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Baden-Baden’s Naked Truth

overcast 17 °C

The Kurhaus Casino in the Black Forest city of Baden-Baden that been a haunt of celebrities since the mid-1830s when the French banned gambling and the rich and the desperate needed somewhere close by to dream. Baden-Baden has been a favourite haunt of Russian oligarchs for some time, although we don’t know where they are now. These are the exclusive roulette tables in the casino’s Red Room that was supposedly modelled on Louis XIV’s Chateau of Versailles. (But we didn’t see a particular likeness)…
For the most deep-pocketed gamblers, one of the saloons is a replica of the boudoir of Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV‘s official chief mistress, (there were others). However, we couldn’t enter because James didn’t have a jacket and tie. Marlene Dietrich once said that it was the best casino in the world, but she didn’t need a tie.
However, there is more to Baden-Baden than the casino. There are incredibly delicious pastries and cakes – especially Black Forest gateaux…
And there are many grand buildings in addition to the Casino...
This is the pump room that supplied natural spring water to the town...
However, if you are going to lose your shirt anywhere in the world, Baden-Baden’s Casino is a good place to do it. Because, as we later found out, if you want to visit the city’s other major attraction, the Friedrichsbad Thermal Spa, you can only do so while totally naked. This is the outside of the historic spa…
Mixed nude bathing is required in all of the seventeen naturally heated baths and steam rooms in the spa. The present building was opened in 1877 on the site of the original Roman baths and has never allowed bathers to wear clothing of any kind. Even the undressing rooms and showers are co-ed. Obviously, no photos are allowed inside the spa, but we can state that there are some very interesting decorations on the ceilings and walls. There are other sights which we leave to your imagination. Although the spa wasn’t particularly crowded, Sheila did comment that she had rarely seen so many penises in the same place at the same time. This painting hanging in the 19th century pump house may give you an idea of what the spa looks like inside…
The European part of our trip is coming to an end as we head to Stuttgart for a flight to Milan to pick up our connection to Algiers. But we found time to visit Calw, the Black Forest hometown of Nobel prize-winning author, poet and painter, Herman Hesse. Hesse described the riverside town of Calw as the most beautiful town of all. Maybe that was because he was born here at No 6 Marktplatz in 1877…
Here’s Sheila and Herman taking in the river views from the town bridge where he now stands…
Calw is a beautiful little town full of medieval buildings, but this area of Southern Germany has many such places and as we snake our way up into the thickly wooded hills on our way to Stuttgart we can look over the timeless communities dotted along the valleys and say that, even in the mists of an autumn morning, “This is a very pretty part of the world”…

Posted by Hawkson 14:31 Archived in Germany

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Such a delight to get your frequent blogs, thank you, along with a glimpse of a part of the world that is so attractive and appears so untroubled. Who can be troubled when there’s Black Forest gateau and nude bathing hot springs?!

by Alison

HI Sheila and Jim,
Wonderful pictures. Makes me want to take the next plane and wander those streets! Big hug to you both.

by Annemarie

I wonder how many people have homes there. Very advanced culture. Mixed nude bathing and Hermann Hesse.

by Janet

Bless Sheila for her comment on the number of male appendages in Baden Baden. Very funny. Great photos! Can't wait for Algeria.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Time to head South, Sheila is wearing gloves !
Enjoy jour last day in Germany .

by Christine Lloyd

What a marvellous finale to your European adventure. Still chuckling over the comments and drooling at that display of pastries.
Frost on Gabriola this morning.

by R and B

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