Monday, April 17, 2017

Savouring

mariangela_fe in Itlay:
Pozza di Leonardo... svegliarsi in paradiso parte 2,3,4,5... #bormio #terme #pozzadileonardo #alpi #nofilter #igersitalia
With spring arriving on the old continent, everybody is gearing up for the upcoming great summer with a lot of travelling involved; relaxing, immersing oneself in new and/or different culture and enjoying nature's bounty. Thus, we come to soaking.

The Nomadwiki site has published (Mar. 5) an overview of free hot springs on this planet,  mostly from Europe. It pales with this site's own collection, which is still way better, but nonetheless another indication of how free soaks are becoming more sought after.

Spring heralds one of the world's seasonal (and free) soaks in Austria. aranziskf:
Maibachl rinnt 🌲🍃🌊 #Villach #Maibachl #tb #whereidratherbe
As is quite usual, there's another article from the anglophone culture which somehow takes issue with European soaking habits. It should be noted the issue for discussion is angst ridden body issues. The Heraldnet (Feb. 19):
'With my intense travel schedule, I savor detours where I put away the schedule and notes and simply enjoy the moment. And for me, there’s no better detour in Europe than visiting a public bath or spa for a relaxing, good soak.
Some Americans are prudish when it comes to enjoying public baths in Europe — especially when the dress code is just a towel. I understand the hesitation; my first time was awkward too'.
It's odd the editor choose to zoom in on the nakedness, the article itself is just an overview of the quirkier and/or distinctive local bathing culture and experiences on offer in Euroland.

 Soaking in the sources-chuade of southern France. schaveta:
 #renneslesbains#sourcesdeauchaude#naturel#nature#froid#zen#happy#goodday ♨
Wilder
An interesting article on the French racines corse website (May 3, 2016) concerning thermalisme on the island of Corsica which was a response to an original article.
It lists the islands hot springs:
  • Guagno les bains (closed),
  • Source de Guitera (partially abandoned, though 1 tub still available),
  • Domaine Rosa de Caldane (developed small-scale thermal baths),
  • Les bains de Baracci à Olmeto (developed, open in season),
  • Les bains de Pietrapola (developed, though some wilder sources available (?)).
jef.dup up in the French Pyrenean mountains:
#sourceschaudes #pyrenees #altitude #matinparfait #réveilendouceur #nature #intothewild #nu #ariege #sauvage #buddies #moutain #hotsprings #apoil
City slickers. From the tumblr of Budapest Bug an entry (Mar. 1) on Kiraly baths:
'Király Bath is the only thermal bath of Budapest, which was not built over a hot spring. Moreover, the only bath, which was really built by Turks'.
The article gives a fair overview of the unique history of these baths.

