Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Epitome of Leisure

The entrance from the main road to Therme Vals

Guests relaxing and enjoying the view

The outdoor pool
Therme Vals
Vals, Switzerland (near the city of Chur)

Well first off, let me thank Professor Ron Rael for informing me of this fairytale like place. Secondly, I know all of you ladies are extremely jealous, so just get over it or decide to go there for yourself. The thermal spa is an architectural wonder nestled in the Alps, much like Zermatt. It was brilliantly & precisely designed stone by stone by the ingenious architect Peter Zumthor. The spa contains 6 different pools: an indoor pool (32* C), an outdoor pool winter (36* C), an outdoor pool summer (30* C), a fire pool (42* C), an ice pool (14* C), a flower pool (33* C), and a grotto pool (35* C). My personal favorite was the outdoor pool. The viewer can sit in the outdoor pool and see the steam coming off the water and have a great view of the Alps. There are also plenty of massages available for a pricy cost. The spa also contains mixed, public, and private nude showers, saunas (ranging from 85 – 100% humidity), and plenty of relaxation space. One thing architecturally to note about the stones used in the building process of this place was that each of them are made from Valser Quarzite and cut to precise accuracy according to Zumthor’s instructions with a production tolerance of 1/10 mm range. These stones have a full range of slab finishes which include being split, sawn, milled, ground, stacked, polished, and broken. I should also mention that the primal act of bathing organizes the building.
If you want to stay overnight there is a hotel you can make a reservation at. Access to Vals is a bit isolated, but it is definitely worth it. The spa itself is only 30 chf for the entrance fee, which includes all day access and free lockers inside.

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