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New Europe

Day One Hundred and Fourteen: Karlovy Vary

Millspring Colonnade 
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The elegant Millspring Colonnade at Karlovy Vary. Tatana and I sample the healing spring waters. At their hottest, they're 62°C.
Michael Palin - New EuropeMiss World and I take the waters in the very elegant neo-Renaissance Millspring Colonnade, one of the few restrained buildings in the town. The coffered ceiling of the 430-foot gallery is supported by 124 slender columns and five separate spring outlets spout into carved stone basins, each one progressively hotter than the other. The last one is 62° Centigrade, which somehow makes the unpleasantly sulphurous taste more bearable. We drink out of traditionally designed ceramic mugs, with a long thin spout at the side, presumably the same as those used by A. Hitler, German politician and C. Cardinale, Italian actress.

Around us the streets are beginning to fill with visitors. Coaches with plush velvet interiors are hauled around town by ponies wearing little red caps over their ears.

Tatana is the first Czech girl ever to be crowned Miss World, but despite the grandeur of her status her feet are remarkably close to the ground, and she's more worried about her exams tomorrow than what make-up to wear.

But before we go our separate ways, we're both given the once-over at a clinic in town where we meet the human dynamo that is Milada Sárová.

Milada is the very personification of good health. Her skin exudes a warm glow, she has a head of thick red hair in mint condition, and as she gives me a preliminary examination her enveloping smile never falters.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: New Europe
  • Chapter: Day One Hundred and Fourteen: Karlovy Vary
  • Country/sea: Czech Republic
  • Place: Karlovy Vary
  • Book page no: 266

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