007 Travel story: Karlovy Vary, Loket, Prague (CZECH REPUBLIC) 2010

007 Travel story: Karlovy Vary, Loket, Prague (CZECH REPUBLIC) 2010

October 7, 2013 0 By 007 Travelers

Czech trip June 26-July 1, 2010

Pirita’s and Mika’s own trip for two

Airline: Finnair,  Flights Helsinki – Prague – Helsinki, 154,96 € (with discounted flight points)
Flight time: 2h 10 min

Grand Hotel Pupp, Mírové náměstí 2, Karlovy Vary
358,00 € / person / three nights package.
Booked via hotel’s own pages, including accommodation with breakfast and “In the Track of the Agent 007” package.

Hotel Golden Tulip Terminus Prague, Hybernska 42, Prague
170,00 € / one night, breakfast included.
Booked via booking.com.

“My name is Traveler. Agent Traveler. I’m your contact here.”

Saturday 26th of June 2010

Bags had been packed at last, and the taxi picked us up at 7 AM in the morning.
The flight was half an hour behind the schedule, but on the way we catched up time and landed at Prague – Ruzynê Airport (nowadays Václav Havel International Airport), which represents Miami International Airport in Daniel Craig’s first Bond-movie “Casino Royale” (2006).

(Did you know: The chase around Miami airport was actually filmed at three separate airports in three different countries. They were:
Nassau International Airport in Nassau, New Providence Island, The Bahamas,
Dunsfold Park Aerodome in Dunsfold Park, Dunsfold, Surrey, England and
Ruzyne International Airport in Ruzyne, Prague, Czech Republic.)

Prague airport

(Did you know: The Virgin Airlines boss Richard Branson as a man at airport security. When British Airways showed the film on their airline, they blurred out the tail showing the Virgin Atlantic logo and cut Branson’s cameo.)

photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

We were going to go with Prague Student Agency´s bus (Duration two hours from Prague Airport to Karlovy Vary), but we had not booked a ticket in advance. In the end we went to the airport to buy tickets, but we had to wait for the officers because they had 1 hour lunch break. Eventually we got to the air-conditioned bus, which was jam-packed. We had to sit apart, we got the last places at whole bus to Karlovy Vary. Preparations of The Karlovy Vary International Film Festivals were going on during our stay in the city.

Karlovy Vary

We took a taxi from the bus station to the hotel, the price agreed upon in advance, 250 CZK. A taxi drove us directly to the Grand Hotel Pupp, at Mírové náměstí 2, Karlovy Vary (Hotel Splendide in “Casino Royale”, 2006) front of the “better” side of the hotel, where the doorman considered it important whether there were our names on the list, there were not, but steered us to “common people´s” side.

The four-star side showed that there appeared to have occurred a double booking, though, this became apparent only when the bellhop carried our bags to a room in front of the door, and opened for us the door of the room, and the room was occupied. Bellhop went to clarify things for us, and we got a room in the luxury side. A bitter looking reception guy told us that it is our lucky day, because of the confusion we were accommodated in five-star side, DeLuxe Junior Suite (room 367), instead of the common people´s side at the four-star First Class. Such a luck!

photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

Karlovy Vary is famous for its spas. One of the former, Kaiserbad (Spa / Lazne I), is located next to our hotel. The building was in the movie “Casino Royale” (2006).

“The coldest blood runs through my veins.
You know my name.”
(Chris Cornell: You Know My Name)
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

We went for a city tour of our own, explored Mill Colonnade, which is Montenegro Train Station in “Casino Royale” (2006) movie.

Bond girl Vesper Lynd (actress Eva Green and 007)
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC
Taxi picked up Bond and Vesper from here
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

Pizza and beer at Pizzeria Capri in which Daniel Craig has also had dinner. After pizza, we went to a horse cab ride, it was a nice way to explore the city, which was full of jeweler shops. A half hour ride cost 1000 CZK. (€ 100 = 2500 CZK.) When we had seen some of the city, we went to enjoy the hotel room and each other’s company.

Elevator @ Pupp
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

(Did you know: During filming mirrors in the Hotel Pupp elevator had to be covered by wooden panels to avoid reflections in a camera.)

Common living room @ Pupp, which was used as media center during the Film Festival
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

Sunday 27th of June 2010

After waking up, we went downstairs to have breakfast, which was quite a luxury! Coffee was poured into the cups for us. Bond and Vesper also had a dinner here.

photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

(Did you know: The ‘Vesper Martini’ is the famous drink, ordered by James Bond in both the book and the movie “Casino Royale”.

The recipe for Bond’s “Vesper” martini, as described in the 1953 book: ‘Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel’.)

We took a taxi for tariff at all day, it was CZK 2000. We went to the little town of Loket, (Karlovy Vary, Loket and Prague = Montenegro in the movie “Casino Royale”, 2006.)

The driver drove quite fast! The deal was that the driver was waiting for us in a couple of hours. It was the time we spent by exploring the environment, especially “Casino Royale” (2006) filming locations. We also went to Loket Castle, there was a torture chamber.

It was a really hot day, so we went to Hotel Goethe‘s terrace. (Bond meets Rene Mathis)

When we returned to the hotel we took our stuff to the room, and ordered a taxi again, and the same driver it was, who was driving us in Loket. Fortunately, we gave him earlier a good tip. He took us to Elizabeth Baths, there we used our voucher from the hotel. There was Salt Chamber to relax. We sat in beach chairs for 45 minutes, listened to the sound of water and soothing music, and were breathing sea air.

