Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pur May

First main pool (the spring is in the upper right corner of the photo / pool, that's the warmest part). 

Another guest blog, this time from Florian. 
He's promised more but starts off at home, the Maibacherl, I believe the only natural undeveloped hot spring of Austria. And unique in it's seasonal character.

Already the name „Maibacherl“, translated „May creek“, implies the spring‘s typical character – its seasonality. Most time of the year the creek falls dry only streaming after major rainfall. In May it operates more frequent due to the snow melt in the mountain (Dobratsch), but it can also fall dry during that month but produce flow in other months, autumn or winter. A figure on a sign post at the natural pools illustrates the connection between rainfall and streaming of the spring (See photo below: chart above: spring flow in liters/second, second chart rainfall in mm):

There is a Facebook page dedicated to the spring which posts any sudden start of its flow.

How to reach Maibacherl: it can be found in a public forest / park to the south east of Villach, a city of 60.000+ inhabitants in Austria‘s southern province of Carinthia. Use the address „Judendorfer Straße“ intersection with „Napoleonwiese“ in your navigation device, there it’s on your left side. Parking is scarce but public transport to nearby station of Villach-Warmbad is available. From that road walk about 50-100 meters into the forest to the west and find the pools at 46°35'31.3"N 13°49'27.8"E.
Sign post with some informations in German
A public spa Kärnten-Therme can also be found in the vicinity as well as several hotels and convalescent homes using other permanent streams of the spring for healing purposes. In fact the original Warmbaderhof (a different indoor pool than the Kärnten Therme) has an indoor pool with a natural floor in which the spring directly wells up into the pool. It’s mainly used for curing illnesses with its calcium, magnesium and hydrogen carbonate content besides others, however there seems no sulfur present. The water is also said to be slightly radioactive because of its radon content.
First main pool (the spring is in the lower right corner of the photo / pool).
But the natural pools are in the park with more or less untouched nature, only a foot path leads to the spring. A changing cabin is provided on site, no other facilities present, no fee is charged. There are two large pools, about 10 meters in diameter, about 1 meter deep filled with crystal clear water, with a temperature around 28°C. On the spot, where the spring originates in the pool, the water can be also a little bit warmer. Local residents like to go soaking regularly but at other times you can have the pools for your own. Largest caveat remains the irregular and infrequent flow of the spring.
Thank you Florian, it certainly looks very interesting. Potential soakers may need to heed, that the ponds are very, very seasonal so you have to be lucky to enjoy these. 
Just to put this in perspective, here a couple of photo's with soakers, proof that it's a nice place to be: 
#everyyear #glacier #spring #thaw #intheforest #enjoy #fewdays #thermalwater #28degreesinside #2degreesoutside#insidertipp #maibachlquelle #relax #swim #happy #MAIBACHL #😊 

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