Monday, January 11, 2010

Rainy day picnic and swim

The day was not an auspicious one considering the gale force gusts of rainy wind we were having.

But we had a plan. T dug out the picnic basket and picnicking bits, while I prepared a Quiche Lorraine, and a banana bread (all with handy kitchen ingredients lying about), filled a "spare" water bottle with a bit of leftover red wine, and we were all set! Our friends would meet us there and everything was ready to go!

Earlier, we'd gone to the north of the island to the small town of Acharavi, and discovered a new spa had opened this past October.

Located in St Georges Country Club Hotel grounds, is a very lovely tourist spot that includes all sorts of things- including a gorgeous beach, several tennis courts and a couple of really nice swimming pools. (we also noticed, that apropos to nothing, off season the place seems to have a large number of chickens wandering freely about!)

It is mostly patronized by the German visitors (which is why the website is predominately in German with an English translation page.) Their latest addition is a beautiful spa - the Ivi- with all sorts of wonderful spa type therapies and massages.

We were very impressed when we arrived. We were warmly greeted and welcomed. For a mere 19 euros per person, we could spend the day at this lovely spa doing all sorts of wonderful things.

"Yes, yes, we said, but where's the indoor/outdoor heated salt-water pool?"
.......and by all that is special in the universe, there it was! A lovely thing with beautiful trompe d'oeil murals painted on all the walls, making it feel like a wonderful Roman garden!

It didn't seem too busy as we mostly had the lovely 25 meter pool (heated to a comfortable 28C/82F), a California jacuzzi, a tepidarium, a Nordic sauna, a sanarium (bio sauna 60% humidity), a Mediterranean steam bath (100% humidity), and brine grotto steam bath with a waterfall! (the pictures on the right are from the brochure... no one WE know...) all to ourselves! [The Brine Grotto and tepidarium are pictured on the right]

There were also several special different showers - for instance a great Arctic shower wherein you could stand and let a bucket of ice cold water fall on you, to cool you down from the high heat of the sauna. (our friend tried it and we could hear his yelp through the walls to the steam room we were sitting in! We laughed at him of course.) My favorite shower was the tropical rain shower that had a warm/cool rain smelling of eucalyptus.

You can also work out in the palestra (large fitness room) with the excellent TechnoGym equipment and when you're finished, eat your homemade lunch at the little glass tables in the front entry.

So that's what we did. (only first we exercised, then we swam, then we went and did the saunas and the steam rooms. Of course we showered a few times along the way, and then had our lunch before we were ready for the drive home.)

[For more detail, click on pictures to enlarge]

As we got there shortly before noon, we had a late lunch and were on our way home (45 minute drive) just past three ...

- and a totally great day was had by all.

We have all decided that this will make the rest of the winter grey days speed past as we now have a lovely treat to look forward to!

[Sammy and I have decided that all in all, this is the perfect date, and it's far cheaper than dinner out making it a great idea- "maybe" once a week (?)!]
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  1. Supposedly the cold dip (artic shower) after the sauna is really good for you. I'm not sure I'd have the guts to do it though, brr!

    Many Scandinavians take it a step further by putting their sauna outside next to a frezing lake or pond. In lieu of a really cold body of water, they also make good use of snow drifts. :)

  2. Sounds absolutely wonderful Jessica. Just the thing to get you through the winter. I think at least once a week is in order for something that is such good value.



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