alisaambika on their story in Central Greece
Another great memory for our Greece trip. What you see are not some two sea creatures 😂 but my mom and I who are very relaxed and happy in this picture. This happened on the way from Athens to Stilyda (about half way to Thesaloniki). As we were passing by #KamenaVourla my husband remembered that his Grandmother used to take him and his brother to the beach in that area, but also there this is a place of natural mineral springs (which she used to go to, but they never did). Of course we had to experience them. There were three baths, we chose to soak in "Aphroditi Bath" the one for beauty. It was quite an experience for those who have ever tried Borjomi mineral water from Georgia, it really felt like being inside one of those bottles, except it the water was warm and constantly bubbling. The water was also extremely clear. My mom and I felt so great, that few days later we had to come back there for another session. The best part, these mineral baths belong to everyone who is lucky to discover them, free of charge. The springs of Kamena Vourla are known for their rare composition in natural minerals, salts and radon. Thank you Greece for this healing experience 🙏 😌#mothernature #mothernurture
Blessing
As usual a lot to mention from Iceland.
Important news from the equality front where Iceland takes the (global) lead. Reykjavik Grapevine (Apr. 3):
'There are no legal grounds for municipalities banning women from being topless at Icelandic swimming pools, says Supreme Court Lawyer, Unnar Steinn Bjarndals.
...
In light of Unnar’s ruling Reykjanesbær and Reykjavík municipality have released statements announcing that people can wear however much or however little they’d like so long as they wear swim bottoms'.
Stella Briem leading the way and showing the un-equalitists what she thinks ...
bless up
Iceland's iconic Blue Lagoon is getting new hotel facilities. Design online mag Inhabitat (Mar. 30) notes:
'The new hotel will offer visitors stunning views with floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces leading directly to the geothermal waters. For a broader view, guests can visit the hotel’s balconies to see the stunning scenery of the lava field. The goal of the new resort is to make its connection to nature as seamless as possible.
The subterranean Lava Cove spa takes advantage of the natural landscape, offering visitors the chance to explore lava corridors, waterfalls, and other geological features while they rest and relax. The new Moss Restaurant will serve up fresh, local, seasonal ingredients inspired by Icelandic cuisine, along with stunning views of the resort.
The new resort is currently under construction and set to open in Autumn of 2017'.
chris_innis at Reykjaladur: 
Hot spring vibes 🤘#Iceland #hotsprings #babyitscoldoutside❄️
The Reykjavik Grapevine (Feb. 22) reports on the environmental degradation around the volcanic Mývatn. Is the situation unique or is it symptomatic for the direction of Iceland's boom?
'The lake has been put on the red list of the Environment Agency of Iceland four years in a row, has been suffering from hypoxia, and calls for action have been made within parliament.
...
Despite this being a known problem, regulations protecting Mývatn from environmental damage have actually been on the books since 1974. Nonetheless, increased tourism traffic and run-off from nearby hotels is threatening the existence of the lake.
RÚV spoke with Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, the managing director of the Icelandic Environment Association, who said that a lax policy on issuing building permits for hotels and a lack of supervision has led to the situation as it stands today'.
howiwishiwasabird at Drangsnes:  
Thermal pools on the edge of the ocean. 🌊Soaking in the naturally hot water = bliss! #nobikininoproblem #westfjords  
Guarantee
Probably the most important news from Italy seems to be the deal to view all hot springs surrounding the central Italian town of Viterbo as one and managing the resources sustainably with some aquifers which have run dry due to commercial extraction being revived. 
The comprehensive plan (Il Messaggero, Mar. 8) refers to this as the Bible of spa's for the region of Lazio
It contains a plan of how waters cold be extracted sustainably, but whether or not this will happen remains to be seen. 
The same source (Apr. 13) follows up with another article discussing what development might well take place in the Viterbo region. 

isa.mat at San Casciano:
Stored in my heart drive!!!
#hotspringsinthewoods with #soulsisters #autumintuscany #natureismymedicine #bestmoments #pictureoftheday #iloveyouso #bestideaoftheday #naturlovers #nakedinthewild
Earlier this year, Viterbonews24 (Jan. 29) notes how the free hot springs of Bullicame will be entitled to receive some government subsidized amenities: showers and toilets. Because it's deemed they are required.
In Lafune.eu (Mar. 1) a response from the Bullicame managing committee. It seems the politicians taking this decision were ill-informed. As of November 2014, there's been no waters received at all, as a neighbouring commercial operation is sucking all waters from the Bullicame source in spite of having no permission to do such. The committee managed to drag the commercial company before a number of tribunals which voted more or less in their favour, though simultaneously affording a stay of their decision allowing the commercial company to seek judicial recourse or alternative source of waters. The most recent decision (June 2016) still is ineffective as it doesn't seem that the neighbouring spa is making headwaves in getting other alternative sources for it's waters. 
Giovanni Faperdue, the committee's spokesperson and Bullicame ambassador notes that the situation continues, while the public bathing opportunities are in ruins.
'Oggi nessuno lo può garantire”'
No guarantee. That the Bullicame bathing opportunities will be restored. 

#selfie #italy #trip #travel #toscana #photography #mobilephotography #lg #lgg4 #happy #color #canon #gopro #water #sun #landscape #hotsprings #bath #toptags#tweegram #photooftheday#20likes#amazing #follow4follow#igdaily #instalike #picoftheday#instadaily #boywithtattoo #tattoo

