Thursday, November 18, 2010

Becherovka and Hot Springs



Becherovka - sounds nice, tastes sweet- bitter. It's a herbal based liqueur produced in Karlo Vivary (Karlsbad ), a lovely spa town, a two hours drive from Prague.
This liqueur made with spa water , originally for medicinal purposes, comes in green bottles of all shapes and sizes . Its aroma is dominated by cinnamone and anise seed. Its recipe is top secret like that of Coca Cola.


cute liqueur- selling street Booth

Karlo Vivary's hot springs (12-15 numbered main springs) are, of course, the big attraction of the city. The average temperature of the water which flows through special taps is around 60 degrees C. It is said to help with various health problems, mainly digestive ones.

Colonnade (there are five)

It goes like this: you buy a porcelain cup (there are various sizes and qualities) with spout, fill it with the spring hot water, then sip from it slowly while strolling on the promenade, through the Colonades, or sitting on a bench near the spring. I did that of course, but wasn't too excited by the taste. I suppose it takes time to get used to it. Some people, by the way, prefer to bring a bottle and fill it with the curative water. Anyway, whether you like the water or not, the cup is a nice souvenir.

my personal cup


checking the temperature


enjoying a sip and a chat on the bench


curious boy

king Karl's the4th hot spring

Next time, with God's will, if I happen to be there again, I'll go in the footsteps of historical and cultural personalities (including cinema stars that attend annually the Karlo Vivary International Film Festival) - and take a few mineral baths and massages.

26 comments:

Mauro Paim said...

Thanks for sharing, Duta. God willing, I'd love to be the next to visit. I've always been attracted by the different and unique.

Nezzy said...

My dear Duta, ya never fail to entertain and amuse me. I adore the design of your cup!!! I do so hope you get to go back for the the pleasures of the baths and massages. Sounds like heaven to me and just maybe you'll hub~nub it up with some stars.

Now, wouldn't that make for some great blog~fodder!!! :o)

Have a most marvelously blessed day my friend!!!

Jamie said...

Once again, I envy you for going to all of these neat places! I hope that I will have that opportunity some day! This trip sounds like you had an enjoyable time. I'm sorry you didn't like the taste of the water. That liquer booth is very cute!

Thanks for sharing! :)

Susannah said...

Mineral baths & massages...now THAT's my kinda vacation! Thanks for sharing~

Rocket Man said...

Mineral baths and massages remind me of Hot Springs, Arkansas which was a mecca for movie starts in the 30s.

Alicia said...

When I first started reading I just assumed it would be hot mineral baths so I wondered how it would aid in the digestion...but once I kept reading I figured it out...you drink the water. Makes sense to me now. What a unique place and I love the cup, the handle is so cute Duta.

DUTA said...

Mauro Paim,

Welcome!
I wish you have an opportunity to visit Karlo Vivari, in the nearest future! You'll greatly enjoy it.

Nezzy,

It gives me much pleasure to read your as usual colorful comment. I wish I could have brought you a cup like mine, but we are so far geographically from each other!

Jamie,

When you finish your studies I'm sure you'll find the time and the money to visit places, starting with the beautiful countries that make up the USA (I've never been in the USA myself, by the way). Thanks for your sweet comment.

Susannah,

You can have this kind of vacation (mineral baths & massages) in a lot of places, but Karlo Vivary is the place where kings, heads of states, composers (Beethoven)and other great personalities in the past and present came/come for treatments.

Rocket Man,

Movie stars know how to take care of their bodies. After all, the body is their main working tool.

Haddock said...

What an unusual piece of information. Its small information like these that makes the whole world very interesting.
two hours drive from Prague did you say ?
Will be there the next time I visit that side of the world.

Dimple said...

Hi Duta-
This looks like a pleasant place to visit, and from your description, I think I would enjoy the taste of the liqueur.
I am grateful to be able to travel with you!

DUTA said...

Alicia,

Yes, you figured it out correctly.
I like the cup too; it's rather a simple one. There are cups made of pink porcelain, this kind of porcelain being specific to Karlo Vivary.

Haddock,

Welcome to my little blog!
I wish you have indeed the chance to visit there.
You'll certainly enjoy it.

Dimple,

Yes, you would enjoy both the place and the liqueur. Perhaps, specialized liqueur stores in your country also sell this czech product.

