It’s freezing outside with fog hanging over the little village of Bad Brambach. I like these autumn mornings. Even though these temperatures feel like winter instead of autumn. Frozen leaves are covering the path leading down to the spa. I’m very happy with the winter cap and thick gloves I bought a day before. It was so cold when I visited the little village of Bad Elster, that I fled into a cafe for a hot chocolate. Apparently, autumn is a little different in the mountains of Germany from the merely rainy and humid autumn in the Netherlands. I even found snow when I made a long walk around the village of Bad Brambach.
A little group of five people is standing in a pool and saying hello to our physiotherapist, who will take us through the exercises in our water gymnastics class today.
She’s handing out big hula hoops. These hula hoops make the exercises more difficult but also more fun. I do have to laugh when I look around me and see an elderly couple and two older gentlemen trying to twirl and dance with these hula hoops in the water. I used to love this hula hoop when I was young, in the 1980s. Now, it’s 2010 and in this pool we’re composing a scene for the daily gymnastics morning show broadcasted on TV for 65 year olds. Nonetheless, the exercises with the hula hoop will make my muscles seriously feel hung over the day after.
Thankfully, after this half an hour of stretching, twirling, dancing, and thorough exercising, an empty swimming pool is waiting for me to cool down with a few lanes of swimming. Yet, the best follows after: A mudpack and a massage.
While I'm waiting in the “Fangopackung” room, a lady comes in with a big bucket with mud. She puts, or basically throws, loads of thick nice warm mud on my back, hips and knees. It’s called fango and originates from the area. She wraps me in plastic and covers me with a thick blanket. With “Schlaf schön”, she wishes me a relaxing 20 minutes of sleep. I can’t sleep, lying in mud, but do close my eyes and concentrate on the warmth of this mud going into my muscles and warming my joints. It’s very relaxing, although it feels a bit weird, lying in a thick layer of mud. After a red light bulb warns me that time is up, the same lady removes the thickest layer of mud. I move into the shower and see the leftovers disappearing down the drain.
With a very sleepy head, I’m putting my green bathrobe on and wait for two minutes until the physiotherapist invites me for a massage. She’s trying to get all the knots out of my back and she’s punishing my muscles and joints for all the pains they’re normally causing me. My sleepy feeling is quickly transforming into a fully awakened one. It was a great massage, but I’m sure, by the time massage was over, my back looked completely red. She recommends going to the Ruheraum for fifteen minutes of ‘recovering’. Not a problem at all. Five minutes later, I’m lying down in a comfy chair with a heavy red blanket over me.
Certainly, one of the best things of this spa therapy holiday is the time I spent on thinking, reading, watching clouds moving and birds flying or just noticing the silence. And all that was already possible in my daily time in the relax room. It’s now two weeks later and I’m working in a big office with four colleagues around me and are chatting continuously, and I miss my Ruheraum incredibly.