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Globetrotting with Push

With your host,
Raji "Push" Pushparajah

Karlovy Vary
(Carlsbad, Czech Republic)

Legend has it that the great Czech ruler, Charles 4th, discovered 14 hot springs while hunting with his favorite dog, which had chased after a downed pheasant into the 113-degree waters and quickly succumbed to the excessive heat. Thus was born Charles's Bath, known in the local tongue as Karlovy Vary.

This bucolic little town sits with hills on all sides, surrounded by charming churches, museums, shops and the ever-present reminder of the 14 hot springs scattered throughout. From the quaint little bed and breakfast where I stayed for the first half of my journey I began a long, energizing walk down the winding path, on my way to the center of the town. Here I stopped for a local treat, spa wafers, a warm, soft, sweet cracker, fresh from a waffle iron-like press. If for no other reason, you must go to Karlovy Vary for one of these hot spring essentials. As I wandered aimlessly savoring my fresh wafer, I was awakened from my reverie by the fresh scalding pain of near-boiling water enveloping both feet, as I had carelessly walked past the guard rail into the hottest of the local springs. In my haste to retreat from this cauldron, I lost both my wafer and my balance, leading to second- and third-degree burns up both legs and arms. I must say that the nurses of the town's most skillful burn and scald unit were quite adept at comforting me during my extended stay and thrice-daily ice baths, and were most helpful with the temporary loss of the use of both hands.

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