 750km to drive the next day. It was a crazy trip, but definately one to remember.