Saturday, January 30, 2010

Soaking in the City of Spa

Winters in Belgium are dark, dreary, and seemingly without end. Latitudinally speaking, this country is up in middle-Canada range, which means that for too long out of the year the sun rises around 9 a.m. and sets before anyone even thinks about leaving work. Add to that the regular Belgian weather pattern of 364 days of clouds often mixed with rain and sometimes even snow and you've got a populace so racked with the winter blues it's hard to imagine recovery could be possible.

Then you learn about a city called Spa. Yes, Spa, as in the city that gave English a word that means "A resort providing therapeudic baths." Located in the Walloon (French-speaking) Region of Belgium, and known as the home of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix, and for its mineral water company of the same name, the city's Thermes de Spa attract winter-worn pilgrams who come to soak in the baths, roast in the saunas, and breathe in menthol-scented air in the steam rooms. In short, it's paradise for those of us who are counting the days until Spring.

For the surprisingly reasonable price of 17 euros, a couple of friends and I were able to spend three glorious hours in the Thermes' warm, envelopping, fully relaxing, non-winter environment. The café food was yummy, and the view of the surrounding hillsides that you take in while leisurely floating in the outdoor pool was magnificent. We left Spa feeling healthy, refreshed, and ready to tackle what's left of this dark, dreary, never-ending Belgian winter.

If you go:

Les Thermes de Spa
Colline d'Annette et Lubin, 4900 Spa
Telephone : +32(0)87 77 25 60
About 1h30 from Brussels by car

1 comment:

Zhu said...

Lucky you! That looks like the perfect "beat the winter mood" fix!