Balance
ThinkGeoEnergy reports (Feb. 13) on how opposition to geothermal energy generation in Italy's Tuscany has been legitimised by the regional council:
'... the Regional Council of Tuscany has issued a draft resolution “regarding the definition of areas not suitable for the installation of the geothermal power plants in Tuscany”. The resolution aims, so local politician Tommaso Fattori , to find “a balance between the different vocations of the territory, including the tourist and agricultural, linked to typical products and high-quality” .
In short, the first objection of the various committees of residents who have been opposing new geothermal installations, was substantially upheld by the regional council.
The main concerns of the opposing groups is a possible tarnishing of the “brand” Tuscany, intended largely as a life insurance of quality agriculture and tourism built on the slogans “slow” and sustainable. They have therefore pushed a discussion on new permits, and the development of new geothermal power plants'.
#mermaids #hotsprings #spa #thermals #italy #tuscany #petriolo #blondgirls #blondhair #blackswimsuit #tattoo #tattoogirl #nature #wild #joy #fun #relax #redwine #bestfriends #travelers
But then the same source (Apr. 10) jumps on more positive news (for it's objectives) from the same region:
'Over the past three years, about EUR 100 million ($107 million) floated back into the local economy in the geothermal areas in Tuscany. The international work of Enel Green Power on geothermal projects, e.g. in Chile and Germany also provided contracts to two Tuscan companies worth about EUR 25 million'.
lbeckyl in Armenia:
 տաք ջուր ինչքան սիրուն է
#hotsprings #armenia #hrazdan #chillandsweat #bestertrip #schneebaden #amazing
Soakadrome
To counter the beer spa's of central and eastern Europe, Termatalia reports (Jan. 11) on Galicia's first vinoterapia spa at the monastery of San Clodio, in Leiro (Ourense):
'The new facility will consist of dressing rooms, three massage rooms, two single and one double, with specific treatments of wine therapy; A relaxation room, sauna, a steam bath, contrast showers, spa-pool of 40 square meters and rest areas which, according to the head of Tourism, will be the "perfect complement for the province of Ourense thermal. Idea is to create a "unique space" where will be offered treatments with wine therapy'.
take me back to the hot springs!
#galicia #españa #spain #hotsprings #dog #instapets #instadogs #forest #adventuredog #adventure #outdoorlife #españolesenfurgo #vanlifers #vanlife #vanlove #enfurgomolamas #motorhomelifers #motohome #f4f #freethenipple #travelwithdog #camping #campingwithdogs #lavidacaravanalavidamejor #galifornia
Finally, a slightly dated German  blog entry on an adventure (Inspiritana.org, Nov. 30, 2016) to Andalucia's Santa Fe termas. A number of pointers:
  • if your car is stuck a neighbouring farmer will assist for a fee of €15,
  • in the weekend expect men who sit all day watching the bathers (hmmm),
  • bathing takes place mostly naked (= that explains pointer before),
  • please take out your trash.
Despite some apprehension the visit gets the thumps up treatment.

 More thumps up for Santa Fe. zazalaikha:
 3 de enero y yo bañándome (jkjk disfrutando de los aguas termales de Santa Fe )🏔

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Day after

Rest day... #julianalps #thedayafterpowder #warriorrest #skierrest #hotsprings #lapolveredigiulia #freefromfriction
It looks like that winter is coming to an end: the time when snow melt creates the unique warm springs of Maibachl - Austria (above).

Though much snow has been seen in (northern) Greece this winter, the photo's on offer (below) are more climate neutral. 
Nestling just under the Turkish coast, is the island of Icaria with a great many of hot springs to discover; the final photo of this paragraph is the more visited hot springs of Thermopyle, central Greece.

In ten days we cycled form north Icaria to south, to north again to pick up the forgotten phone at the post office and to south again where our ferry would leave. In the south we discovered the amazing hot springs: for free, nobody there, where you can chill in a hot bath in the sea.
 温泉关战役,硫磺好温泉 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 #hotspring #thermopyles
Fight
Bagni Di Vinadio, Piemonte, Italy. chiarassam:
 Fighting the winter 🆓🛀🏼🏔#vikinggirls #pozzetta #hotsprings #bagnetti #nightexplorer #freddo🐷
No better way to keep warm in the Italian wet winter than a visit to a ramshackle hot spring. 
Above the hot spring near Bormio (northern Italy), while below the baths of Il Bagnaccio (Viterbo, Lazio) who host a load of twilight soakers.

