Yesterday morning, we had breakfast and checked out of the Waldhotel. For three nights with breakfast and one bar bill that we charged to the room, we spent just under 1100 euros. That was actually less than I was expecting to spend. Granted, we could have easily spent a lot less money in a cheaper room at a cheaper hotel. In fact, I was telling Bill that maybe it would have been better if we had booked the Hilton Garden Inn by the arena. It would have spared us the traffic nightmare. However, I have a genuine fondness for the Waldhotel. It has all we need; it’s convenient; and it’s in a really pleasant part of Stuttgart. I’m glad we tried the junior suite, too. I don’t know if we need to book it again– maybe we will. I’d go back just to hang out with the Italian barkeep.
Goodbye, lovely Waldhotel… We don’t have as many wooded areas up here in Wiesbaden.
We needed to find something to do for a few hours, since Max doesn’t allow pickups at Dog on Holiday until after 2:30pm. I suggested the Schwabenquellen, which is one of Stuttgart’s mineral baths/spas. The Schwabenquellen is a textile free facility. Unlike the Mineraltherme in Böblingen, on most days, swimsuits aren’t allowed anywhere in the whole “park”. It’s only on certain dedicated days that one can wear suits at the Schwabenquellen.
To be honest, although I’m totally into the nude spa scene, I like the Mineraltherme better than the Schwabenquellen, especially since they renovated it a couple of years ago. For one thing, the Mineraltherme has a great restaurant that offers healthy dishes rather than burgers and pizzas. For another thing, there are more pools and more things to do at the Mineraltherme. It’s also significantly cheaper. However, the Schwabenquellen was more convenient to our location and the Mineraltherme is closed for cleaning right now.
Before yesterday, I had been to the Schwabenquellen only once before. It was back in 2017, and I remember very clearly that I had to figure out how to use the lockers. It took about twenty minutes to realize that the lockers are assigned by a computer system. You don’t just pick one yourself, like you do at the Mineraltherme. While I was getting undressed, a young German woman asked me in German if I understood how the lockers operated. I asked her if she spoke English. Of course she did. I told her how the system worked. Then, when we went to shower, she tried to use her “watch” to turn it on. She laughed and said, “I promise, I’m not stupid” when I told her all she had to do was push the button. I was just glad to be helpful to someone for once.
Naturally, because it’s a nude spa, I didn’t take any pictures. The Schwabenquellen, although a little cheesy and dated, is kind of nice. I like the big pool in the middle of the facility, even though it’s cold. Actually, I thought most of the hot tubs were a little cool for my liking, as were the saunas. The complex looks like it could use some refurbishing, especially in the locker rooms. I noticed some of the showers looked like they needed sprucing up. We did manage to relax during our few hours there. It was a fine way to kill time before getting back on the road to Wiesbaden. I also noticed that unlike last time we visited, most everything was open rather than closed for repairs.
The one place I think the Schwabenquellen should start refurbishing is its restaurant. Both times we’ve eaten there, I’ve been less than impressed with the food. But, I don’t think the Schwabenquellen is like the Mineraltherme, which appears to focus on health rather than simple relaxation and recreation. They have a lot of themed saunas, some of which included music. The Austrian sauna had some funny hunting themed decorations on the walls and Austrian “fest” music. The Tibetan sauna was decorated in an Asian style and had very calm music. I liked the different themes, but they seemed to be more for entertainment than therapeutic value.
At about 2:30, we pulled up to Max’s to get Zane and Arran. They were outside in the yard and Zane heard me say something. He started bugling, which got Arran going. When they brought the boys in, Zane, in particular, was struggling to get to us. He and Arran clearly had a great weekend, but like us, they were ready to go home. As always, we were so grateful that Max and Christine took such great care of them for us. I wish we could transplant them in Wiesbaden. The dogs will be trying out a new “hotel” at the end of the month, when we go to Cologne to see The Eagles. Hopefully, that place will work out just as well.
Despite our SNAFUs in Stuttgart traffic and being too old for the Fest, I think we had a good weekend in Stuttgart. I really had forgotten about how awful the traffic is, although I did notice A8 was a lot nicer yesterday. I think they’re working on A81 now, which was the road that most directly affected us during both of our Stuttgart stints. Hopefully, the upgrades will make commuting easier for everyone, once they’re finished.
Will we be back in November for dental cleanings? Maybe… or we may be back sooner for other reasons. In any case, Stuttgart really does feel like home– or, at least my German home. It was nice to be back for a few days. And it’s also nice to be back in Wiesbaden.