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Outings

On both banks of the river Teplá, the footpaths of the spa woods wind their way amongst beech-covered hillsides, spruce shade and sunny clearings. You could spend weeks or even months walking here from viewing point to viewing point, from pub to pub, amongst summers houses, crosses, stone benches, obelisks, shrines, moss, stones and the pitchy smell of the forest. If we are humble, in the quietest places we might catch a glimpse of the shades: gentlemen doff their top hats or even tricornes in greeting, and ladies twirl their umbrellas archly before disappearing in the mists. Maybe the poet Schiller will pass us on a donkey, or perhaps we will see Johann Wolfgang Goethe in the company of some woman. Such things happen here. The explorer Humboldt is often credited with saying that the Karlovy Vary woods are the most beautiful natural park in Europe, and as he had seen plenty of the world, he knew what he was talking about. The Karlovy Vary woods are also therapeutic: through their beauty and peace they greatly assist the springs which carry out their healing duties one hundred meters lower down. The network of forest footpaths began to increase mainly in the period of romanticism, when man rediscovered nature. The glory of the paths culminated at the turn of the century, at the time of the first viewing towers, forest restaurants and tourism groups. To this day they have retained their beauty; they await you.

Zdeněk Šmíd
From publication "Karlovy Vary Lázeňské vycházky" (Carlsbad Bath Walking Routes), Drawings by

First Walk
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Eight Walk
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