U Svejka if you can't help it
I never was a big fan of Swejk, and I am sure I never will be.
But when you travel though Czechia you will meet Svejk at many places, all of them trying to tell you to have a certain connection to the book or the author...
Mostly these places cater to the bus-tourists with high prices, quick service, good toilets and a sculpture to take pics of the "real Svejk"
If you can't help it - here it is, take a picture - even free of charge, as this sculpture is placed on an open square in front of the pub and everybody may freely take pics without beeing forced to pay or consume anything.
They were built in the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century and there are five of them - the Mill Colonnade, Park Colonnade, Market Colonnade, Chateau Colonnade and Hot Spring Colonnade.
Probably the most beautiful is the Mill Colonnade in the Neo-Renaissance style. It is 132 meters long, 13 meters wide and has 124 columns. It stretches over five hot springs.
The Hot Spring Colonande is where you can not only drink the curative waters of the Vøídlo (literally Hot Spring, temperature 73°C/163°F), the best-known of the springs and symbol of Karlovy Vary, but also admire the 14-meter high fountain that constantly springs up from the Vøídlo in the covered hallway of the colonnade.
The area between Plzen, famous for beer as well as its giant engineering factory, spas, and Cheb where the Czech general Albrecht of Wallenstein was murdered, between Domazlice, the centre of the Chod region known for its etnographic festival, and Karlovy Vary, a spa town of world renown where fine china is also manufactured, is full of historic and natural contrasts. It offers opportunities for cure and rest in spa towns as lustrous as Marianske Lazne once frequented by Goethe, as well as in tiny spas resting in the calm embrace of the West Bohemian countryside. It is a region full of sites of historic battles, like Primda, Tachov and Domazlice, a region of powerfu monasteries in Tepla, Kladruby, Plasy and Manetin, which once owned large areas of land here. The resources generated by this huge property enabled Baroque builders to erect imposing, finely decorated monasteries whose treasures included well-stocked libraries. Apart from the majestic monastery complex, West Bohemia also boats Bohemia's smallest town - Utery, und Loket, the town under what was once a proud castle overlooking a meander of the river Ohre.
From the late Middle Ages, precious metals have been looked for and found in the Ohre river basin. The town of Jachymov in Krusne Hory, was founded in the early 16th century at the time of a silver rush. The heavy coins which the Slik family and then the King of Bohemia used to mint here from locally mined silver later lent their name to the Austrian thaler and American dollar.
When the significance of the silver mines declined, uranium deposits were found here, and the Curies discovered radioactivity in Jachymov ore from which they isolated radium, and West Bohemia thus gave birth to great scientific discovery of the modern age.
Karlovy Vary is the best known spa town, and most picturesque, in Western Bohemia. It received its name from Charles of Luxembourg who is said to have discovered steam rising from 12 springs while hunting in the area. He had a hunting lodge built there in 1358.
The healing powers of the water became famous and Karlovy Vary developed into a major health resort attracting emperors, kings and tsars, and many ordinary citizens, to take the waters.
Karlovy Vary lies in a valley surrounded by extensive forests with more than 120 kilometers of paths, with many beautiful views and travellers' restaurants. The city also boasts tennis courts, golf courses, the second oldest horse racing track in the Republic (the first horse races were already being run here in 1899), and an international airport, which also offers observation flights (every Saturday a regular airplane link between Zurich and Karlovy Vary operates).
The region is also known as Goethe's love - having stayed here several times, he spent a total of over three years in West Bohemia, which is longer than his stay in Italy. What does the spell of West Bohemia exactly consist of, why has the region been attracting people both famous and ordinary, from far and near, for several centuries?
Most remarkable about it is the unusual concentration of tourist, cultural and natural attractions in a relatively small territory. As one of the visitors put it: it is a land with a thousand different faces - everyone can find there exactly the things he or she loves. An old historical land, romantic and noble, with undulated plains, ancient forests, picturesque valleys, hot and cold mineral springs, idyllic corners, palace gardens and medieval castles.
It is also a land where both body and soul are healed. The spas in West Bohemia, the Land of Health, have for centuries been the place where generations of sufferers have sought cures. West Bohemia is a huge, natural clinic. Among the immense wealth of mineral springs gushing out from the ground, there is likely to be one for almost every possible disease. Patients have been seeking cures in West Bohemia's spas since the Middle Ages, and the local mineral water used to be sent in earthen bottles with tin caps even to remote places from the late 19th century.
Well-kept forest paths for walking and jogging are a very pleasant surprise for visitors of Karlovy Vary. Around the town is a complex of paths connecting interesting places. There is a wonderful view of Karlovy Vary and its surroundings from Petr the Great Hill, Mount Friendship and from Charles IV. Observation Point. 8 km southwest of Karlovy Vary are the Svatosske Cliffs, a group of bizzare formations which represents a petrified wedding procession. This theme was developed by the brothers Grimm, Goethe, K.T. Korner and by composer H. A. Marschner in his opera Hans Heiling. 11 km northwest of Karlovy Vary there is Loket with a large 13th century Gothic castle which houses a porcelain museum. One of the most famous products of Karlovy Vary is the world known herb liqueur Becherovka.
Many programs run after the spa season officially begins, with a ball in the Grand Hotel Pupp - in May, it's the International Jazz Festival Karlovy Vary; in June, the Opera and Musical Festival; in July, Mozart and Karlovy Vary; in August, the Days of Beethoven; and in September, Dvorak's Autumn of Karlovy Vary.