Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

Baden Baden

Yesterday, I decided to take it relatively easy, and took a twenty-minute train ride down to Baden Baden. As the name implies, it's a spa town. There were a disproportionate number of older people in fur coats sightseeing on a grey afternoon. Flurries fell from time to time, and the wind was cold. I felt like I should have worn a layer or two more than I had.

Nonetheless I had a great time. I'm fond of architecture from the late nineteenth century, with its ornate decoration, and much of the city center dates from the generation or so before the First World War. It's all very pretty.

One thing that was remarkable was that a number of shops were actually open on a Sunday, in the colonnade near the casino. I didn't think that was legal in Germany, but they clearly have some kind of dispensation. Given the kind of stores they were--expensive clothing stores and jewelers--I'd think it was a "things so expensive no normal person could buy them" exception, but I'm guessing it was something else.

I stopped in and got some information on the various spas. I decided I would wait for bedfull_o_books before actually taking a dip. Much more fun that way.

There's a pretty little Russian Orthodox church at one end of town. I don't know if there's a connection, but a number of businesses have signs saying they speak Russian. I even saw a Chinese restaurant with a Russian language menu on display.

I passed a sign advertising Karlovy Vary, one of the famous spa towns in the Czech Republic, better known by its German name, Karlsbad. It occurred to me that a very pleasant world spa tour could be organized, where one went from spa town to spa town, taking the waters and sightseeing, enjoying life in a leisurely way.

There are over a hundred towns listed on Wikipedia's spa town page, including places like Rotorua, New Zealand; Bath, England; and of course, Spa, Belgium. If you spent a week getting to and staying in each and every one of them, you'd be at it for a year. It'd be a nice year.

Add that to my list of things to do.
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