Karlovy Vary: The Gem of the Czech Republic
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | October 22nd, 2017
Have you ever seen a place in a movie or a photograph and instantly fell in love with it? Something just drew you to it? It felt like somewhere you needed to visit in your lifetime? Karlovy Vary was one of those places for me.
One night, I was watching Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah. In the movie she learns that she is dying from a brain tumor and only has three weeks left to live. Regretting the fact that she hasn't lived her life to the fullest, she packs her bags and heads to her dream destination - Karlovy Vary. As a true believer that we should live every day as if it's our last, it's no surprise that this movie has become one of my favorites. With all the traveling John and I do, I knew that adding Karlovy Vary to our upcoming Europe trip would be easy. After all, it was only ninety minutes north of our first stop - Prague.
The whole ninety minute ride there, I kept wondering if it would be as magical as it seemed in the movie. Sometimes places are so glamorized in film, and photos can be so overly-edited, that when you arrive, you barely recognize it. After stepping out of the car, I glanced around and instantly felt those feelings that the movie gave me, but times two. There is just something so appealing about this beautiful town. I was so happy that I finally made it there.
If you don't know much about Karlovy Vary, here's a little information. Located in northwest Czech Republic, it is a town known for its pristine spas, thermal hot springs, high-end shopping, and health retreats. Centuries ago, royalty would travel to Karlovy Vary to soak in the healing mineral-rich springs, and breathe in the abundant fresh air. It is also home to the famous glassmaking company, Moser. There isn't too much else to do there, and that's the point. Karlovy Vary is a place to unwind, heal, and leave all your troubles behind.
John and I strolled along the picture-perfect streets before stopping to eat lunch at the lovely Restaurant Embassy. The Embassy Hotel has an amazing outside dining area with tables nestled along a quaint bridge and spectacular views of the famous Grand Hotel Pupp (the hotel where Queen Latifah stayed in the movie). It is, in my opinion, the best place to enjoy a meal in Karlovy Vary. The ambiance cannot be beat.
After soaking up as much as we could in the short amount of time we had there, we left and headed to our next destination. I am so glad that I finally made it to Karlovy Vary. I am so glad that it not only met my expectations, but it surpassed them. More so, I am so glad that I know I will be back, time and time again.