After this experience, we walked back to our hotel, where we saw Jaromir Jagr and other players of the national team of Czech Republic, after winning World Championship of ice hockey. We went for an ice cream to Cafe Pupp, Mika took a Martini Bianco.

In the hotel room we opened a little bottle of Creme & Caffe liqueur from Loket. After that we went to use our next voucher, which initially covered the 3-course dinner, but it was a 4-course set!

In front of Cafe Pupp

Becher’s Bar was located in the basement of Hotel Pupp. We were ushered to a table set for four, which quickly reorganized only the two of us. Drinks were not included in the price, but we got a voucher for food on the table in addition to the bread basket. Drank red wine and water. First introduced arugula, ham parmesan salad, then chicken noodle soup, main course was pork and rice, for dessert there was rum sorbet.

After dinner, we went to Casino for games, we got a drink and 3 chips. But before admission, ID was examined closely. We wanted drinks called “Air Conditioner”. Chips got us nothing more than experience.

Monday 28th of June 2010

We had booked with voucher a foot and shoulder Thai massage. We had adjacent treatment tables, by two Thai women. Mika got his treatment quite hard from the older woman, Pirita´s treatment was more gently by a younger woman. It was a special experience.

After this, we went to place nearby our hotel, to place called Diana Tower. We got up there with some kind of “mountain lift “(funicular), like a roller coaster, but more compact. Diana is a tower with a view, which has thankfully an elevator. Photos were taken from the top. Below we noticed a screaming peacock. Then we ate at Diana’s restaurant.

We used our last voucher, a drink coupon. Pirita ordered the Strawberry Colada. The bartender took us a couple of really successful photos. We went again to Becher’s Bar to eat, now we had the Wiener Schnitzel. Then back to the hotel.

Tuesday 29th of 2010

After breakfast we took a walk to see what kind of weather it was to travel to Prague. Hot it was again. Packed our bags, and gave the hotel customer feedback, which was praised specifically for Guest Service´s Ludvik and bellhop Jan. We went to the bus station by taxi, and took the bus to Prague, now got seats next to each other, and numbered seats were right this time.

Came to the hotel at Hybernska 42, Prague, by taxi from the bus station, but taxi was at first difficult to find, even though we were next to a taxi station. Hotel Golden Tulip had no hurry to give us our room. Finally we got a room 403, and when the bags had been carried in the room, we went to see the city. We first went to Pizzeria Rustica, which had a really good tuna-olive pizza.

From there, we walked to 007 filming locations, but we did not get in, or places no longer exist. We went to Jimmy’s bar (apparently former 007 bar) drinking Red Bull, and then we went to search for a taxi. In the hot weather it was the best to take a taxi, when we went to Vitkov Monument. (Body Worlds Exhibition interiors in “Casino Royale”, 2006)

(Did you know: The Body Worlds Exhibition in Miami was actually shot on a very cold night in Prague.

The bodies playing poker at the Bodies exhibition in Miami were made specifically for this film. Director Martin Campbell almost decided to leave it out because he thought it was too obvious.

The creator of the Body Worlds exhibit Gunther von Hagens can be heard and his trademark black hat seen – but not his face – during the sequence where Bond stabs a man in the museum in front of one of von Hagens’ displays.)

Vitkov Monument
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

During the day we bought some souvenirs, and went to a café-bar Trinity.

Later in the evening we walked to the local McDonald´s. After that we were fully ready to go to sleep, in order to survive the next day to get around Prague.

Wednesday 30th of June 2010

Got up early because we had decided to go for breakfast as soon as the dining room was open, so we were narrowly the first customers at 6.30 AM, and we ate comprehensive breakfast. After that we went for a three-hour morning walk, circled around and took photos in Prague, for example: Ministry of Transport, it was Body Worlds Exhibition exteriors in “Casino Royale” (2006).

Ministry of Transport
photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

We saw Rudolfinum, which organized James Bond charity concert as a part of the Prague Film Music Festival.
National Museum: We took photos from the outside. (Interiors of The Venice Hotel at “Casino Royale”, 2006 movie.)

National Museum

Statue of St. Wenceslas and other items we also took photos of. Returned to the hotel, and we were at agreed time at reception, because we had booked the previous day river cruise (900 CZK), which included lunch.

The bus driver picked us up on time, waiting at the center of Prague for our guide, who did not come then. The river boat, however, was in its place, it was not gone 11.30 AM as it was supposed to leave, but waited for us. Cruised along the River Vltava, and the later founded guide came to our table. She talked and laughed all the time, but handled the job very well, explained the history of the Czech Republic and attractions of it, humor was involved. We sat on the deck, but lunch was inside at buffet table.

During river cruise we took photos of The Dancing House, which was quite a view.

Tančící dům

After the cruise, we circled around again in Prague, we saw Charles Bridge, etc. Then we saw Prague Astronomical Clock and the trumpeter, who announced the clock hour. We went to dinner later at a pizzeria with a terrace in artificial green grass.

Charles Bridge: The statue of John of Nepomuk.
Astronomical Clock

Thursday 1st of July 2010

We had booked a taxi to airport one day before, that cost a little less than 700 CZK. Taxi picked us up from the hotel at the time of 9 AM. Finally we reached the security checks and C2 zone, and yet we had time to buy some souvenirs. In Helsinki we waited almost 1 hour for our luggage, but at least we got a taxi right away. We had a great trip, a memorable one!

See the list of 007 LOCATIONS (visited), excluding 007 HOTELS (visited) and
007 RESTAURANTS (visited), which have sections of their own, please follow the links.