Beauty Pampering Day

Thursday 12 August

When I called to make my reservation I did feel a little bit selfish and guilty but I knew I’d get over it.

I started with 35 minutes at the gym. Then cam home and played Scooby-doo games on the computer.

At 10:00 I took Andy over to the neighbors so he could join them on a trip to the dolphinarium. Petra surprised me with a potted plant! I have the best neighbors.

I can’t believe I’ve lived here 16 years and am still discovering local secrets.

I find saunas such a healing experience. Seeing all these real bodies wipes out all those false airbrushed/starved images from the media.

I am given my agenda. I tell the girl that I don’t eat sweets when a plate of apple strudel is set before me. At first I thought, ‘what am I going to do for eight hours?’ But it turns out I’m gonna be pressed for time if I want to try all the facilities. I say I don’t want to do the 20 minute sun bed that is part of my package. I’m already wrinkly enough. The infra red sauna looks intriguing.

The spa is decorated in peach, rust, tan, butter/egg yolk, cinnamon, gold and wheat colors. It exudes a luxurious, quiet, calm and feminine atmosphere.

After a short tour of the saunas and a quick soak in the foot bath- I am called for my first treatment. It’s a body peeling and gel packing. I am given the choice of; weight loss, firming or detox. I chose the firming. I am scrubbed and then told to shower. Then Franke, my beauty consultant covers me in gel, wraps me in a space blanket and another insulated blanket. She massages my scalp then leaves me to ‘bake’ for 15-20 minutes. It’s very hot. I remember the name of the singer of the song that way playing. It was Leonard Cohen singing, “Suzanne”. I shower again and she rubs me all over with lotion. Herbal tea is part of the treatment. It’s suspiciously sweet.

I enjoyed a tuna nicoise salad for lunch. Fresh squeezed orange juice. Bread, at least it was brown. I picked the croutons out of my salad.

The lights in the infrared sauna are timed. I sit there for 5 minutes and then go outside to cool off slowly. I am surprised that the raindrops don’t sizzle as the land on my hot skin.

Time for my foot treatment. My feet are peeled with a scrub, rinsed, then covered in a cooling lotion (mint?) wrapped in foil and then a towel. While my feet steep my hand and arms are massaged.

So then I shower and swim a little in the outside pool. The water is warm as a caress. I am eager to try out the other saunas. First I go into the Turkish steam bath. Always a favorite of mine. The ceiling is dark and there are twinkle lights sprinkled all over it. New age saxophone music with birds plays. To cool off I go outside and push the button for the ‘mist pergola’. A vine covered pergola is fitted with misting shower heads. What fun! Next I’m off to the herbal sauna. I can’t read the timer so I time myself by waiting until my navel is filled with sweat. After this I try one of the many cold showers. There is one fitted in the corner of the communal stall with six shower heads. I try to take a nap in a quiet room but I can’t. Weird.

After a cappuccino I try the last sauna. It’s a heated tile room. I drape my towel over a bench and lay on my stomach. The heat is glorious as it soak upward into my body. I try to lie on my back but the bench is too narrow. So I put my towel on the floor which is also heated and practice the yoga ‘corpse’ pose. My bones have relaxed into jelly.

I cool off by swimming in the indoor pool. During my last shower I wash my hair with the free body and hair soap. Gee, I’m clueless – forgot to bring my toiletries.