As I drove through the quaint, old town of Baden-Baden, I saw signs to the Rheumazentrum or health center. It sounded interesting so I followed the signs to it. Upon arriving, I discovered the old spa called Freidreichsbad and the new one called Caracalla Therme (term-a).
I went into Freidreichsbad and signed up for their routine. Men and women were segregated as it was nude. First I was instructed to take a shower then was instructed to go into the steam room with other women. Next I went into a warm pool. A myriad of hot and cold therapies ensued including a plunge into a cold pool. It ended by being wrapped in a warm blanket on a table in a semi-dark room. It really stimulated the circulation and at the same time was relaxing.
The next day I decided to try the new spa. You are not required to follow a set routine there. I knew from the start this was the spa for me. It has 3 large circular pools, one indoor and two outdoors, with passageways at water level to go from indoor to outdoor without getting into the cold air in cold calling in germany wintertime. The pools have jets coming out of the sidewalls and floor and rotate to different ones every 10 minutes. Along with the jets are seats to sit on and slabs to lie on. There’s even a little waterfall to stand under and let the water beat on you. Two of the pools are pleasantly warm while the third is cooler for swimming. In addition to the 3 large pools are smaller pools: hot tubs, a hot pool and a frigidly cold pool. When you are tired of the water, there is a quiet room with lounge chairs to rest in.
On the same floor is a little cafe. It serves light fare. It has out-of-this-world tomato soup as only the Germans can make it.
On the second floor are saunas of various temperatures, tanning beds, hot tub, cold plunge pool, basins in the floor for a hot foot bath and another quiet room. As you enter this floor, you are required to remove your bathing suit but be sure you have a towel. It is used for sitting on. This is the way the
Germans do their therapy and they are serious about it.
They have a custom that incorporates extreme hot and cold temperatures. At a designated time, people go into a particular sauna. Once the doors close , no one is allowed to go in or out. The sauna is heated quite hot. Then a staff member swings a towel round and round over his head which circulates the air and intensifies the heat. After about 5 minutes of this, the door opens and everyone rushes out and jumps into the frigidly cold pool. I am happy to only be an observer of this.
Yet another therapy on another floor is massage. There are various types of massage: a relaxing one, an invigorating one in which the therapist applies percussion with his hands, a deep tissue massage to work out sore muscles, a soap and brush massage, etc. It is an excellent way to end a perfectly wonderful day at the spa.