Il #bagnaccio di sera #viterbo #terme #tuscia #tuscialife #igersviterbo #igerslaziorepost #igerslazio
Lusting
theuniversemademedoit at Seljavallalaug
There is no serenity like the serenity that exists within.
#experiencenaturism #naturism #serenity #nudity #freedom #iceland #hotsprings #nature #photography #selfie #goproselfy #gopro #sunset #mountainlife #gypsy #wanderlust #vagabond #travel #globetrotter #blog #alignment #frequency #outdoors #explore #thegreatoutdoors #outdoorgirl #travelgirl #hiking #natureporn #lawofattraction
Though Iceland just saw a record amount of snow recently, this issues' photo's are less snowy but nonetheless enticing. 
What happened to their clothes?

After an hour of hiking, we finally made it #Hike #travel #wanderlust #skinnydipping #Iceland #reykjavik #reykjadalur #hotspring #naturalspa #spa #moutains #waterfall #hotsteam #vacation #adventure
Continuing on the clothesless theme, below from the island of Corsica, the natural hot springs of Pietrapola. 
While on the mainland (France) a slightly more dressed-up photo from the Auvergne's hot spring of Mont Dore.

 
Dont need to go to Island #sourcedeauchaude #brulante #pietrapola #corsica 💦🔥
 
#auvergne#france#dordogne#volcan#bois#hotspring#woods#super
 #cool#likes#comments#foret#eauxthermales#source#sourceschaudes
#nature#relax#naturaleza#bain#bainnaturel#soufre#sulfur#secretplace
#photo#sourcevolcanique#релакс#spa#montdore#фото#travel
Beating
megp624 on the Azorean island of Sao Miguel:
Swimming under these waterfalls is something I will never forget!🇵🇹💜 #waterfall #hotsprings #nature #beautiful #mountain #mybaby #expierence #amazing #fun #azores #portugal #motherland #green #happy #cantbeatthis #vacation #caldeiravelha
Now we're getting into the miscellaneous nations, above Portugal, followed by a chilly Slovakia.
 
Kalameny, Slovakia. minarikd:
vo vode, pod lesom..len tak🤙🏼🏞📷😂
.
.
.
.
#gopro #hero5 #slovakia #goproslovakia #hero5black #trip #nature #forest #water #travelling #dnescestujem #winter #snow #teamoverkillslovakia
Less cold is of course Spain. The first photo below is from a warm spring in central Spain, while the final photo of this blog is the often highlighted Termas de Santa Fé, near Granada, southern Spain.

Villatoya, La Mancha, more or less hottish. pichorolo:
Happiness is hidden in the small daily details🌳 Like in my hometown's thermal river, where the water emanates from the soil at 28°C♨
.
.
#chilling #spainisdifferent #relaxing #温泉 #naturaleza #spain #españa #river #thermal #hotspring #instagood #getoutdoors #onsen #thegreatoutdoors #beautifulplaces #beautifullife #countryside #countrylife #spanish #hotsprings #staygreen #tree #natureaddict #nature #naturelovers #naturalworld #adventure #hotspring #beautiful #relax
Termas de Santa Fé, Andalucia. mollyshepherdd:
When lost in the dry lands of Spain.. head for some hippie vans and maybe you'll find some magical natural hot springs and have a magical day in mud and eggy smelling water 🌎💦🏔 #hotsprings #spain #travel #hapus

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Feel free

 thinking about french fries #Iceland #travelgram #vik
Here at the soaking family of blogs we like to keep things natural. 

But all over our planet there are threats to this naturalness. 

If it's not money pouring in to sanitize nature and charge you for the simple enjoyment of what nature's bounty has to offer, it's us humans and our social customs that are a deterrent for a natural enjoyment now and for future generations. 
The threat posed by ourselves is apparent and global. During the past half year I've seen complaints from Mangatatu (New Zealand), T'sek (Canada) and Umpqua (U.S.A.) just to name a few. They all revolve around trash. Where management is minimal, abuse unfortunately seems to be just around the corner.

And with the tourist invasion in full swing in Iceland, it's a no-brainer that those pretty Icelandic hotpots are likewise under threat.