Angelina said...

Sounds like a delightful way to spend an afternoon. Often it is said that if it takes some getting used to the taste, it must be good for you. : )

Vera said...

Thankyou for sharing another bit of info about a land of which I know nothing. I will never visit there, but you have taken me on a visit, so at least I will forever after know of its existence.

Land of shimp said...

Oh how lovely! We do have hot springs here, but I love to see the ones throughout Europe. Many have been in use since the Roman Empire. Anything in or around Prague is likely to have quite the storied history!

It looks like a wonderfully relaxing place, with great invitations to imagination.

Duta, can you even imagine long, long ago before our everyday luxuries, finding a place where hot water bubbled from the ground like magic? No wonder it was thought to cure so many ills. It must have seemed heaven sent.

Thank you for the pictures and the tale...and for reminding me of all our everyday miracles in existence now. Ah...that blessed hot water, available via a tap in my home. Such luxury in my life.

DUTA said...

Vera,

Really?! Karlo Vivary is known for its annual International Film Festival, so there's usually some fuss about it on the news. 'Never say never' about visiting the place. One never knows, especially that you reside in Europe and can go there even by train.

Land of Shimp,

I totally agree with your view: "It looks like a wonderfully relaxing place, with great invitations to imaginations".

My visit there made me want to read more about its history and its thermal waters' miracles.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Nice to know about all these. Beautiful place and pictures too. Keep on travelling!

La Petite Gallery said...

Well this is most interesting, so happy I found you, come by and be a follower. When I was in Europe I was with a Canadian girl who was visiting her Grandmother in Prauge. I had to
get off in Venice,

yvonne
Bet that has a real kick to the drink.

DUTA said...

Angelina,

I don't know about the saying you've just mentioned, but it's known from ancient history that the thermal water is good for one's health.

Phivos Nicolaides,

Knowledge is power, as they say. It's important to know about things that might be good for our health and palate.

La Petite Gallery,

Welcome! Glad you came by my blog.
Perhaps, you"ll have another opportunity to visit Prague.

robert said...

First of all... anything, but not CocaCola! Hate it!
Intersting informations! I would recommend natural waters from Olanesti, Calimanesti and Herculane. In Herculane you will also find hot water.
Greetings!

Lisa Petrarca said...

I just love reading your blog Duta! You always have such interesting information, pictures and stories.

My husband just got diagnosed with Diverticulitis (infection of the intestines). It's very painful, wish we had something like that hot spring water here in America for him to drink to see if it helps!

http://lisapetrarca.blogspot.com/2010/11/unexpected-flight.html

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Dear Duta,
This is such a lovely post, especially because my husband and I went a couple of weeks ago to Hot Springs, Arkansas, a neat town well known for the same. We enjoyed a mineral bath and massage for first time, it was great, I swear.

I like the cup/souvenir. Really cool!

Also, thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment. I appreciate it.

Doris

DUTA said...

robert,

I'm with you on this, and I strongly recommend Herculane (never been there but I've heard a lot about its miracles).

Lisa Petrarca,

I'm sorry about your husbands' health problem. I believe natural spring water, hot or not, may help relieve and even cure it. There must be a few such curative springs in your country, or in the adjacent countries. I'm told Arkansas has them.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog,

Doris,I'm sure you had a great time at Hot Spring. These baths are very rejuvenating and worth every penny.

In Israel we have hot springs in several locations and they are very popular for very good reasons.

Bica said...

Another wonderful post, DUTA. This is something I've heard about before, but never really pondered. I'll probably do some research now, and see what I can discover - thanks to you!

Stuff could always be worse said...

Love the photos, hot springs are interesting!
kim

DUTA said...

Bica,

Go ahead! the topic of hot springs is worth researching.

Stuff could always be worse,

Welcome Kim!

I'm glad you like the photos and that you think hot springs are interesting.

La Petite Gallery said...

Hello again, I came back to real more on your blog. I wll be a true follower now. I bought a drinking cup in Russia at a resort it was different looking.
Enjoyed all the posts.

yvonne

DUTA said...

La Petite Gallery,

Welcome again, Yvonne! I'm glad of you being a follower and reader of my little blog. Thanks a lot.