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Nudity in Public. Sort of.

16/10/2008

First, let me explain the obvious: I am using a new blog software. If you happen to connect to the old Heidelblog over at blogger, there is a permanent link that will bring you here to the new one. I just like WordPress better: it’s cleaner, more user friendly and whatnot.

Now onto nudity. Yes, my own, my friends, and the strangers around me. I have been hanging out with nude people in Austria and Germany. And certainly there was an initial reluctance. If you remember from my first trip down this naked path, I went to a lovely spa in Bad Kissingen here in Germany. Nice, but still weird for me.

Since then, my friend, Sara, who I was in the Peace Corps in Kenya with, has come to visit, and we went to Austria to visit her relatives. While we were there we went to the largest thermal bath in Europe at Bad Schallerbach. It was like Mall of America big, but imagine nude people with all their bits flopping about instead. There is no way to overexaggerate here people. Bits. Flopping. About. Everywhere. At this second place, I still felt awkward, but I was getting over it. I mean, when everybody at the Mall of America of spas is hanging their stuff out to dry you can only get over it (and gawk in your peripheral vision, making mental notes to discuss later after you’ve left, which we did do–discuss, that is).

Then spa number three was just this week–the famed Friedrichsbad in Baden Baden here in Germany, only about an hour’s drive away from us. Even our Belgian friends knew about this one.

From the outside, you’d think the place was a city hall or something. No hint as to what lies inside (literally and figuratively!). It’s pretty easy to pack for an afternoon that has no clothing involved, so we just went with emergency towels (no towels provided in Austria and we were not taking our chances). We walk in to this beautiful old building and pay our 29 Euros each for a 3.5 hour sauna and seifenburstenmassage (brush and soap massage). Up the stairs we go, to the right (ladies are to the right). All clothes are off and we begin a 17-step process of going through hot rooms, damp rooms, thermal baths, showers, cold baths, a sleep room, and emerge stress free.

Ok, so now for the gig. You are naked, just walking around for three hours. Surprisingly, this is not a big deal. By this point we have seen some real scary bodies so I am standing tall, if you know what I mean. I got nuthin to worry about. This bath was really interesting in that everything was organized with numbered placards so you were getting the ultimate benefit (of course I am a fool for organization). The massage was interesting. That woman rubbed me raw with that brush, and when she was done, slapped me on the arse twice and said, “You finish. Go shower.”

And off to the next room I went with its geothermal heating. I think I took eight showers that day. After all of this, you get to go to a sleep room, where all the other finished naked spa-goers are, and take a nap in this beautiful room where your spa lady wraps you up in a sheet and blanket (surprisingly very comfortable). All I could think of was, “I am a snug as a bug in a rug

After this wonderful day we grabbed two pieces of Black Forest cake (Baden Baden is in the Black Forest), and then made our way back to Heidelberg. This place is definitely on my do-again list.

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3 comments

  1. The most surprising part of the Friedrichsbad is the oh-so-thorough Seifen Burste massage. I thought they only did your back. Below is my experience there.

    http://rachelsrandomness.blogspot.com/2008/01/rick-steves-lied-to-me-but-i-will.html


  2. NAKED!!!!! Totally Butt Naked!!!!


  3. Ok, first when I come to visit again we do not have to do this and second, you are my hero! I have a hard time even changing my clothes in the locker room at the gym.



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