My wife may want to relax but I'm keen to dive headlong into my first spa experience.
It's to Therme Erding's new indoor water park, a short walk through the children's thermal playground, that we head to first.
We head to the Vitality Oasis, the largest and strictly adult-only section of the spa.
Yet they are as comfortable with their nakedness as I would have been mortified at the same age.Honestly, swimming and drinking beer in the nude is such a novelty that we can't help ourselves.One contest has us diving under water to the bar counter (you can open your eyes in the thermal shallows) then arising like Zeus to sup a pint in gales of laughter. A cutting-edge area of the spa, it's where the detoxification process begins.In a warm, beery haze, our winter worries peel away. With 25 wellness areas ranging from a Finnish log cabin to a citrus-scented hammam, it's the world's largest sauna complex.Loungers in the Alhambra dry sauna are evenly spaced out around a central circle.
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Couples piggyback through deeper waters like pairs of mating frogs. A century ago Germany's spa scene was strictly high society.Others steam outside in thermal rockpools, wallowing like blissed-out manatees. The likes of King Edward VII and Russian Tsar Nicholas II "took the waters" in ritzy retreats such as Bad Homburg and Marienbad.We try to bag one as a base for our things (newspapers, books and i Pods are allowed, cameras are verboten). Despite signs pleading against the habit, every single seat is reserved with a towel. As we float lazily in main herbal pool we spy a place for quiet pint.We perch on bar stools, bottoms just below the high-water mark. It's microcosm of a Friday night boozer beamed across to the South Seas.
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We scorn such anthropological studies by indulging in our own parlour games.
Indeed, Therme Erding's thermal source was only discovered by accident by the US petroleum giant Texaco in 1983.
After years of geothermal research, the energy firm drilled for oil but found only a steaming lake of mineral-rich water.
Our lazy tour continues through scalding footbaths, UV face lamps, rose-petal steam rooms and bath-like floatation pools.
After four hours our winter bones are warmed to summer beach levels and we're keen to complete the true German spa cycle.