We decided at the last minute, ie, Saturday that we'd go to a seaside spa in Normandy for 3 days, arriving on the Monday. On reading the recommendations on what to take, it looked like we were going for a month, not three days:
2 synthetic bathing suits, check
flip flops, check
swimming cap, shit, go buy one, check
sports kit, where the hell are my running shoes, found them, shit, and my gym leggings, and my sports bra....ok, it's smaller than I remember, or am I fatter, yes, that's it, finally check
For J: Kangaroo speedos, haha, obligation from the spa, more hygienic, check
We arrived on Monday at 4pm after a 2.5hr drive. The place we stayed at was at Ouistreham which was one of the landing beaches of WW2. Powerful stuff. Just looking out on the sea was moving imaging what the men went through.....
Within an hour of arriving, we'd signed ourselves up for a Spinning class, which was taking place an hour after that! It really did set the tone of the 3 days - intensely sporty!!
The spinning class was exhausting but great! Apart from the major pain in the behind, literally - I must have a weird butt 'cos only after 2 minutes, I couldn't wait to get out of the saddle to do the hill climbing parts of the class, which absolutely killed, but it was more bearable than the bum pain! 45 minutes later, when the class finished, I looked in the mirror and I saw what can only be described as a tomato - I was soooooo red and around my lips I was white! I'd forgotten that I went scarlet every time I exercised, it's been that long!
Our spa treatments started on Tuesday morning. We had 3 treatments a day for 3 days plus an aquagym class each day. The treatments we had were mainly water pressure treatments like high pressure water jet massages, underwater or in a room where someone hosed you down with hot seawater!! We also had a body massage under a waterfall that trickled over you back and seaweed and seabed mud wraps where you get covered in seaweed or mud and then in clingfilm and left to 'cook' wrapped in a heated blanket. These two treatments were my favourite - it was so luxurious!
The spa also had a heated seawater swimming pool, sauna, hamman, jacuzzi, fitness room where you could join in in any of the classes, hence the spinning, and a cardio room. The added bonus of the seawater pool was that I actually a good swimmer! I'm not good at breast stroke at all because of my dodgy leg, but in the seawater, I floated much more easily!
We really did have a very sporty 3 days. The aquagym was great for my arms, they are only just feeling normal again and the spinning was a good experience, apart from cyclist bum of course! I now understand my cyclists have padded cycling shorts!
The treatments really were wonderful, albeit très expensive. Even though my arms and sides hurt from the exercise I was inflicting on my very lazy body, I was also deeply chilled out, a bizarre but lifting feeling.
I had never been anywhere before where a swimming cap was an obligation! J tells me that children are required to wear them in swimming classes at school, and I guess I did quickly get used to it. Although some people got away with wearing it like a woolly hat, I'm not sure it actually stopped hair going in the pool! The kangaroo speedo obligation for men is a quite normal but often terrifying French habit. I am also now quite accustomed to the non-event that is nudity in France. There were a few treatments that you had to get undressed and were offered a paper modesty string (optional) to cover the vital area, men and women alike! I'm now a pro at this after years at the French beauticians where they don't even bat an eyelid and sometimes stay in the room when you are undressing for a bikini wax, with the optional paper string of course!!
Anyway, the spa was really great! I would recommend it if you are not too ticklish, or claustrophobic (the seaweed wrap is impossible to get out of yourself!) and you're not too prudish! I keep thinking that the beauticians see worse than me every day! That helped a lot!! Now, I must see if I can get the treatments on prescription, that would be ideal! They are reimbursed if your Doctor prescribes them for you! Just another Frenchism for you, right?
|source - spa's website|