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New Europe

Day One Hundred and Fourteen: Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary clinic 
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'Sorry dear, I've got a headache.' In the CO2 treatment bags at a Karlovy Vary clinic.
Michael Palin - New Europe'I want to know about your water,' she asks, with such intimate jollity that I find myself desperately anxious to please her.

'Your stool is normal?'

'Oh yes, yes.'

'Your legs are not inflammated?'

'No, no!'

'Please take your clothes off. I control your liver.'

'I wish I could!' I find myself replying, dry-mouthed. She looks down at me indulgently but without laughing, as one might look at a puppy that's just farted.

The waters are the bedrock, as it were, of Karlovy Vary's fame, and Milada recommends a course of one litre a day for twenty days to clean out the body properly, but more sophisticated treatments are available for those with the money to pay.

I have a hot-stone massage on my back, immerse myself in a mud bath and, in one quite surreal treatment, Miss World and I are put into long white plastic bags which are sealed around the neck then filled with carbon dioxide.

Milada stands over us, gazing down and smiling as if this were the best party ever.

'When you are in the pack twenty minutes, your inner organs are without hypertension. It's good for your heart, for your blood pressure, for circulation, for people who have problem with... '

I lose my concentration. So bewildered am I by this whole Karlovy Vary experience that I look across at Miss World, lying, like me, in a long white bin-liner, the pair of us like those stone carved effigies of medieval couples you see in church, and for a moment I do think I've died and gone somewhere very strange.
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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: 267

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  • Health and Hygiene
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