One of the most beautiful and highly visited hot springs is that by the name of Seljavallalaug. Often praised and appreciated here on this site (see f.i. lead photo) the amount of tourists coming to her shores seems overwhelming, but no doubt for those who make the effort, they'll sing her soaking tune of soul saving.
But despite what everybody is taking away from her experience, a lot of the more materialistic culture is being left behind. Now don't get me wrong, if the experience was such that you vow to never ever use that bathing suit (m/f) again, all the more power to you. 
But it seems what's left behind has less to do with empowerment, but simple lame-ass laziness.

It's therefore really positive to see that there are persons out there who are willing to do more than their fare share in assisting in keeping Seljavallaug as natural as the mountains it's lies in, even though it's a man-made swimming bassin. 

The following comes from a simple instagram posting by vorusse and he shares this experience:
'I usually don't post any moral shit here since I usually don't care about the moral shit anyone else is writing - but here I go.....
Today I wanted to spend a few hours at Seljavallalaug, one of the oldest swimming pools of Iceland where I go quite often since I work around the corner. Today I saw the result of unorganised mass tourism... The changing rooms were so dirty and all drainages where clogged, the rooms were 15cm under water... I went back to my workplace, got all I thought I need to clean this shithole, took the tractor and drove back. After two hours I decided to make a picture of one room which is almost cleaned up and then a few afterwards....I found a lot of shit, literally... Diapers, condoms, tampons, piles of shit wrapped in towels (Thanks for that pleasant surprise) and about 15000 ISK [$125+] in coins and a Casio watch - both taken by some asshole who thought these things just lay around there....
There is no road going there, you hike up there for 15 minutes I get it but please take your trash with you... Thanks to the tourists who threw money into the donation box after seeing what horrible things I had to collect there. That one guy was so disgusted he threw 2000 ISK in the box....
Two huge trash bags were filled only with garbage and clothes from around the pool because some super assholes don't have the decency of assholes to throw the clothes in the corner of the changing room.... It took me five hours, just to have it cleaned a bit... Five fucking hours... It got dark already so I couldn't even relax in the pool, I had to go back... I offended the elves running around naked a few weeks ago, so they don't tolerate me anymore after sunset, true story.
Feel free to share with friends going to Iceland... Seljavallalaug is not a single case, other places are suffering too'.
And this is the accompanying photo with before / after pictures:

#Seljavallalaug #iceland #tourism #hotspring #Reykjavik #vík #Hvolsvollur #humantrash #garbage #chatzeaids #shit #shitwrappedintowels #icelandtourism #icelandtours #icelandvisitors #Seljavellir #icelandtour
A depressing note on what we call civilization with a silver lining on those individuals that seek to alter our habits and inspire others to do likewise. 
It would have been obscene not to share this with you. 

When soaking, use your brains: cleansing is for the soul, but nature is to be left pristine. Take out your garbage. Take out that of others. And heed this lesson and act on it everyday you can.

Started my trip with my first onsen and ended it with one. #wanderlust #adventure #offthebeatenpath #mysterious #pieceofheaven #onsen #hotspring #iceland #reykjavik #allgoodthingsmustcometoanend #tonewbeginnings #lifeinthenude

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rising

stajnernina at Grič pri Klevevžu (Slovenia)
What a day!
#travel #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelblog
It's always difficult to get these updates concerning recent publications of Eurosoaking culture underway.  How will I present these? Based on topics? Countries? Do we have a lead article? Should it just be photo's?

Much from the following originates from Iceland, partially due to the language used, partially due to the many tourists vis-à-vis locals as well as (impartially) its' soaking culture and soaking surroundings.

Perhaps the lack of news might allow me to get away with posting more pictures ...

Anyway. Let's start with the quirky. Geothermal food. Thinkgeoenergy (Nov. 25) adds to the list geothermal pizza:
'Reported by Deutsche Welle, a pizzaria in Naples in Sicily/ Italy is maturing its low-yeast pizza dough in caves of tuff for up to 36 hours'.
Click on the article's video link to a short reportage from Deutsche Welle to see the ongoings, but also discover that the same chambers (dating from Greek times) also are used for growing basil.

reesa413 at if I'm correct France's Mont Dore
Natural hot spring pool along side the creek🏞#nature #hotspring #mountains

