To borrow a line from Sex and the City, I did not grow up in a naked house.
And though I’d heard only good things about the spas in Germany, I wasn’t completely comfortable with the “textilfrei,” requirement that took away the option of bathing suits. But, determined to make the most of my European experience, I decided that what I could handle was the “Ladies Day” at the spa – it was on a Tuesday and I went in the morning when all the women I knew would be at work. I figured it would be safe.
Remembering my first trip to the SchwabenQuellen, is almost comical because I was barely used to Germany itself which didn’t exactly help me and my comfort level in the spa. That’s really one of the reasons I couldn’t wait to go back because once I left I realized I didn’t do the exact thing the spa was meant for – to relax! Honestly, if you remove the big pink elephant that is all the nakedness, the spa is meant to rejuvenate and refresh you – I remembered this key fact as I prepared for my second trip back to the spa, this time taking John me on swimsuit day.
Should you choose to visit a spa, there are a couple of key items to remember: at least 2 towels (one for use during and one for drying off after), flip flops, a book (not an electronic reader – it’s pretty wet in there, and anything with a camera isn’t allowed), and soaps/shampoo for the showers when you leave.
Just even getting into the spa can be an adventure though. I was completely lost on my first visit until a very topless, yet friendly older woman literally took my hand and walked me around the locker room – helping me point my magnetic bracelet in the right direction to open my locker and where I could change if I wasn’t totally comfortable in the open bay area.
The feeling of being overwhelmed continued once I got into the main area – because the main area is huge! (And I actually think this is one of the smaller spas!) There are literally seven sauna areas, eight various spa areas, including a “salzgrotte” (salt grotto), six relaxation areas and seven different bodies of water – including a warm “pool,” a cool pool and a giant hot tub. It’s amazing.
I spent so much time hopping from place to place the first time that I never sat in one place long enough to truly relax. I completely missed the salt grotto the first time around and failed to truly appreciate the amazingness of the warm pool area.
It was a bit more crowded with people during swim suit day, but it was MUCH more relaxing. John and I lounged as necessary in the various saunas, appreciating the meditation sauna the most, and once the initial salt-paper on skin went away realized the genius of the salt grotto. In other words, it was two hours of relaxing bliss and yet, I still don’t feel I have taken complete advantage of the spa.
I still haven’t had a glass of wine in between massages, or lounged on the beds with the heated lamps while reading a book in between trips in the hot tub or the saunas but there’s time – there are plenty of ladies days still available. As much as I love the spas…I don’t love them enough to do them with naked co-eds! 🙂
Necessities: Two towels, shampoo and soap (for post-spa), flip flops, a book and an open mind
Time Needed: Don’t plan for anything less than two hours or you truly won’t enjoy the full
Quick Tip: Enter and exit the saunas as quickly as possible; other patrons will be less than happy if you let cold air in!