Monday
September
1st
2008
8:51 am

Week in Frantiskovy Lazne

After my birthday weekend in Mariánské Lázně, I was curious about what the real spa experience was supposed to be like. And I was also in the mood to get out of Prague for a little while. So, I booked myself a one-week stay in Františkovy Lázně. Of the three main spa towns in that district, Františkovy Lázně is the least well-known (and the smallest); Karlovy Vary is the best-known, with Mariánské Lázně coming in between.

It’s a very pretty town, with extensive parks:



There’s even a "miniature golf course":

This is the first miniature golf course I’ve seen in the Czech Republic.

One of the parks has a bandstand which was host to a (free) afternoon concert:

The official color scheme of Františkovy Lázně, or at least the spa district, is yellow and white. It’s very stylish, but it starts to get a little boring after a while. I forget which hotel this was:

The Catholic church, which was also home to a very nice concert one evening:

The colonnade, with its attendant sphinxes:

And where is it written that all Czech spa towns must have a colonnade?
The Božena Němcová Theater does not follow the yellow and white rule. Though it’s not readily apparent from this shot, the theater is actually pale green and white:

I was staying at the Hotel Imperial:

It’s not as big as the picture makes it look: it’s only a few dozen rooms, but it is, for Františkovy Lázně, very grand. English was in short supply, although the clerks at the front desk managed to get by pretty well, and the doctor spoke surprisingly good English. (On my last visit, she asked what I did for a living. When I said that I’m an English teacher, she exclaimed that that was why I spoke so slowly and carefully and was so easy to understand. She was touchingly grateful that I was so easy to communicate with. It made me wonder what her experience with other English speakers had been like.)

As at Mariánské Lázně, the treatments were very clinical: the treatments rooms feature lots of white paint and tile and bright lights, and the attendants are all in white uniforms. It’s not at all like the muted and tranquil environment that I usually associate with days spas in California.

The treatments I had were pretty ordinary: baths and massages and one mud wrap. The one treatment that I found novel was the "underwater massage". In this one, the attendant uses a high-pressure hose to do the massaging. Kind of like an hand-held shower massage, but dialed up about a hundred-fold!

It was a relaxed week, though. I walked a lot and caught up on some reading. (The limited Internet service coupled with a problem with my computer’s power supply kept me largely offline for the week.)

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