Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A Brit in a (naked) spa


Is it time for one of my naked spa stories yet? I think it is.

my lovely German friend

I am lucky enough to live very near to the world famous Champneys Spa, the original one in Tring, which means occasionally I hear about special offers so me and my friends can pretend to be rich and/or famous for a few hours swanning around in a robe in the beautiful building and grounds.
Tonight a group of 3 of us have booked a bargain deal where we get use of the facilities from 5pm-10pm and a three course dinner for not a lot of money.

My friends are taking gym gear and have booked treatments but I plan a more relaxing evening with a gentle swim, bubble in the hot tub, a lounge in the sauna and maybe a snooze in a relaxation room.

Packing my bag for later today reminded me of a very different spa experience.
Mention the word sauna to my close friends and they will snigger. And this is why.

I have a very close friend in Germany. I've known her since I was 17 and we are like sisters. She has four children and as the blog name suggests, I have seven, so visits over the years have been few and far between.

Now however our children are growing fast and we have been able to meet up in the UK or Germany pretty much every year for the past few years.

I went a couple of years ago for a girly weekend we had been promising ourselves for years through the nappy changing, sleepless nights and various crises that hit mothers with 11 kids between them.
We shopped, we dined, we gossipped, we cackled. And my friend suggested a spa day.

Great! I packed a little bag with swimsuit, towel and toiletries and off we went. We parked. We got out of the car. I grabbed my little bag. My friend looked at it and asked what was in it - I told her.
She laughed in a "oh if only you knew", kinda way. Only slightly troubled by this unexpected reaction (well, she is a bit mad anyway and German to boot) I followed her into the Spa.

We headed for a changing room which I entered to be mildly startled by the sight of a large, naked man loading his clothes into a locker. But I've been to Germany before and mixed changing is not uncommon.

And then my friend broke it to me - this was a naked spa!

She informed me that we would be allowed one towel each to cover up and use in the array of saunas and holding out two she asked which I would like? I told her to give me the biggest one - 7 pregnancies, a selection of surgeries and, OK, maybe one or two too many doughnuts, mean the years have not been kind to my saggy, stretch marked and scarred body.

I was comforted somewhat by the thought that maybe we would tiptoe around in towels and only have to lose them to lie in darkened saunas where everyone would lie with their eyes shut.
No.
the sauna-spa at Badeland
Wolfsburg ( pic from their website)
We walked through the entrance to the spa where I was greeted by a very elderly, very naked man with one foot up on a ledge rubbing his lower regions with handfuls of ice cubes!

Pretty much everyone was starkers, in their birthday suit, deshabille. And to be honest, after my initial panic and shock and after stifling a very English urge to giggle, I felt a bit silly and more conspicuous clutching my towel round me.

So it wasn't long before I joined my friend striding naked round the spa enjoying the many saunas, steam rooms and pools. Indoors and out.

Let me tell you something now. It's a myth that Germans don't shave. Some of them, men and women, apparently shave everything everywhere. Which can be a bit eye watering when they are stepping into a sunken jacuzzi which you are already sitting in.

Some of them are really into piercing. Again, a bit eye watering at close quarters.
advertising pic from Badeland Wolfsburg website
www.badeland-wolfsburg.de
But actually on the whole it wasn't as awkward as most Brits would imagine (As a nation we aren't good at nudity).

I felt relaxed and liberated and just as I, after a while, didn't notice the nude people around me, no-one visibly laughed or pointed at my well-worn body. Not even the workmen tidying up the park outside the Spa who had a perfect view of us all using the outdoor Swedish style sauna and dip pools.

Well, I say no-one laughed or pointed -not during this visit they didn't- but the story of my next visit will have to wait for another day!



Information This is not a sponsored post.
We visited; saunalandschaft at Badeland in Wolfsburg if you fancy a lovely treat and don't mind a bit of nudity.
http://www.badeland-wolfsburg.de/saunalandschaft/index.php)http://www.badeland-wolfsburg.de/saunalandschaft/index.php

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