Hotel Balneari Broquetas – the modernist spa

Balneari Broquetas
Spring flowers are the best

Spring is coming in fast. The trees in Granollers are in the first stages of their annual blossom-fest – first the almond and then the cherry. White then pink.

The nights are now pleasant. Only a week ago it was still cold up in the bedroom and we needed the electric fire to dry off the humidity. Now I have relegated the hot water bottle to the back of the cupboard.

Dull dry skin – sluggish jaded body

When Spring is in the air it can often make you feel sluggish. You realise your body has been deprived of sunshine and warmth and it feels like you need a cleanse of some kind. Many people change their diet at this time of year or start fasting or take up a new form of exercise.

My skin has been feeling very dry and dull and when my body needs a boost  of course my thoughts turn to the balnearis of Catalunya!

Caldes de Montbui has a source of hot mineral water

I went with a friend a few weeks ago to one of the balnearis in Caldes de Montbui and took lots of photos as it is such an incredibly beautiful and unique place.  More news will follow soon on the other spas in this town – one of which is my current favourite!

balneari broquetas
so much creativity went into making these tiles

Balneari Broquetas

it stands in the town centre near the Lion fountain

The most wonderful aspect of this balneari is that the building is modernist and the baths are full of beautiful details and designs.

Balneari BroquetasWe chose three things to do as part of the basic spa package which lasts for one and a half hours. There is a wide choice but we picked the pool, the hammam and the horizontal jet spray baths.

There was no-one else there at all while we had our session – third time I’ve been lucky like this!    Here is the entrance to spa, you go down these stairs and enter a hot water paradise!

IMG_5107The pool is booked for your personal use so only members of your group will be there. It has all the usual jets and sprays and feels both intimate and big enough to swim around in.

balneari broquetas
our private pool

The hammam is too steamy to take photos but was enjoyable apart from the session being a little too short for us seasoned steam bathers.

Balneari Broquetas
I wonder who the artist was?

Imagine wandering around this lovely place, feeling warmed and cossetted by the beautiful design as well as the healing waters!

Balneari Broquetas
Love this ceiling

Even the changing rooms are lovely. This is the door to the Dones.

IMG_5101The horizontal jet bath was the most exciting thing. You lie down side by side, with your heads on cushions and hold on tight when the water starts because it comes both hot and cold and with such force that my friends bathing costume ballooned out to make her look 9 months pregnant. We were laughing and squealing and trying to stay steady in the very exhilarating water pressure.  When we came out we both felt totally revitalised.

Balneari Broquetas
two people can lie here side by side

There is an outdoor pool in the gardens which we were able to use and as the water in Caldes is very hot it felt comfortable even on this chilly day.

Balneari Broquetas
cold air, hot water

Perfect place for someone who wants to bathe in private

This was my second visit to Broquetas and I like it very much although I prefer to have more freedom to move around and not have to keep to a fixed schedule. However as my friend pointed out it is a wonderful place for a beginner or a shy bather as you are always in a private space, the staff are friendly and they leave you to enjoy it in a very relaxed way.  My first visit was with my sister and nephew a few years ago. My nephew, then 14, didn’t want to come really but afterwards he said it was the best part of his holiday.

The place itself is a work of art and as always, the waters of Caldes are healing and magical.P1090946We paid 30 euros each for our sessions which included gowns and towels.

IMG_5100 As you leave to return to the real world you can stop and admire the entrance which you didn’t notice when you arrived rushed and nervous from the journey. Now, relaxed, cleansed and ready for Spring,  you have time to look up and admire the flowers.

P1090942Here is the link if you would like to visit this balneari yourself.

IMG_5117Have you ever been to a hot mineral spa?  Let us know which places are your favourites in the comments section below. If you have any questions do get in touch and I will be happy to try and help.

Sign up for regular posts like this one to be delivered straight to your inbox.

And let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this post or if there are other things you would like to know more about from The Catalan Way.

Till next time!   Happy Spring!

Daily Rumi

I can’t stop taking pictures of the blossom. I love this time of year

And Bonnie is always my favourite model – she attracts a lot of attention as we walk through town. It’s such a pity she doesn’t like strangers touching her.
Almost every day someone passes by saying ‘Que guapa!’  And they don’t mean me.

