Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Carpe diem

Spending the morning at Furnas thermal springs. #furnas #terranostra #thermalsprings #hotsprings #azores #travel #travelgram #Portugal #wanderlust #polishgirl #paradise #me #instagood #instatravel #vacation

Cry
A more extensive posting from around Euroland.
Ninety-one days. A very interesting travel writing concept. Jürgen and Mike travel around the world but stay in each country/state/city for 91 days. During that time they have much more time to visit more off the track places. And give daily updates.
For instance, on the Macedonian leg they visit Bansko:
'For time immemorial, the naturally heated waters which flow from the springs of Bansko have been prized for their therapeutic properties. The Romans established a large bathhouse here, the remains of which can still be seen near the Hotel Tsar Samoil.
...
We walked over to the large Tsar Samoil, which fulfills multiple purposes for the people of Bansko. There’s the hotel, a restaurant, conference rooms, a public pool, and a rehabilitation center which makes use of the water’s purported health benefits. We paid about $1.50 apiece and went into the changing room.
The swimming hall is a little run-down, but the pool itself is large and clean, and the water feels great. Just be aware that the other swimmers consist mostly of patients and elderly people treating their aching bones. Nothing wrong with that, of course, just as there’s nothing wrong with, let’s say… very old women with bugged-out crazy eyes who can’t keep their tongues in their mouths. But as I was relaxing against the edge of the pool with my eyes closed, exactly such a woman feeling her way along the wall half-climbed onto me, and I nearly screamed'.
They have some interesting photo's, amongst others this:

They also visit Katlanovska Spa not far from the capital of Skopje. Once more the experience is not according to expectations:
'Turns out that Katlanovo is principally a rehabilitation center where people suffering from maladies like broken legs come to recover. It’s also been marketing itself as a spa for tourists, but the overwhelming majority (actually, the sum total) of people we saw were patients, most of them hobbling around on crutches'.
On their itinerary are a visit to the hammams of Skopje, Macedonia's capital. No sweat anymore, the places have been transformed: 
'Today, the Daut Pasha and Čifte Hamams serve as venues for the National Gallery, and we visited both on a sweltering afternoon in July'.
ATARAXIA :)!!! #CarpeDiem #AguasTermales #Placeres #Ataraxia #autumm #beautiful #renneslesbains

Last year they stayed the 91 days in Iceland and as could be expected it's jam packed with hot springs.

Fame and fortune
Other big news from Iceland:
'Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has at least twice tried to buy the famed Blue Lagoon'.
So reports the Reykjavik Grapevine (Sep. 24). The Blue Lagoon is Iceland's iconic hot spring, located in a field of lava rocks. But the reported deal stems from 2006. It didn't go down, so the article continues, the Iceland icon proudly remains in the hands of Icelandic investors.
 
Less iconic, but possibly more enjoyable? catbiell, Reykjaladur, Iceland.
 'Warming her cold buns in the hot river'

Sascha's soaks
Benjë, 10 km from Përmet, Albania


There are three hot springs, the one on the picture is the biggest one but also the coolest one, about 28°C. There is a gravel bottom and no algae. The water is good for people with skin problems. The water in the other sources is warmer about 35°C and are good for stomach problems. 
The surrounding is absolutely great. On the other side of the river is a small restaurant. They offered us also to camp; next hotels seem to be quite far away in Përmet. In summer week-ends, this place seems to be quite popular by locals; it is advisable to come in the morning. 
My evaluation: 4 stars (I would have given 5 stars if the water would have been warmer).










Abandon
Over on Soakersforum over the past few weeks, there has been a sudden flurry on Euro-biased contributions. Italy features prominently. 

What do we learn? We learn about Erio Rosetti & Luca Valenti, authors of Italian language guide books, Terme e sorgenti di Toscana, Terme & acque minerali del Lazio and the not so recent more Terme e acque segrete dell'Emilia Romagna.

It also draws attention to the publication L'Italia delle Terme, an overview of all Italian old-style (though still grand) places for a bit of thermal bathing. The list contains just 490 places! 
With this in mind, further research reveals the website therme.info which lists all of Italy's thermal baths as well as many from neighbouring countries. Other websites to search for more info for soaking in Italy are thermeitaliane, or the terme's listing on benessere.com

Hot springs in ítaly #cascatedelmulino#toscana#tuscany#hotsprings#águastermicas#aguastermais#quente#cachoeira

From ThinkGeoEnergy (Nov. 11) we learn that in the Tuscan village of Montieri 425 houses now receive direct heating from a local geothermal plant. One of the challenges:
'A challenging part of the project has been retro-fitting the historic houses and buildings of medieval Montieri village. This has required a high level of care for the town’s high cultural and artistic value, in particular the full reconstruction of narrow paved streets containg the water supply and drainage pipes'.
The aforementioned poster on soakersforum, Neptun, also gives the link to an Italian language overview by the Italian Trade Agency (?) of Greek hot springs, Termalismo in Grecia. Extensive, it does miss quite a few soaks out on the islands.

