We were in Prague for a week, and took a day trip to Karlovy Vary. This is a famous spa town in the western part of the country. It is absolutely beautiful, with a small river running through it, high mountains surrounding it, and gorgeous architecture. It would probably be easy to take a bus there, based on what I’ve read, but we just didn’t want to be stressed. So we hired a guide and driver. There are mineral spring stations where you could drink the waters, but don’t drink much. They are very minerally (surprise!) and could make you sick to your stomach. We went to a day spa, which was not quite what we expected. It was very institutional and although the outside of the building and grounds were lovely, the interior was not. This is not a place to go to be pampered. It is more suited to a medical spa. We signed up in advance for a “beer bath” which was supposed to consist of a bath with herbs/hops/barley and a lovely glass of beer. The stainless steel tub was filled with water by an elderly lady and she handed me a can of beer. Not quite the elegant photo that their website portrays, www.spa5.cz. That said, the bath was perfectly drawn and the beer was cold. The woman spoke no English but sign language was fine. She even took a photo of me with my cell phone! And no, I’m not sharing that! They obviously do a good business, because we were unable to add a massage to our services, as they were all booked up. So if you go, book in advance. I am sure the spas that require overnight stays are more luxurious. We had a meal at a pub called Restaurace U Svejka, which had good sausage, and a life-sized statue of the Good Soldier Svejka! We also tried the famous Becherovka liquor, which is awful. There are wafers that are sold with nutella or jams that are good when they are hot, like crepes. The town itself seemed more Russian/Soviet than Czech. My guide did not seem to care for the town or the influence of the Russians. All I could say is it was beautiful.