This week marks our 6th week in Europe, and third week in Berlin. While I am excited to see Krakow and Prague, and to eventually return home, I can’t imagine leaving Berlin!! I love our neighbourhood so much, and have been loving exploring the city. I wish we had more time, as I would take a few day trips out of Berlin, and venture further out of the city, but two weeks left just means I need to take advantage of the time I have left.
This weekend we did leave the city, and took a day trip to Bad Sarrow, a mineral springs spa. It was a bit under an hour away by train, and one of my favourite days of the program so far!! Our program leader Iveta has been preaching about mineral springs spas in Europe for weeks now, and getting to experience it was truly incredible. We walked into the “spa”, and immediately I felt relaxed and surprisingly relieved to have a break from the city. Our day included access to multiple saunas with different temperatures, steam rooms, and the pools of mineral spring water which were all perfectly warm. Just bouncing from sauna, to pool, back to sauna was a dream, and I was able to unwind in the sun with my book. Our program covered the cost of the trip (it was only 22.50 total!!!), and if I could, I would definitely return. There were people of all ages there, from small children to older adults, and the price of entry made the experience accessible. Although there were all different ages represented, the entire population of people using the spa were white, which represents our experience here thus far. And very comfortable with their bodies! In the Sauna, no bathing suits are allowed, but instead of wrapping oneself in a towel, the entirety of the spa embraced their bodies and went full on nude. Our group ended up being the only people I saw who kept themselves wrapped in towels!
This week, we will be hearing from lots of guest speakers, having our own lectures, and I will be trying to really get some research done! Since I switched from studying abortion access to looking at alternative methods of childbirth and the regulation of childbirth I have had to pretty much start over with my research. My goal is to interview at least one doula here in Berlin, but hopefully more will get back to me!