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In the past, it was known as well-being, welfare and recuperation. Today, there is a huge array of wonderful lifestyle words which all mean one thing - relaxation opportunities for those of us who struggle on a daily basis to maintain work-life balance in the rat race. List management, meetings, shift work, family, organisation of free time, planning holidays and then still finding time for yourself?
Many people find precious little time for their own mental and physical relaxation amidst all this and it often ends up being neglected. If you live in Vienna (or are on a vacation here), opportunities for occasional brief relaxation are relatively easy to come by. Tried-and-trusted sauna, whirlpool, Thai spa or salt spring? Seek and you shall find.
‘Wellness’, that is well-being - clear so far, and the word is permanently on everyone’s lips. But ‘spa’? Many people like to talk about spas, particularly in the hotel industry or when it comes to luxury holidays, but are you as well-versed in what this word actually means? ‘Sanus per Aquam’ - that is the answer; that is: ‘Health from water’.
Bathhouses, Danube lidos, Strombad (river baths), Tröpferlbad (public shower baths) - in Vienna there have been all sorts of bathing areas, both indoors and outdoors, since the Middle Ages. The lidos on the Danube in particular have contributed significantly to this bathing culture. And the idea of using hot water to promote personal well-being and to have a chat goes back to the Roman times.
At the traditional Oberlaa sulphur springs, on the other hand, a spa facility for guests and those taking a cure has been operating since 1969; whereas the magnificent historic baths with glass domes such as Jörgerbad and Amalienbad are testimony to the Art Nouveau style of spa architecture and are therefore uniquely beautiful bathing locations with sauna facilities.
Well-being, unwinding and switching off from the stresses of everyday life; relaxation means something different to everyone. For me personally, water, warmth and a book are always involved. And peace and quiet, if not, indeed, silence.
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