Saturday, February 22, 2014

Royal Bath

So the name Tbilisi comes from two other words "Tbili" meaning warm and "Lisi" meaning water....so it only seemed natural that we needed to experience the natural hot sulfur baths. Downtown Tbilisi has a whole 'bath district'. You can distinguish the bath district by the domes covering the baths. The domes helps let out steam (these baths are HOT).


There about 10 baths in the district. Richard and I opted to go the Royal bath (we plan to try out different ones just to see the differences in tile work and what not).


The building with the blue facade is another bath we plan to visit next time.

So Richard and I got a small private room. The room includes 3 little rooms. The lounge room you walked into that has some furniture for sitting/changing in, a small toilet room (I hope you know what that is for), and the bath room. You don't take any personal belongings into the bath room. Water is constantly running into the bath and the overflows goes down drains on the floor. Given these are sulfur baths there is sulfur smell when you first walk in. We did not think it was bad at all (unlike marsh fart smells from South Carolina....I think since the marsh smell comes from bacterial breakdown whereas the hot baths are 'fresh' ground water its just a different form of sulfur).


This was our "bath" room. It has a soft focus due to all the steamy steam coming off the water. Right in front you see the bath where you soak and relax. Just to the left you can see the corner of the marble massage table.

We opted for the massage (kisa) option. So we relaxed for a bit and then Richard's masseuse enter, followed by mine when his masseuse was done. The massage was first a scrub down with a kisa glove (felt/looked like a loofah to me). Then they had a foamy soap. During the soapy part they would massage your muscles some (given I was laying on a marble slab, when she pressed down my back popped a bit....must of needed it). Between the scrub and soap, and after the soap they would dump a couple buckets of water on you to rinse. Afterwards, you could return back to the bath until your time was up (we opted for one hour).

   

So with the bright sunny day outside it was hard to get a picture of both the tile and the vent. The vent in the bath didn't have a screen (or if it did I couldn't see it with all the steam).

The baths look recently renovated, somewhat of a 1970s tile feel (yes that is recently....the baths have been around since the 1st century, the current buildings are close to 300 years old....its all about perspective (FYI: Got those dates from an article about the masseuses)).

So on Richard's next day off we plan to venture there again. I was so relaxed for the rest of the day and it was great to get all that dry winter skin scrubbed off. My tips for future trips is to bring something to drink while in the bath. I was definitely a tad dehydrated when we left. I plan to take any visitors we have to the baths it was such a wonderful experience....but they will have to get their own room (sorry....I don't want to know you that personally, lol)!

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