Friday, June 04, 2010

A Day at the Spa

collage of Lazne Belohrad, Czech Republic
We've visited spas before at Kolokolo, heading to Třebon three times in the last few years. This year our sitters went to new spa just north of Prague in Lázně Bělohrad. After giving them a few weeks to discover the best cukarna in town, we went to visit.

The spas our sitters stay in are health oriented, not aesthetic, and this particular spa focuses on peat bath treatments and lots of exercise. We didn't try the mud baths, but we did go on a walk around the town and into the countryside, passing by the {1} fields of new wheat as we walked. Most of the spa buildings are new, but {2} this one is a reconstructed building that was part of the original spa built in the late 1800s.

All of the spa buildings were in beautiful shape, and the town nearby was bustling and full of commercial life. Once we walked downtown to the main square, we discovered the unreconstructed side of the town, including {3} Lázně Bělohrad's local chateau. It may be crumbling into decay, but its guardian eagle still stands proudly by the main doors. I liked the irises the town planted to keep the eagle company. {4} The main square is a mix of Asian dry good stores and Czech butchers. The facades are beautiful but, like the chateau, crumbly.

{5} I thought it apt that the most prominent building in town was not the chateau, or the city hall but...a pharmacy.

{6} Walking in the countryside, we passed carefully maintained gardens and country cottages, and this well channeled stream. It seemed a lively answer to the {center} town map I found stenciled on the chateau's wall.

cukarna = sugar shop, or candy store. A very Czech version of a coffee/ice cream parlor, they usually stock any candy you can imagine and are delightfully child friendly in a way that a formal coffee house is not.

11 comments:

Mary said...

Don't you have to just pinch yourself somedays when you see what you see.

I think the same sometimes when I see Eurolush's photos.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ah. A spa. What delights you have shown us, dear Julia. I really must do some research and find a spa town nearby. A sweet shop that serves coffee and welcomes children sounds wonderful right about now ...

Julia said...

Mary, I do - especially when I'm crossing the river and see the castle and old town. My heart always, always stops a beat. I am probably too accustomed now to some of the beauty, but I try to pay attention to the details and remind myself of it regularly. Photography helps to remind me, too!

Rouchswalwe, let me know if you find one. I can imagine there might be a few in the NY mountains.

countrypeapie said...

Wonderful -- I could use a spa right about now! Like the changes you've made to your page, by the way.

meredith said...

A spa and a candy store...sounds like a good combination to me.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I love how they don't tear down buildings there like the do in America. The character stays around better.

Lucy said...

Spa town always seem to me the essence of Mitteleurope, somehow - Last Year in Marienbad etc. I loved Vichy here, too. Mud baths sound rather fun, I think.

Your blog is looking very swish now I must say!

Julia said...

Thanks for all the nice comments on the changes - if anyone wants me to help widen their blog template, just let me know! Blogger's templates seem to be mostly from 2004 so I thought it was definitely time to catch up to 2010 web standards over here. And the wider images are an easy hack for anyone using picasa.

Barrett Bonden said...

So, you avoided the mud baths and, presumably, the peat baths. But did you drink the foul-tasting water? If not this was surely an unengaged visit to a spa. Spas are not for fun, you know. They're for people who take their health very seriously. I'm just back from the country where they take it very seriously - to the point of hypochondria. In preparing a schedule for the holiday Occasional Speeder left time for several visits to medical establishments since my francophilia extends to adopting French habits (eg, treatment for a boil on an intimate extremity, an ear blocked from swimming to excess and a sprained wrist as a result of tripping over a bollard). That's real commitment to the country - not just going for a walk.

Julia said...

The foul water is mostly on the west coast of Bohemia, so we were happily able to skip it at Lazne Belohrad.

Our spa trips are therapeutic because we get to visit with our Czech babysitters and emerse ourselves in all things Czech. Call it a language bath - a weekend at the spa definitely has toning results!

taniad1992 said...

elypcophIt sounds wonderful!!! Interesting comment on the Asian dry goods stores. We love Asian food and are hoping we can find most of the ingredients. Sounds like it might be possible.