Yesterday, I was swimming in the pools pictured below. What heaven eh? What you’re looking at is a very large pool filled with hot spring water, and a smaller pool more suitable for doing laps. The big pool has a snail shell-shaped whirlpool, bubble jets under shallow seats, a big mushroom spilling water over the edges, sprays of water from pipes (ouch), and whole areas of bubbles under foot. All around are mountains and sunshine. What’s not to love?
I enjoyed the novelty and even emptied a bucket of cold water on myself after fifteen minutes in the Swedish sauna area. However, a two-day break of pampering spa time and treatments just isn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, Les Bains de Lavey in Switzerland is a beautiful thermal spa with a very high standard of customer service, a wide choice of beauty treatments, and a lavish hotel with everything you’d expect, but I just couldn’t relax. Why? Because I’m not comfortable with nakedness in front of strangers. I struggle getting naked in front of the doctor.
Day One of my ‘Wellness’ package involved wearing just a paper thong and trying to gracefully get into a giant spa bath of water while the attendant watched. Once the spa time was over, there was the salt rub. Refreshing, sure, but lying for twenty minutes wrapped in plastic and a blanket is not my idea of relaxing, despite the calming music. I felt like I was in a body bag. Itches couldn’t be scratched and I was bored. Once unwrapped, the attendant watched me ungracefully dismount the table to rinse away the salt. I’m comfortable with my body, but I’m not comfortable parading in front of strangers covered in salt and a paper thong.
And then it got much worse. I had added a massage to my package and was greeted by a hunky young French man who, as he massaged my upper leg, told me to “let it go”. I said I was finding it difficult to relax. He suggested too much stress (nope), too much work (nope), and then in jest suggested not enough massages. Wrong again, young hunk. I couldn’t relax because I knew he’d soon be turning me over and seeing my paper-thonged body from the front while rubbing oil on my chest. Of course, to save my modesty, he had placed a towel over me at the start of the massage, which he held up above his eyes while I turned over half way through, then placed back down on me. But the towel doesn’t stay on. Why bother with the towel? He used it to cover my legs while he exposed my upper body and vice versa. Did I enjoy the massage? Kind of, but not really.
Day Two involved getting naked in front of the same attendant from Day One and some weird bath cocoon that sprayed hot water from above and underneath. I was covered in cocoa butter at the time, and was later slathered with mud by the same woman, then left wrapped up once more. No doubt many people love this, but it just wasn’t for me. Thankfully, the reflexology session later that day involved taking off my sandals only. Relief. The reflexologist had barely finished before I was out the door and in my car on the road back to France!