The first time I visited Marianske Lazne, it was a rainy day. My friend, Tammy, and I traipsed around, not really having much clue where we were going. I think the funniest thing is knowing that, a couple years later I ended up living in the area where we fully lost ourselves. Even through the dripping rain, and the long lost walk, I was captivated by the beauty of this little spa town.
If I could market this place, have my day to speak to the world about the wonders that can be seen, I would tell them that entering ML is like walking into a page in history. The old downtown area is still filled with the beautifully ornate hotels that were designed to pamper spa guests in the mid-19th century. While some of the buildings have fallen into disrepair, they still stand like ancient protectors keeping watch over the healing waters that spring forth from the earth.
I like to imagine what this city looked like during it's heyday. I can picture the ladies in their frilly dresses and parasols, strolling arm and arm with men in top hats carrying canes. The old part of town was paved with sand, and were designed to encourage health and wellness.
The old springs still deliver water to the doddering German tourists, and there are a number of four or five star hotels open to give guests the pampering of a lifetime, but the tourist industry has suffered since the presence of communism. While nearby Karlovy Vary draws in international clientele, thanks to the international film festival held there every summer, the hotel that once housed the King of England when he came to visit his favorite spas in Marianske Lazne now sits abandoned. Visitors from Mark Twain to Freud, Neitzsche to Chopin, Emperor Franz Josef and of course, the region's beloved Goethe, all spent time basking in the natural beauty of this incredible place. It would be so glorious to see this towns revival, and to watch the decrepit buildings repaired to their former glory.
For now, I must be content to share the final photos from last weeks walk, and hope that the readers of this humble blog will enjoy what little I can share of the place I've been living the past couple months.
Okay, for a second my internet crashed and I thought I'd lost all of this. (sigh) So glad it auto saved and I didn't have to pull it all back out of my head!
So I'll start off with a couple pictures as I came down the mountain and got my first glimpses of town.
In the photo with the cross you can see one of my favorite churches in the background. The second picture is of the church and the hotel King Edward used to stay in. I walked around toward that hotel to get some better views. It's an incredible building and I'm always so sad to see it so downtrodden.
I tried to get a picture of the sign that talks about how much the King loved to come and stay here, but it was too high up on the building to come out clearly. I especially like the last photo with the Goethe statue covered in snow with the hotel as the background.
I walked down past the colonnade next. I already have lots of pictures of this building, and it is the most photographed place in town, so I'll just put one up here for now.
After getting my duetto oplatky (a large round wafer type treat that is one half hazelnut and one half chocolate for those not in the know) I continued making my loop back for home. On the way I passed this little beauty that was built for Emperor Franz Josef when he came for a visit. Sadly, it is also abandoned.
This fence runs along the road down to the hotel.
Nearby I also snapped shots of an Art Nouveau style hotel face, as well as a light pole with the symbols of the city.
Finally, I hurried along through the park close to home past Ferdinanduv Pramen in its coating of snow.
The moral of this blog post is: Marianske Lazne is beautiful. People should come here to visit. Old buildings that speak the tales of the past should be repaired and shown some respect.
Oh, and I hope you enjoyed going on this little walk with me. The End :)