Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Hydrotherapy Swiss Style

This weekend just past we went to Baden, a short train trip from here, and lazed about a bit in the thermal baths. The sun was shining down on the snowy hills behind the town, and the sky was blue, making the setting rather lovely. There are two hydrotherapy pools, one indoors and one outdoors, and also saunas and so forth (which I decided to give a miss just in case nudity was required). Rest assured that everyone in the main area was appropriately attired, those Swiss present not seeming to go in for skimpy swimmers for either sex. I saw no banana hammocks and only one inadvisably small bikini (see sartorial note, below). However, there were some very hairy backs in evidence, Homo Alpinus clearly being a rugged beast. 

For the uninitiated, the hydrotherapy pool consists of a big swimming pool with a series of high pressure water jets around the edges. The water is toasty warm, and also mineral rich, and the idea is to relax, soak up the minerals, and get massaged by the jets. They start at ankle height and move up as you move to the left, ending up at neck & shoulders, and then they repeat so you get 2 cycles head to toe. This being Switzerland, there is a very organised procedure to follow. Every 90 seconds a doorbell sounds and everyone moves one jet station to the left.  One watches the procession for a little while to identify where the start/finish point is, and then one joins the back of the queue. This leads to a very equitable system of everyone getting evenly massaged all over, twice, but it does feel like being a sausage in a sausage factory! On a sartorial note, to any ladies who come to visit and would like to go to the baths, I strongly recommend bringing a snug fitting and modest one piece (the jets are rather powerful).

However, just as I was beginning to feel unnerved by how organised it all was, I was relieved to observe that teenagers are teenagers the world over. There were 3 who pushed into the line in front of me, and sometimes shared 2 jets and sometimes took one each, causing all sorts of havoc and bunching up behind them. They got many stern looks.

1 comment:

  1. Thats teenagers at a swimming pool though. Why they can't either be civilised adults about it or just not join in until they're old enough to play by the rules, I don't know but I think its what teenagers do, just as toddlers of 18 months - 2yrs tend to walk talk and cause chaos, but its ok, because they do it in a way that is incredibly sweet!