Pissed
In previous updates I've already reported on Budapest's hot spring parties. The Guardian continues (Jun. 4, 2016) on Budapest's hot spring parties:
'Sparties combine well-known DJs playing electro, trip-hop, hip-hop, funk and trance with light, video and laser visual effects and unlimited alcohol. And thanks to founder Laszlo Laki, whose company Cinetrip began specialising in nightclub silent film projections shortly after the fall of communism, they have been running for almost 20 years. Nowadays, there’s a party almost every Saturday; in the summer at the aforementioned Széchenyi baths (known as “Szecska” to Budapeštas, it’s Europe’s largest thermal baths, with temperatures ranging from 27C to 38C), and at residents’ favourite Lukács in the winter months. There are also two Cinetrip “mega parties” annually: one in August and one pre-New Year’s Eve.
...
We’re not sure what to expect from the Sparty – would it be a crazy continental piss-up, or a “lads on tour” nightmare?
...
As soon as we descend the stairs, we are surrounded by drunk semi-naked people drinking lethally strong mojitos. It’s freezing cold and raining a bit but we’re fine once we’re in the water – which is so hot it creates a cloud of rising steam above everyone’s heads. If it weren’t for the pumping music, the flashing lights and lasers, it would be a bit like having a beer in a hot bath, which is not unpleasant. 
...
We have a good dance but, as the night wears on and the pool becomes even more packed, we decide we’ve had enough. My boyfriend says he senses the atmosphere change as people get more hammered. Certainly on TripAdvisor there are posts mentioning problems with groping, and condoms in the pool. We don’t witness any of that and the organisers take security very seriously, ...'.
It's worth looking at the reviews on Tripadvisor itself to see whether or not it's your (hot) cup of tea.

As a side note there's this list from skyscanner (Apr. 2015) of Budapest's best baths.

Or you could look for the 15 best sauna's of Budapest (Foursquare, Nov. 8).

Or there is this from ruanawayjuno (Dec. 28):
'A Guide to Budapest’s Thermal Baths'. 
Quite thorough guide and list.

Indoor soaking. jurismetums at Vardzia, Aspindzis Raioni, Georgia
Pietiktu veco padomju šķūni aizvietot ar pamatīgāku ēku, un par iespēju plunčāties šajā karstā minerālūdens baseinā varētu prasīt prāvu samaksu, taču būs zudis tas Gruzijas smeķis... Mums bija iespēja divvientulībā baudīt Džavahetijas termālos sērūdeņus par pat ļoti simbolisku maksājumu vīram ar šķūnīša atslēgu (18.09.2016.). #gruzija #gruzijasmirkļi #latvietisgruzijā #kaukāzs #mazaiskaukāzs #samčedžavahetija #džavahetija #baseins #sēravots #karstieavoti #termālieūdeņi #minerālūdens #georgia #georgiacountry #republicofgeorgia #caucasus #caucasia #lessercaucasus #samtshejavakheti #javakheti #thermalwater #thermalsprings #pool #mineralwater #hotsprings #spa
Sunset
The baths of Bagnaccio (Lazio, Italy) are to be managed. Managed differently that is.
Il Messaggero (Jan. 5) reports that as of March this year, it's proposed that associations (private / public?) can bid for management. Standards have been set. 
From the translation of the article it's unclear to me what may now well occur to the currently semi-public run hot spring. Let's hope for either little change or at least adequate public access without paying exorbitant entry fees.

zerbo89 at Bormio's Pozza di Leonardo
#povertàtime #pozza #sorpresa #sistavapeggioquandosistavameglio #ciccionichesbucano #snow #terme #termefaidate #lanatura #altrochebagninuoviovecchi #ghiacciolo #circolazione #solopozza
Australia's thoughts on Germans and their bathing culture? Australia's Travellers.com (Nov. 21):
'But for Olympic levels of nuding up in public, the laurel wreath – or maybe fig leaf – must be presented to the Germans.
...
Though there have been reports in recent years about the decline of nudity in the open air, there's one place that the sun will never set on naked Germany – its public baths'.
What follows is a review of three public sauna's / bathing houses in Hamburg, Köln and München.

