A couple of nights this week Mark and I were invited out by his dad to explore some of the parks in the area around Marianske Lazne. They were places that really spoke of the history of this beautiful town. It's really quite fascinating when you think of it all. Here is this town, so beautifully designed with incredible buildings reflecting a history that spans just under two centuries, and it sits on what used to be a marshy bog. A pit really, if you will. A swampy place, filled with treachery and seeming sludge. And yet the people came here, they traversed the dangers on their pilgrimage in search of water that would heal.
In this modern era, when pharmacies abound, it's hard to imagine what drew them so many moons ago. There are still those who come, sipping water from their funny cups with built in handle straws, but is more of a novelty than a real search for a cure. I must confess, I find the waters difficult to swallow, and yet they are filled with minerals and such, that no doubt do produce reactions within the body.
When I look around this lovely peaceful place I wonder why it isn't booming in popularity. In this modern era when high end spas are so popular, it seems an ideal place for people to travel still, with all it's old world charm and beautiful parks. Mark and I often dream of seeing this place filled with people once again, delighting in the magnificent hotels of another era. But this is all a bit beside the point.
Basically I wanted to share a bit about the prehistory of Marianske Lazne which was visible in these parks. They do remind me something of Yellowstone, but on a different sort of scale.
On Monday evening we went and visited the "Stinker" spring. It lived up to it's name with pride, but was still a lovely place to see.
We wandered the forests there, and walked on spongy vegetation that reminded me a lot of the terrain in Alaska. Such a strange experience to feel the ground beneath your feet bouncing with your ever step.
We visited another spring there that we actually drank from. Fortunately it wasn't so stinky, and just had a very strong iron kind of flavor.
On Tuesday he took us out again, this time to the Kaldska Nature Preserve. We'd been there before in the winter when all the trees looked like little soldiers in their heavy coats of snow. This time everything was fresh and green and we were able to walk on the wooden trails built to protect the ground below. Again there was a lot of activity bubbling up under the ground. It was really fascinating to hear it whistling up even in the places that were dry on the surface. We went around a little pond that had an observation place in the middle. There we saw a mother duck with 4 or 5 small ducklings. Sadly it was a bit to dark to take their photograph, but still I was able to enjoy watching them swimming about.
We continued around to the larger lake and enjoyed the beautiful nature that was to be seen. The trail was a couple kilometers in total, and it was a lovely time of day for seeing it all.
I really love the grasses there. They're super tall, but they roll over each other in such beautiful ways. This next picture is one of my favorites from the day. Mark spotted this little bird's nest, and the lighting on it is really just perfect. Every now and then great pictures just happen, and this is one of them.
From then his dad was so sweet to take us to the area of the three crosses. They were put here in thanks for the healing grasses that grow in the region. Sadly, the area is now a special zone so we weren't allowed to walk very close, but we did get a few pictures of them.
Then we walked across the way and enjoyed the grassy fields as well.
It was really an interesting trip for sure. And I realize the flower picture is on it's side, but some how the coloring worked better that way for me :)
So I hope you enjoyed this little trip around the beginnings of my current little town. It really is amazing to see how they were able to take these marshy places and turn them into the beautiful city I live in today.