We’ve been at the Thermal Spring in Baden yesterday. It was quite an adventure. After managing the rush-hour stop-and-go traffic around Zurich, Lisa (our loyal GPS navigator) found the place easily.
I know, friendly dragons are popular at the moment, however this bath is guarded by one of the mean kind, sitting right at the entrance. She asked us if we *really* *really* wanted to go to the Sauna, as they would close it in 2 hours time. When she told me the price, I dared asking her if I could pay with card. She told me (in a grumpy voice) that, yes, I …*could*… do that, she would just have to cancel all the typing she had done so far and redo everything from scratch. As I am not sure she would have started breathing fire upon my insistance, I surrendered and offered her cash.
The water itself is nice, 36 degree celsius, and they have an in- and outdoor pool. They have a series of massage nozzles and some bubble areas. What I found really annoying, however, is that they have a signal reminding all people to move on to the next nozzle. Other Swiss pools also have something like this, using an orange flashlight (which I find a bit annoying as well). In Baden, they ingeniously came up with the ideea to install a regular door bell chime, sounding off every 30 seconds. So after a while you start thinking: “could somebody just open the door and let these annoying people in?”
The pool is proud that already the old Romans build an impressive bathing centre there, called “Acquae Helveticae”. I easily believe this, I also think they left the same interior design in place since then. Doors, and furniture are made of a time-worn dark wooden paneling, the Sauna area features a dark brown/orange interior. The cold water tub was empty and there is no apparent place to put your bathing suit, so I had to bring it into the sauna. Nobody complained though, as I were alone in there anyway. There was a fan in the sauna, and whatever it was trying to do, it suceeded only in being noisy as hell.
Everything looks like it has been designed (and then left unchanged) in the 60s. The men’s bath room has black and red cables looking out of the light switch, with a piece of isolation stripped off, and other cable just rolled up and stuffed behind the water piping, looking as if a hobby DIY person installed the electrics. Which is not the way I would want a 230 Volt system to be installed, in a humid room, where naked men pee into a basin, galvanically well connected to the ground.
What is nice is that a warm large towel is included in the price. It feels nice to wrap up yourself in that after coming out of the water.
Altogether, the architecture is pretty much unstimulating and ugly. This could be a really nice place, if it were redone thoroughly.