 Alhaman de Granada is famous for its hot springs. Perfect for a cool day. Although the Spa is closed until April, we're enjoying the warm mineral waters that flow into pools outside. Free to all. #Andalusia #travelspain #spainiswonderful #hotsprings #spain🇪🇸 #granadaspain #naturalspring #AlhamadeGranada #balneario #warmwater #spaintravel #baños #españa #thermalbaths
Illing
Greece a paradise for soakers? Greek-is.com (Jan.3) believes so:
'With about 800 locations of natural curative resources, most of which are water-related, Greece could be described as a paradise of healing spas. Still, most remain undeveloped: only 34 springs have been officially recognized so far, while recognition of another 60 is pending'.
Who needs official recognition?
Concerning ancient Greece:
'For the Athenians, both hot and cold baths were an indicator of civilization and a part of everyday life.
On the other hand, the Spartans and Macedonians, both fierce warrior tribes, preferred cold waters and avoided the balaneia, where they believed the heat just made one soft. The Spartans made an exception for the pyriaterio, which they used to work up a sweat before diving into the ice-cold waters of the River Eurotas to toughen themselves up'.
el_bennet on Lesbos
#girl #hotsprings #lesvos #island #greece #time
Finally on modernity:
'The Greek spa towns enjoyed one last period of glory in the 1960s and 70s, as the new middle class began to vacation there, taking advantage of their proximity to the sea. Naturally, spas were no longer a high-priority treatment option and were only used incidentally by those preferring cosmopolitan beaches. Thus, they gradually came to be used only by the elderly, and their use came to be associated primarily with cures for illnesses. In this way, spas came to be regarded as destinations for the old and the ill'.
In a further article (Jan. 17) the list of Greek soaks is summoned, some high end, some more rustic.

Tremors
And then it's over to Iceland.

Iceland's love affair with non-natural geothermal heated pools continues as does it tourism influx. Latest entrant is a proposed warm beach in the northeast of the country. Reykjavik Grapevine (Jan. 17):
'RUV reports that the owners of the Blue Lagoon and Jarðböðin í Mývatnssveit, along with eleven shareholders, have committed to investing 280 million ISK to creating a “warm water beach” at Urriðavatn lake, near Egilsstaðir.
...
In implementation, geothermically heated water from a borehole near Urriðavatn will be pumped into the water to provide the sort of warm-water bathing experience '.
Nearly there, except that there's no beach ... heidarlogi 
near the Reykjanes geothermal power station
 A hidden gem where the warm geothermal water runs into the ocean.
📷 @ellithor
A first hand soaking report (where have they gone?) from Gurrity on soaking at Seljavallalaug (Apr. 2016):
'Several times throughout that trip, we all talked about the importance of soaking up every single moment — and as often as we could remember to, we put our phones away and I kept my camera at my side, and we would soak up every sound, every breeze, and every scent. With every blink, every breath, I knew it would be more and more painful to leave.
We hung around the pool waiting for an older couple to leave, and when we finally had the pool to ourselves, we stripped down and got in, because yolo (or, “yoiio,” which we coined for “you’re only in Iceland once,” which obviously did not apply to me). And shortly after, the Santa Barbara grad I mentioned before showed up, and timidly joined us. He was so nervous to have stumbled upon four skinny dippin’ ladies that his hand trembled when we passed him our flask of bourbon. And every time we forced him to be our photographer [see photo above]'.
Take off
What is it with prudists and bathing at the more public (read less natural) hot springs in Iceland? 
Icelandic tradition and (sensible) hygiene decorum means having a naked shower pre-soaking is the only way to go. But it seems that whatever the intentions of this rule are, prudish bathers feel that their civil rights (and tourist rights) are trampled on.  

Tripadvisor has a discussion kicking off on December 23 concerning the Blue Lagoon showers: what do they look like? 
Seems like a very serious question, though hardly relevant. But later on it seems the requester fears his co-trippers. When someone notes that apparently no one had showered naked, it was seen as a sign of disrespect. The whole discussion notches 16 replies.
But not even a month (November 30) before, Tripadvisor has the same kind of question. Naked showering required? This time 32 replies, all quite similar to the first mentioned discussion.

Meanwhile, Iceland itself is more concerned about equal treatment for either gender whilst soaking in a more public setting. And the question is are females allowed the same clothing  freedoms attributed to males?
The Icelandic Monitor reports (Jan. 16):
'A student at the University of Iceland was told to leave the pool in the small town of Akranes on Saturday for swimming without a bikini top'. 
Apparently this was not very (modern?) Icelandic culture.

