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Spa Experiences from Germany

Posted by Barbara DuBois | Aug 11, 2015 5:00:00 PM

This summer I had the good fortune of travelling to Germany, the country of my cultural heritage. My mother was born in Belgard, Germany, and when she was a teenager, my grandparents decided her frail health required an environment conducive to rigorous outdoor activities. And so, my grandfather took a new position at the Post Office in Kolberg, a train journey one hour away from Belgard and situated on the Baltic Sea. spaHere my mother could frolic on the beach in the summer and swim, play tennis, and take long walks with her friends. Kolberg is also a spa. While there are different kinds of German spas, at the typical German spa of almost any variety, you will find an emphasis on water-related activities. This would include not only swimming but saunas, steam rooms and cold pools to jump in once the sauna taker has had enough heat. Massages, special diets, and drinking mineral waters are all part of the “cure.”

Towards the end of World War II, my mother and grandparents relocated to yet another spa, called Bad Kissingen, situated in Germany’s southern-most-state of Bavaria. Kolberg then became Kolobrzeg, Poland when Germany was partitioned as a result of the terms of the war’s conclusion. The harsh realities of wartime existence, however, never deterred my family’s quest for good health.

Bad Kissingen is also quite the charming spa resort and a person can do many of the water activities that most spas have: saunas, steam baths, swimming, drinking natural mineral water, massages, as well as eating healthy food and taking yoga classes. Imagine long walks in beautiful rose gardens, theatres with plays, orchestras that perform in revolving orchestra pits to accommodate indoor or outdoor listening, quaint coffee shops, and large halls of dirndl dressed young women serving up glasses of mineral water. This was all part of the Bad Kissingen spa experience.

It occurred to me this summer that I am still maintaining both this zest for good health and my grandparents’ and mother’s spa lifestyle. Almost everything I loved as a girl in the beautiful spa of Bad Kissingen is right here at The Alaska Club and then some: a pool, saunas, steam baths, Jacuzzis, tennis and racquet courts, a healthy food café, classes for yoga (not to mention Zumba and Insanity, which are decidedly not a German tradition, unless you include some of the shenanigans of the Berlin nightclubs in the 1920s!) I believe my grandparents and mother would be proud of me to know I am keeping up my family tradition of utilizing all these facilities at The Alaska Club. I love the feel of good health and am grateful to be able to practice these family traditions routinely at my local Alaskan “spa.”

Topics: Gym and Health Club Exercises, spa

Written by Barbara DuBois

MA Health Ed. & Int'l Journalism; PhD Sports & Health History; Texas Tech Univ. & Wayland Baptist Univ. instructor; Health Ed. Program Manager Maniilaq Assoc.

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