I have a new thing on my mobile phone called Daily Rumi. Quotes from Rumi are a lovely way to start or end the day. Here is the one I just read:
“It is love that holds everything together, and it is the everything also”

Happy Spring to you all!

A Ragged Diagonal

It feels like Spring – look at that blue sky!

Those trees that I photographed a few days ago are now almost in full blossom

It is the kind of weather when you don’t know what to wear.  A coat and hat makes you feel too hot but go without and it is too chilly in the shade or the late afternoon. Here’s me looking hot and bothered in Granollers – it is also time to start carrying sunglasses and of course I hadn’t!

I went up to Barcelona today to sort out some papers in the British Consulate. That was an interesting experience as security measures now mean you feel you are visiting a prison – at no time was I in a shared space with another human being without a pane of reinforced glass between us. I had to give up my mobile phone at the entrance otherwise I would have taken a photo of the amazing views over Barcelona to the sea from the Consulate office.
I had an idea that Primark might be interesting and as I am looking for a new dress to wear for Swing, I took a long and complicated journey down to Diagonal Mar.
The British Consulate is at 477 Diagonal and Primark is at 4 Diagonal. Don’t let this give you the impression they are close to each other!
Diagonal is not very pleasant to walk along in the day time as it is so noisy and busy but there are some wonderful buildings that would be a shame to miss.

There is that blue sky again! I love that dome and the round balconies.

There were green parrots squawking up in the trees and I felt drawn into this garden where they had an exhibition about Wales. It all looked very sunny and tempting.   This place is called Palau Robert and it was the Catalan Ministry for Culture between 1936 and 1939, then returned to private ownerhip after the civil war and later bought by the Government.

Inside was a small show about a man called Joan Triadu` (1921-2010) – teacher, writer, literary critic and Catalan activist. He was professor of Catalan for two years at Liverpool University.   I love wandering around in Barcelona and coming across unexpected and interesting exhibitions

One of his books is called The Adolescent Teacher. He was sent to Granollers to teach age 16!

Primark was a disappointment but the journey was worth it because I took the tram for the first time from Marina to Diagonal Mar. I don’t know this part of the city very well and I still have no idea what the Gerkin is all about!
Here is a closer detail of the Zurich building on Diagonal – I walked past it without noticing the first time and only on my return trip saw the amazing pictures on each rectangle and the reflections

The line of life is a ragged diagonal between duty and desire.   William Alger

Virtual Vermut

It would be wonderful if we could meet up for a vermut today. For one thing the weather is beautiful. It is sunny and warm and the chilly wind has gone at last.
I could suggest a cafe in the Porxada but it is always quite busy there and to be honest today I would like some peace and quiet. This morning as I passed through the square there were hordes of children and inside the old market were rows and rows of tables with chess boards on top. A chess tournament was about to get going but I couldn’t stop to see what happened next.

I’d love to sit and have a relaxed drink in the sunshine but today I think I would let you do the talking. I am a bit tired – not physically but something about this Spring is wearying me. My head is full of questions and problems and although my brain tries to find solutions and to make plans for the future somehow the next day the same old things go round and round. I’m on a merry go round and can’t get off yet.
I’ve been thinking about acupuncture recently and how much I miss it. It was good to have a break – almost two years!!! – but now I want to get started again. I find myself thinking about the Five Elements and trying to make sense of what is happening in my life by using them as a guide.
For example, it is Spring and this is the time for making plans and thinking about the future. What are your objectives in the next week –  month – year? The organ associated with this is the Liver and this energy is very powerful – it is what makes life pulse with expectation and hope. It is what helps us grow and change and keep flexible in our lives.
But, I seem a little stuck this Spring. There are plans and there are hopes and dreams but I don’t know how to bring them into reality. I don’t know which direction to take. I am dithering and swithering.
I swing between optimism and bleakness. It’s not very comfortable!  Yesterday I stuck some needles in the Liver points so we will see what happens next.

So, I will continue to walk the path by the river looking at the little plants that grow in this unwelcoming environment, listen to the birds as they get things together for nest building and mating, continue going to the gym so that my energy doesn’t stagnate totally and just Hope and Trust.

I think Bodhi Chicklet has a bottle of vodka open so do pop over there and see what she is doing.
She’s always good for a laugh as well which is more than I can say for myself these days!