Þetta instagram censored mál þarf að vera meira umtalað. Þetta er fokking FÁRÁNLEGT.
Later that day, the same source reported from the nation's capital:
'Following news of a woman being shown out of a pool in the small town of Akranes in Iceland, the directors of the City of Reykjavik sports and recreation department (ÍTR) have confirmed that guests of the city's swimming pool are welcome whether they wear a top or not as part of their swimwear ensemble'. 
Surely, equal gender treatment if not universal, should within the same nation have the same standards / requirements. An explanation please!?
 
Finally took my coat off
Beauty
More or less on the same topics as above I came across this recent (Jan. 3) Facebook posting by Caitlin McCormick:
'There's a whole crap-ton of pressure this time of year to get skinnier and/or more jacked, and I'm feeling self-critical and tired. It's easy to feel overindulgent, misshapen, and wrong. So to combat it, for myself and you, I want to share a moment of grace I had this last year.
When I was in Iceland with Chris a couple months ago, one of many awesome things we did was go to a public "pool." Their public pools are fed by hot springs and look like the multi-level lounging kinds of pools they have at Caribbean resorts. They're all over the place, and Reykjavik has a few. They're public meeting spaces and a way to survive, or even enjoy, the long dark days of winter and even the temperate summers. All of them are about 95-110 degrees, so basically giant hot tubs.
Part of the Icelandic pool thing is that everyone must shower first. Totally nude, you have to soap up, hair and body, in a large open communal shower room. I guess some Americans freak out about this. I was a tiny bit nervous, but there are lots of blog posts that give you the whole process in detail, so I felt prepared. We paid our way in (five bucks or so), and I went alone into the women's locker room. Ladies were stripping down. Females of all ages, from infants to the elderly, hovered around in various states of undress. Women were storing their things in lockers and heading to the showers without bothering to hide in a towel or robe. Apparently there are even people at the locker room doors to be sure everyone has showered, but it didn't feel militaristic in any way. It was just... normal.
In the showers themselves, twenty shower heads pointed into one big room with lavender-scented body soap dispensers on the walls. There were some plastic IKEA high chairs for babies and even a couple of low baby tubs for the tiniest ones. We moved about this room, naked as jay birds, lathering and cleaning and actually enjoying the hot water. And there was this feeling that I've never had in American locker rooms: shamelessness. People weren't hiding or even avoiding others. Twelve year old girls giggled together while they washed their hair. A baby in her high chair was washed by her mom. An older woman sang to herself and danced in the spray with her granddaughter. And there were bodies of every size, age, and color. And shape. And hue. And hair color. And boob size. And nipple size/color. And pubic hair decision. And hip. And back fat. And height. And butt cellulite. And eye color. There were punk chicks and there were nerdy girls and there were women whose bellies showed the babies they'd carried. Even though Iceland is very white, there was lots of racial diversity in this social catch-all place. There was a woman with one arm.
Don't think I'm weird for looking. I wasn't studying anyone, we were all just there. Every single female body variant was present, and everyone was comfortable in her skin. We smiled and nodded to each other, strangers chatted, no worry or shyness or shame.
It was so enlightening because it was so obvious to me in that moment that:
1.) we are only given one general body type to consider, as women - in clothing ads, movies, tv shows, everything - as if there's only one body type and it exists everywhere (except, of course, our own) - and that body type (lean, average height, maybe curves but no cellulite, thin hips, flat stomach, modest boob, no defined muscles, no assistive devices, and always a visible bony clavicle) is SO INACCURATE; and
2.) there are a million ways that the female body looks, and it's always beautiful. ALWAYS. That's what I felt in that space. Every body is normal and beautiful and perfect'.
Termes naturals al ríu le tet

Primer contacto con el norte de Cataluña y Francia.
Sentí que el otoño me abrazaba a base de colores, paisajes que conquistan los ojos de cualquiera.
Baños de azufre caliente que te dejan la piel arrugada y nueva
Francesas que te enamoran leyendo poesía..
💕
#termas #naturalezaviva #hotriver #camping #fontpedrouse #naturalspring

Euro soaks visited