By Thaedra Brondum
Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) is known as a spa town because of the natural hot springs that is right below it. With the springs below the city, there are many locations around the city where people can drink the hot spring water for free. The temperature of the water available for drinking differs from 30-70 degrees Celsius. There are signs by all fountains that let drinkers know which temperature that fountain contained. The water is known for healing properties and is high in iron.
The first day in Karlovy Vary, a group of Thunderbird students visited the Moser Glass Factory. At the factory students were able to watch as workers created glass vases of varying sizes. Many students had not seen glass blowing before and were amazed watching the employees work. At the end of the tour some students bought pieces from the Moser Glass shop.
The group also visited the near-by town of Loket. In true T-bird fashion, the students found themselves at the Loket castle. Before the castle became a museum, it was used mostly a prison and torture site. As a museum, rooms display the furniture used, as well as statues. An alter room and pharmacy could also be viewed. Students had the chance to climb over 90 steps to the top of a tower, as well as travel down to the dungeons. In the dungeons, the various torture and punishment methods used at the castle over the years were shown. Six different methods were shown with a plaque explanation stating the reasons for its use.
After the castle visit and lunch, students spent the afternoon enjoying the greenery and river rafting back to Karlovy Vary. The river had 4 foot deep sections as well as 1 inch deep sections scattered throughout it. At times members in each raft, 4 people per raft, would get out to help the raft in the shallow sections. It took the T-birds about 6 hours to raft from Loket back to Karlovy Vary. Everyone was happy to fall into bed and visit the spas the next morning before returning to Prague.