July 4th on a mountain and in the spa

The next morning we decided to visit some nature and do a hike since that was a main reason for visiting this region. After doing some research we narrowed it down to taking a trail at the edge of town or going up the local mountain Merkur Mountain. We chose Merkur mountain because I wanted to ride the funicular.
First breakfast in our cute breakfast room at the hotel.

We found a bus that took us to the bottom of the mountain where the funicular starts. For some reason I was able to convince my husband to take the funicular up and hike down. He must have felt guilty for the long hike a couple of days prior.
At the bottom of the funicular there is shop to buy snacks, gifts and I guess booze for the mountain.

 

We took a couple minutes to look at another less than useful trail map, and then we got our tickets and went up.

Hey look at this water fountain first –

After we entered the funicular, a guy hurried on with a huge pack of stuff. Was he a backpacker? Was he going to camp on the mountain? We came to find out that he is a paraglider and the top of the mountain is a popular paraglider launch location.

So we got some drinks at the cafe and watched the hangliders for about an hour. Hike=delayed.

It was also at this point that we realized we accidently booked too many nights in Baden-Baden. We were supposed to leave for Munich the next day. We were too late to fully cancel so we had to pay a fee to get out of the last night. I am usually much more prepared for traveling than this. I guess it got confusing because my husband booked some hotels and I booked the other. I guess we had a miscommunication. I was looking forward to leaving the next day to go to Munich. Our stay in Baden-Baden wasn’t terrible but I wish we would have picked another black forest town.

Back to the hike…..

We finished our drinks and started the journey down the mountain. We of course did not stay on the main road since it was boring. I made sure to keep my husband in check so we didn’t get too much off the beaten path and get lost…or end up miles away from where we needed to be at the end.

Some growing that looked like yummy dim sum

We crossed the path of the funicular a couple of times on the way down.

The walk down was relatively pleasant with the exception of discovering the bastard bugs of Germany. They aren’t quite mosquitoes but they bite like a MFr and fly off pretty quickly. Not quite a horsefly but painful bites that welt up afterwards. They only attacked me somewhat on this mountain but they really got me later in the trip. Should have worn more bug spray!!

At the very bottom of the trail we found where the para-gliders land.

After we got back into town we decided to eat a late lunch at an outdoor cafe where we once again had terrible service. Not really loving the hospitality of Baden-Baden.
We went back to the hotel and changed into our suits and picked a thermal spa to do some relaxing and swimming at. There were two big ones in town and they were both pretty close to our hotel. One was with no suits and one was with suits. We aren’t prudes but I just wasn’t up to sloshing around a bunch of nude people. We ended up attending the Caracalla Spa . See Rick Steves colorful explanation of the spa below.

You pay for admission at the front and then get a wrist band that controls a locker and allows you to purchase things at the cafe if you wish. I saw people bringing in food and drinks. I wish I would have brought water to drink. No water fountains that I could see and the swimming and sweating got me thirsty. Once we changed we locked our things in a locker and grabbed our rented towels (I will guard these with my life, well sort of kidding).
The way the spa is layed out there is a large indoor area with heated pools with jets at different places, hot dip pool (short visits only), cold dip pool, saunas, and an aroma therapy sauna room. Outdoors is two major pools. One has a lazy river of sorts with some massage jets. The other pool has a number of jets and waterfalls. Upstairs is the nude only sauna, which we never visited.
Since it was still pretty light out (early evening) we decided to start outside. I tried the lazy river pool and let the current pull me along for a while. That got pretty boring quickly so I moved over to the waterfall pool and found a jet to massage some sore body parts. Basically the jets will run for a while in an area and turn off, then they start running in a different area. So it is a game of where to move to next. All in all I got a pretty good water massage on my back neck, thighs, feet and calves.
Next I tried the indoors and decided to try a personal sauna room. A couple minutes in there I got slightly claustophobic since I am not a big sauna fan. I decided then to try the aroma therapy room. It was a good sized room and people seemed to feel very comfortable hanging out in there. I got hot and had a hard time breathing. In addition I was afraid the smells would cause a migraine as sometimes strong scents do to me. I hit the shower and tried the indoor pool. I got some more neck and leg massages while I was there and also hit the hot and cold pools. After a while I was done and tried going back outside. To my surprise there was an instructor teaching a water zumba class. I joined in and tried to do my best Despacito moves in the water. After a while thirst took over and it was time for me to go. Fortunately my husband was done too and we changed and went back to the hotel to clean up for dinner.
So many bad experiences eating at Baden-Baden I had little hope for our dinner choices. We decided to go to the tourist looking outdoor cafe around the corner from our hotel,  Prager Stuben. It was a quite cafe with very attentive service. I enjoyed the Czech inspired dish I ordered: Pork in Sauce with a side of dumplings. Very good. So happy this ended our stay in Baden-baden. Now off to bed for traveling the next day.

Only good dinning experience in Baden-Baden

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