I went to Weisbaden, Germany for a conference and went to the most amazing spa. The conference had nothing to do with the spa, actually. It was a romance novel conference but I’d been in contact with a woman from Wiesbaden and when she found out I was coming to Germany, she told me to save a day for her. She took me to the most incredible spa – the Kaiser Friedrich thermal baths. It’s based on the Roman thermae of ancient times, and I wish I lived next door – I think I’d be there every day!
If you’ve never been to a Roman bath, it’s a huge complex with many different rooms with names like tepidarium, frigidarium – many different saunas (dry, wet, steam, Swedish, even saunas with different scented steams such as lavander and pine. The building is built on the site of natural hot springs and there is a large “hot pool”. There are different pools for hot and cold (a cold pool is called a plunge-bath), and showers of different temperatures as well, including one so cold it has chips of ice in it!
The idea is to go from one temperature to the other, relaxing in between in a tepid room (there is one room with glittery stars on the ceiling to look at as you relax), and to generally spend a few hours to rest your body and mind. It really was wonderful. I was back the next day to try a treatment with different types of clay for my skin, then to a “light” room, where I lay on a lounge chair to experience the sunrise, noonday sun, and sunset all in the space of ten minutes!
I would deinitely recommend going to the spa – but there is one thing – everyone is naked, clothes not really allowed, so you can’t be too prudish.