Bit of nudie swimming at the abandoned harbour village of Avlaki. The water was warmed by the hot volcanic spring. #nisyros #avlaki #greece #skinnydipping
Avlaki on Nisyros island, source.


Hot enough
Fresh back from visiting Andalucia, Spain. With the coastline being under siege all summer, one should heed that the backcountry is very picturesque and equally enjoyable. If not, more so!
We visited a couple of great soaking locations as well as hiked in the mountains of Sierra Nevada and splashed in a couple of very cold streams. See my postings elsewhere on this website.
What did surprise me though is the lack of non-Spanish information on many of the hikes and dips ...
Back on the coast another good place to visit from Almería is the national park of Cabo de Gata. This protected coastline boasts many delicious and mostly undisturbed beaches. Wish it were closerby ...
Anyway a good site to seek out (more) springs be they cold / hot in Andalucia is conocetusfuentes.com. It's a rather long list ...

When is a soak a soak? I ask this question because I found some web info on the Baño Chico of Durcal in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. Nearby is a bigger pool, but a touch cooler (source). 
At nearly 25°C is Baño Chico soak worthy? On a hot day, yes, but how but in winter? 
Here's a photo from website above, in summer ...:


Admiration
Thermospas has a list of 5 of Europe's best hot springs. Top to no. 5: Saturnia (Italy), Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), Aqua Dome (Austria), Bath (UK) and Széchenyi (Hungary).
The mostbreathtakingplacesintheworld.com (Oct. 28) adds to the accolades for Saturnia naming it the most visited place in Italy. Luckily there's no evidence of the many visitors, because it just intent on capturing headlines. In reality it's not too busy ... It does add:
'You can enjoy the most awesome photos of Terme di Saturnia, I suggest after seeing those pictures you might be wishing to visit Italy some day soon offering to relax and swimming around in the hot spring water of Terme di Saturnia'.
You can enjoy the most awesome photos of Terme di Saturnia, I suggest after seeing those pictures you might be wishing to visit Italy some day soon offering to relax and swimming around in the hot spring water of Terme di Saturnia. - See more at: http://www.mostbreathtakingplacesintheworld.com/discover-terme-di-saturnia-hot-spring-the-most-visited-place-in-italy/#sthash.rGd5bXBr.dpuf
You can enjoy the most awesome photos of Terme di Saturnia, I suggest after seeing those pictures you might be wishing to visit Italy some day soon offering to relax and swimming around in the hot spring water of Terme di Saturnia. - See more at: http://www.mostbreathtakingplacesintheworld.com/discover-terme-di-saturnia-hot-spring-the-most-visited-place-in-italy/#sthash.rGd5bXBr.dpuf
You can enjoy the most awesome photos of Terme di Saturnia, I suggest after seeing those pictures you might be wishing to visit Italy some day soon offering to relax and swimming around in the hot spring water of Terme di Saturnia. - See more at: http://www.mostbreathtakingplacesintheworld.com/discover-terme-di-saturnia-hot-spring-the-most-visited-place-in-italy/#sthash.rGd5bXBr.dpuf
Bags packed?

More reliable words for the upmarket section of my readers. And others who are just plain curious. A freetravelguide (Sep. 22) to one of Europe's classiest soaking opportunities, Karlovy Vary, better known as Carlsbad for us non-Czech. The attractions:
'Today the mineral springs of Karlovy Vary attract patients seeking natural treatment options for health issues like gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic disorders, diabetes, gout, obesity, periodontitis, but also liver, pancreas, gallbladder and biliary tract conditions. The hot springs also fascinate the tourists who come to admire their beautiful pageantry as they rise, in or near five colonnades. The most prestigious of them is the Mill Colonnade (Colonnade Mlynská) with its Renaissance architectural style. It contains five sources and has a booth in which musicians play. You can also visit the Hot Spring Colonnade (Colonnade Vřídelní), home to the hottest spring (73 ° C) or the Market Colonnade (Colonnade Trini), home to two springs, including the one discovered by Charles IV'.
Though the language used may not add to the attraction, the entry itself is quite extensive.


Manolo López on the hot springs of Saint Thomas (France):
'El lugar es conocido en la zona y frecuentado por personas todo tipo de edades y preferencias, como es de entender por su entorno prima la armonía y naturalidad del desnudo, pero no se discrimina ninguna otra opción, siempre que se respete la concordia reinante.
Una experiencia tan sencilla como memorable'.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Euro soaks visited