Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Walking Through a Spa Town

There is no doubt that whatever life we live in the present acquires a mundane quality, regardless of the location. We become accustomed to that which is daily routine. Days drift together into a fuzzy haze, dashing past in a whirl of activity mixed with boredom. We adapt, conform, settle in.

I spend quite a bit of time in a car almost every day. I maneuver amidst the traffic more out of habit than anything else. There is no sense of thrill, no feeling of intrigue. But when living overseas, the thought of being able to get into my car and just go sounds so appealing. On the other hand, as I wait at traffic lights, full of nervous energy, I think of the charm of living somewhere with excellent public transportation, and having a job within easy walking distance.

Through the busyness of the past season, my thoughts have often been pulled back to other eras, other places I have dwelt. Distance tends to diminish the monotony of old, shrouding it in a veil of ethereal mystery. Looking back at pictures, it seems difficult to imagine that any place so beautiful could fade from fantasy to normalcy. Take these shots from our last trip to Czech. I spent an afternoon wandering Frantiskovy Lazne, a small spa town just outside of Cheb where I used to live. I was there to spend time with a former student, and took advantage of the last few minutes of her working day to capture the wonder around me.

The yellow buildings are typical of spa towns. I have heard several reasons for this, but on rainy days like today, I imagine that the golden colored buildings are designed to make visitors feel like it's a sunny day. I can just imagine the well dressed ladies and gentlemen strolling down the colonnade, enjoying the statues as they sip on their potent spring waters.

The water in Frantiskovy Lazne is said to increase fertility, thus the patron is a little statue called Frantisek. It is said that if you touch the golden areas on the little statue you'll conceive. Personally, I was content just to insinuate ;)

Up next, a short study on a single building. I am always so impressed with the effort the architects put into making these buildings so breathtaking. There is art breathing around every corner.

If I wrote a guide book on this gem of a village I would be sure to include a little trip down trails, focusing on details.

I would also encourage visitors to take the time to really look closer at the flowers in bloom.

Sometimes the line between boredom and intrigue is just a matter of where you focus.

As I recall my trips to Frantiskovy Lazne, I am reminded of the truth about this place. There really isn't much of anything to do there. If you can afford to stay in a spa hotel I'm sure you can get a very nice massage, if you are ill, I am sure they have some good treatments, but there isn't much else in the way of entertainment. As lovely as it is too look at, it wouldn't take more than a day to wonder where to go next.

The real truth is in finding the beauty in the everyday moments. It's making up stories about the creepy house that overlooks the daily commute. It's delighting in the stories and lives of the people that come and go in and out of your life every day. It is too easy to give in to stress, or fall into monotony, but there is so much more to life than that. Just some thinks to think as January is about to fade into February...


jennifer said...

thanks for taking me out of the habitual life for a few minutes.

The Writers Ink said...

I just read this and I love what you wrote about the "car"... I so agree!! And thinking about those "on the edge of your seat" moments when living overseas, finding new and exciting places... A friend said to me the other day we should try more to look at our own city through the eyes of a traveller. I need to do this more I think! So from now on... I am a "traveller" visiting Melbourne :) Love to you! Xxx