Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Basking at Baden-Baden

Winter was getting old. True, the weather in Germany has been unseasonably mild, but certainly not balmy. And then theres the rain.
I began daydreaming of warm beaches, but neither my girlfriend nor I had the vacation time or cash for that. Then I remembered there was an easier escape nearby: the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden.
Since Roman times, people have gone to Baden-Baden to soak in the thermal water gushing from springs beneath the surrounding hills. Emperor Caracalla eased his rheumatism there in private baths, and soldiers enjoyed the spas public baths, the remains of which you can still see, at the renowned Roman-Irish Friedrichsbad.
When the Friedrichsbad opened in 1877, it was Europes most modern and stylish bathhouse. Thats according to its brochure, at least, which had me sold with its quote from Mark Twain: Here at the Friedrichsbad, you lose track of time within 10 minutes and track of the world within 20.

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