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За СПА в Австрия

What do you need to know about SPAs in Austria? – part 2

In the first part of this post, I offered 5 tips for a well-planned SPA experience in the Austrian thermal baths. I continue with the remaining 6 important things that should be considered.

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6. In dry saunas, you sit on the towel.

In addition to being able to dry you after a shower or pool, the towel also serves as a mat that you sit on in the dry saunas. If you still haven’t decided to take it off and you’re tightly and reliably wrapped in it, you just go in and sit down. But if you’ve gone to the next stage, you take it off and lay it on the wooden grates, you sit on it, not on your bare bum. This is necessary because firstly you can burn yourself on the hot boards, secondly it is not hygienic to place your private parts where someone else will sit later.

За СПА в Австрия

7. There is specific etiquette in the steam saunas.

You enter the steam sauna naked, without a towel. There’s no point in being with it, not that anyone’s going to tell you anything, but it soaks right up and becomes pointless when it’s wet. You hang it in front, on the hangers.

You go inside and look around for the small showers located next to the shaped seating areas. You wash the place where you are about to sit. First, because you cool it slightly for your own comfort, second, you rinse it to be clean. When you finish breathing the eucalyptus and mint aromas, and sweating, you get up, again wash the entire place where your body rested and say goodbye. If the thought of someone else’s bottoms previously residing in this place bothers you, don’t try a steam bath at all.

8. It’s nice to greet when entering and exiting.

Austrians like to greet each other and they don’t need to know each other to do it, as it is on the Balkans. When you enter a sauna, you can greet with Grüss Gott (the Austrian greeting) or in English, German, Italian, as well as in whatever language you like, when you leave you say Chüs, Bye, Ciao or whatever you like.

9. It is good to drink water and cool down regularly.

Don’t be a hero, don’t deprive yourself of water or cooling if you get very hot or thirsty. All thermal baths have a bar area where you can buy a drink or even eat. You can also drink water from the tap, it is usually mountain and of good quality. Lie down in the relaxation zone if you feel overheated.

За СПА в Австрия about SPAs in Austria

Again, I recommend that you DON’T drink alcohol if you plan to stick in a hot sauna again. There is a danger that it will feel sick and worsecollapse.

It is desirable and healthy, after a very hot sauna, to go outside in the cold, rub yourself with snow, dip in a cold pool, pour on yourself a cold bucket or take a cold shower – some are even under pressure. It’s shocking, but it’s very nice afterwards- you feel reborn.

10. I recommend visiting the Aufguss ceremony.

Aufgus is a special ritual in which a ceremonial master performs a program in a sauna for about 10-15 minutes.

The program includes a specific selection of herbal extracts or liquid with fragrant oils that are poured over the coals at certain intervals. In this way, extra heat and an explosion of aromas are generated, and the master rotates them in the sauna with specific sharp and smooth movements with a towel. Thus, everyone feels strong rushes of heat or a smooth whiff of aromas. But it’s not just that. The master of ceremonies explains various things, jokes with the audience, and they respond back. Everyone laughs heartily, sounds like an impro theater. The bad thing is that this rarely happens in English, since foreigners are a minority in the thermal zones. Usually everyone chatters in an Austrian dialect, sometimes normal German is spoken, or Italian, but while I was there, no one bothered to speak English, let alone French or any Slavic language. It’s good that everywhere they thought I was Italian, and they talked to me in a language I knew.

За СПА в Австрия about SPAs in Austria

Ceremonies are usually announced in the SPA program. The saunas have names and the program says what time they start, in which sauna and what type of ceremony it is. They also announce the arrangement in several languages. Some programs are with herbs, others with salt and foam, others with cream – they let you spread it on yourself. In our steam bath, they gave out a cream with ground coffee, which also served as a peeling. The heat dissolves the pores, expels the toxins, and then you clean and fill them with the cream, nourishing the skin.

At the end of the ceremony, the audience applauds the master, if he/she is particularly good and if the people have not had enough hot, they may ask him/her to continue if he/she still has some fragrant liquid left. All of this happens with more laughs and banter from everyone.

IMPORTANT WARNING!

If you have an intolerance to sitting for a long time at high temperatures such as 40-50°C, do not attend such a ceremony.

If the thought of someone else’s naked body touching you terrifies you, I also don’t recommend trying Aufguss.

Because many people gather at these ceremonies, even if there is a place, no matter how narrow it seems to you, it gets filled. There is a danger that in the steam bath you will be close to someone, and in the dry one, someone sweaty will lean against you for a while, etc. They make sure it doesn’t happen, but as he tries to climb up to the top row behind you and spreads his towel, you can feel someone’s back cheek near your head, a wet side, or else, well you understand …

Also, in order to reserve a place, you have to enter 10-15 minutes early. This means that during this time you are exposed to intense heat and then you have to endure being in these high temperatures for so long. Consider if it’s for you. There is no shame in walking out if the heat makes you sick during a ceremony. It’s not very cool to open the door while everyone is steaming inside, but it’s better than collapsing. Apologize and get out. I did so. There were no seats, they were left only on the 3rd floor in an amphitheater dry sauna with a temperature of 90-100oC and close to the coal. After the third pour of the aromatic liquid and rotation of the air, I felt that I was not feeling well, I excused myself and went out. I heard some comments and laughter behind me, of course again in Austrian dialect, it wasn’t polite, but that’s the way it is. It’s allowed and it’s human.

Also, during one of the ceremonies, an Italian opened the door wide, thereby interrupting the steaming, sneaking in, besides there were almost no seats, his fellow citizens began a loud conversation in Italian and German, which continued for some time until he was seated and brought a serious disturbance to the ceremony. The master took the opportunity to joke with the newcomer, which caused more laughter from the others. No one got angry, more over- it was fun.

So, avoid the top rows and the places next to the coals if you don’t want to be very hot.

And if you still want to try Aufguss, but you can’t stand the dry heat, go to a steam sauna and sit next to a shower that rinses the seats. From time to time you can run cold water and cool your head, feet, face until the ceremony begins, and then since it is short, you can easily stand the warmth.

11. Last and most importantly, before heading to the Austrian Therme, research them on their website.

It says in detail what the prices are, how many types of saunas there are, what the etiquette is, whether there are family areas, whether there is a ladies- only- day or a ladies- only- area. As the Austrians realize that unisex and nudism are not universally accepted, they have made sure that there are also variations with separate saunas or gendered day. You can look at pictures and see if there are any pools outside, what the temperature is, what the views are like, and that will encourage you to try.

I highly recommend a visit to the Austrian thermal baths.

It is well worth the money and any initial discomfort. Once you let it go with all your constraints, it becomes a passion. And see there how you will get along with friendly families, because it can be confusing to find yourself in the saunas gathered together naked.

If you are in the Austrian ski resort Bad Kleinkirchenheim, I can recommend a specific thermal complex. Follow the next posts to find out which it is.

How to book your stay for a ski vacation?

You can book your stay right hereFor your convenience, I have added a booking.com box, which refers directly to their site. I guarantee you’re going to use all your genius discounts and privileges they would offer to you and I will get a modest commission. Just enter the dates of your trip, the place, then hit the Search button and voila.


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