Thursday, June 5, 2014

68° Celsius

When I put that number in the Math is Fun conversion tool, it translates to 154.4° Fahrenheit. That is really, really hot. I know because I recently experienced that temperature in the hot air room of the Friedrichsbad spa.

(Very) hot air room at Friedrichsbad
I have always wanted to go to Baden-Baden, a spa town in Germany that has so many baths, they needed to say it twice. I've heard that it was the ultimate in the spa experience. I am pleased to report that we had an awesome time.

We wandered around the pedestrian zone, bought some books at the book store, ate good food, and, oh yeah, spent three hours naked at the Friedrichsbad.

Friedrichsbad is the old bathhouse. It was built in the late 1800s over the ruins of a Roman bathhouse. I guess there have been baths and spas here from Roman times until now, since the hot water keeps bubbling up from the ground.

There are seventeen different "stages of well being" at Friedrichsbad, although we skipped the ones that required extra payment. We decided to have the basic experience for our first time.

If I remember correctly, the stages are: shower, warm air room, hot air room, shower, sauna, hotter sauna, shower, hot pool, warm shallow jacuzzi with jets, cooler pool, shower, cold pool, drying off, lotion, rest room, and finally the reading room. We went on a separate day, so we were mostly on the women's side. The jacuzzi and cool pool are for both men and women.

The hot air room is incredibly hot. You have to wear shower shoes (provided) or your feet would probably get burned. Even figuring out how to lay on the wooden benches on your sheet (provided) was difficult. Luckily, the recommended time for the room was only five minutes. I'm not sure how much longer we would have lasted.

The building is gorgeous and the tile work is a wonder to see. There are signs in each room explaining where you are and how long you should stay. The people who work there were very helpful and friendly. In fact, the whole experience was really wonderful and not like any other place I have ever been.

Although you couldn't only do one part of the spa process, I have to admit I really loved the rest room, also known as the quiet room, or the relaxation room. They truss you up like a burrito in a sheet and blanket, then leave you warm and cozy to relax in the silence, broken only by the snoring. (And I wasn't the only one!)

I don't mind being nude at all, so there was no stress involved for me, but I was really proud of my companion who overcame any fear she had and just went for it. Now she can truly do anything else she might be nervous about.

I can't wait to go again.

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