Monday, June 9, 2008

A Tour of Frantiskovy Lazne

Seeing as how numbers have been low in classes lately, I wasn't overly surprised to have only one student in my "Ladies" class this evening. She came prepared, however, and told me that if no one showed up she had informed her husband that he was to come and collect us and she would give me a tour of Frantiskovy Lazne I've been to this small spa town, located about 7 KM from Cheb several times before, but it was a great idea for the evening.
By 10 past 5 it was obvious that none of the other students would be coming, so she called her husband and 15 minutes later our chauffeur arrived.
Nad'a's husband doesn't speak a lick of English, but he made sure she pointed out important things like sheep in a field and the fact that the cars in the area are sporting flags at the moment due to the big European Football (soccer for the Americans) championships. He dropped us off near the town square and Nad'a proceeded to give me a nicely guided tour.
There is a statue in the town called Frantisek, which is a small naked boy holding a fish. It is believed that if you touch his penis you will have a baby in the next 9 months. Nad'a said that for her it was true, 9 months after touching the statue she had her son Petr. Pretty interesting. While I don't really buy into such things, I decided it was best not to touch him at the moment :)
We walked amongst the many beautiful yellow and white spa buildings, and looked at the bubbling hot springs. I opted not to drink any of the "healing" sulphur water, and she agreed that it tasted awful and that it was mostly good for you if you were having problems with diarrhea (which happens to be one of her favorite words, right up there with smithereens.)
After seeing all the beautiful buildings and walking through the Oak (Germany's national tree) and Linden (Czech's national tree) forested parks, we returned to where her husband was waiting. Frantiskovy Lazne was established originally by the Germans, and remains a very popular tourist destination for them, even though they were forced to leave the area after World War II. A fascinating history really.
I was returned to school right on time for my next class, and the rest of the evening proceeded nicely, despite an awful downpour in the middle of class that I feared would positively ruin my walk home, but fortunately was well good and over by the time I left.

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