|I can’t get away from my namesake. It’s everywhere. No, I don’t think I’m related to this guy.|
The weather forecast wasn’t looking all that great for today so I made a plan A and a plan B and decided to just do whichever one was better suited to the weather.
Plan A was rent bikes and bike around Munich. Munich has a great system of bike paths and it’s nice and flat which makes it the perfect city to rent a couple of cruisers! Plan B was to go to the public bath house for a swim and steam. The biggest and most popular bath house is called Muller’sches Volksbad. I got my swimsuit to go to the pool, because it was raining when I left the hotel. As I’m walking, the sun starts to come out so I decided to do a couple of hour bike ride, then go for a swim.
So I got on my bike and set out. It starts out OK, but about ½ an hour after I start a dark cloud rolls over and the rain starts pelting down. Thunder, then lightning… not a good sign, and I’m somewhat far away from the bike rental shop. I waited under the cover of a gas station until it lets up a bit. I made a dash to try and get back before it starts to rain again but it was not to be. I was pretty soaked by the time I returned my bike and very ready to warm up at the spa/steam room.
|You can pay to just swim, and it costs extra to do the Roman-Celtic steam bath and sauna. I wanted to do it all, so I bought a ticket and tried to figure out how to proceed. There are no signs in English, and it’s not as simple as just going and changing and heading to the pool. You get a key card and you have to then go and get a small locker. You get a key from that locker that you use for the large locker upstairs to store your clothes and stuff. The guy at the desk spoke no English, so he was of no help. But thankfully some guy saw this poor tourist looking confused and told me what to do.|
There is no such thing as male/female change rooms in this place so I got my locker and changed into my suit. There are 2 swimming pools to choose from, the warm and the cool. The warm one was OK, but certainly not like a hot tub. The cool one was just like a regular pool temperature. I was cold and didn’t really want to swim per se, so decided to just go to the sauna/steam area.
As I’m walking over one of the employees comes over to show me where to go. I peek in, and everyone is naked. I ask him, “Um, do we have to take our swim suits off?” His reply? ” Yes!” Oh joy! To the Germans this is normal, everyday stuff. Plus, I’ll never see them again so who cares!
I had a small towel and a large towel. I’m trying to cover up as much as I can, but no one else seemed to be caring about letting it all hang out. The steam was amazing. Not as overwhelmingly hot as a sauna, but you were sweating. There was a 4 level fountain at the back of the room with cold water filtering in at the top and trickling down to get warmer at the bottom, so you could splash water on yourself to cool off a bit. I stayed in there for about 10 minutes then went out to dip in the cool pool. Hmmm… this was going to be tricky to do without exposing yourself… I’m still clinging to my towel and trying to get into the pool with as little flashing of the bits as possible.
I stayed in for a while contemplating my next move, and in this time I decided to just give up. I probably looked stupider trying to be so modest than if I had just walked around buck naked, so I shed my towel from that point on. If you can’t beat them, join them, right? After the cool pool I did a quick bout in the COLD (ice cold) pool and headed to the saunas.
They have 3 saunas in different degrees of heat. You start in the coolest one, then the medium and end up in the hot, hot one. The medium heat was my favourite. The cool wasn’t hot enough, and the hot was so hot I practically burnt my feet on the tile floor. I didn’t have flip flops which would have helped. Then it was back to the steam room, then the pool and repeated the whole process about three times. I was there for about 2 hours in total, totally nude for the most of that. I think I’ve passed a major milestone in my life. In the past I would have been so mortified I would have just run screaming, but I’m evolving I guess. My mother will be so proud!
***On another note, I’ve never seen so many penises in one place. I wasn’t trying to look, believe me! They were just… there. There were definitely more men in there than women, but I didn’t get a creepy vibe from anyone. Well, not too creepy anyways…
|View of the baths from outside.|
After that adventure I was starved so I headed to the Marienplatz for some lunch. There was a beer garden set up near a stage with a band playing some blues and stands selling food. I scarfed a frankfurter and a schnitzel sandwich and washed it all down with the daily requirement of good German beer! It IS a beer garden after all, and the sun was making another appearance. Whatever I’ve said about German food in the past you can forget about… I’ve had some delicious meals here! The sausages really are to die for. And no, I’m not talking about the ones at the pool. (: