Europe: Day 10 – Relaxing

Inside the Dom in Aachen

Our last day in Europe and we decided to take a day and relax at a spa. Not just any spa, but a fancy one about an hour away in Aachen. This gave us the opportunity to visit a Christmas Market without the crowds and enjoy some Frühwein Glühwein together.

The group was a little tired at this point, and we were all a bit glazed bumbling around the city. A tangent trip into the smaller cathedral proved to be quite nice. The stained glass was funky.

We found the spa and finally figured out the entry and locker system and were raring to go. I had my fantastic newly acquired bad german swimtrunks and towels borrowed from the hotel. This place, the Carolus Thermen, was like an indoor waterpark. A family joint, it had all sorts of pools and hot tubs. You could swim outside to a “swirly” pool that fired up every half hour or so and created a current around the perimeter where you could float or swim. It was great fun and I think we managed to get there three times.

I stepped inside the first sauna of my life, and I stepped out a few minutes later. It was hot and dried my nose out. Made me sneezy.

The highlight though, was the “tepid room.” A place to quasi-meditate that was perfectly suited to the body’s temperature. After trying to focus, I eventually found myself floating away in a nap.

The tepid room was the first step of a complicated German process, but we failed to complete the other steps as there were no clocks or clear labels for the steps.

One last swim in the whirly pool, and it was time to head back to the hotel. Some Döner kebabs for din-din and an insanely early flight awaited each of us.

It was a great way to end the trip.