Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ahhhhhhh the spaaaaaaaaa...


On Sunday I went to the Chamei Yoav Hot Springs Spa with the Israel Center. Every last Sunday of the month is "ladies' night" at the spa. Even the staff is all female, so it's a very tzniusdik, modest, experience.

I'm no real spa maven, expert, but this seems to be the best. It's certainly a lot better than the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi Spa. I can't compare it to the hotels by the Dead Sea, but it's better than the Jerusalem Regency Hyatt's spa--a totally different facility.

We left Jerusalem about 4pm, and most of us, including yours truly, hadn't the vaguest idea where where were going. The signs we passed on the road mentioned Ashkelon and Gaza, so we began to wonder to what war zone it would be.

Just over an hour later, we saw a sign to the "Hamei Yoav Spa," made a left and turned in to the parking lot. We paid a lot for a locker key, unlike Ein Gedi, none of it was returned after giving back the key.

There were lots of dressing rooms and it all seemed clean. Then in bathing suit, robe and old tichel, scarf, I went off to see what I had paid for. One of the workers gave a quick explanation. There were a few types of mineral pools. Blue was just the sulfur water, green had "jets" in the sulfur pool to put "pressure" on pain or tight muscles. There was a cold, clean water pool, a "deep," 1.2 meter mineral pool with high pressure "waterfall" for water massage, two jacuzzis with chlorinated water and in another room there were hydrotherapy, high pressure warm mineral water pouring from the ceiling, where you could either stand or sit adjusting your body to get hit by the water, where ever you want.

There were signs instructing visitors to spend only ten minutes in each "activity" and then a half hour out resting. I was totally energized and couldn't sit more than a couple of minutes. I spent one break looking at the goods in the gift shop and was a bad girl, not taking more than ten minutes between pools. There are also a steamroom and dry sauna.

Since it was totally "ladies only," we could take off our hats and scarves, though some women didn't, and some don't wear them at all. The waterfalls on the head were fantastic, and tied hair reduces the effect.

The prices in the gift shop were reasonable. It was also possible to pay for other "beauty treatments," and there's a cafeteria, but I didn't even check it out. I don't know about its kashrut. I brought my own food and ate before we went back on the bus.

Showers were fine; bring your own soap.

We got back to Jerusalem before ten, so I could have taken the bus home. Since I didn't know when we'd really get back, I had made plans to sleep at my daughter's. So it was nice to see her.

We all had a great time, and it's highly recommended. Next month, the Israel Center is planning another trip, though people from other parts of the country can go directly.

It's important to learn how to relax and enjoy yourself.


Risa said...

OK, you convinced me. I'd love to go next time. (The last Sunday of October is Succot so maybe it won't be until the last Sunday of November.) Let me know?

muse said...

It's just after Succot. Nu, is it a date?

wendy said...

Sounds lovely.

muse said...

sure was