A Spring Weekend at Cascade
Finally also spring banks holidays arrived and, instead of the hurried touch and go, we can think of planning a longer relaxation period and also choosing a wellness center far beyond the usual ones.
Since it's been a long time we miss from there, our last visit was last year during the summer holidays, then we decide for the Cascade in Campo Tures. The period chosen for our weekend of relaxation runs from April 30 to May 2.
Unfortunately for business reasons we can not leave on Saturday 29 but given that we have added a few days off to the vacation we can afford to return on Tuesday. The idea is to look for decent accommodation with overnight stays and breakfast for two nights and make at least two entrances to the Cascade.
Due to past frequentations, the area of Campo Tures and the Aurina Valley we know it quite well, we can easily find the right solution that gives us good value for money, Hotel Mair in the hamlet of Caminata just 2km from Cascade entrance, a family-run hotel that also offers a small wellness center with Turkish bath and two saunas (Finnish and bio).
On Saturdays and Sundays the Cascade is open from 10:00 to 22:00 but since we want to make full use of the first day, at the time of booking we inform the hotel that we will arrive at check-in around 19:00 and in the same time we set the goal to leave home soon enough: To reach Campo Tures in normal traffic conditions we usually drive more or less three and a half hours, so we set off at 6:45. In fact, after a couple of physiological stops, at 10:30 we are in the Cascade parking at Campo Tures.
Sunday April 30th - First Day
At the reception we buy two daily tickets. Daily tickets is a nice news. In fact the receptionist informs us that starting from September 2016 it is possible. Before, it was only possible to make the ticket for three hours and then adjust the difference for the remaining time at the exit.
So let us pay 26.90 euro per person and the receptionist give us the magnetic bracelets needed to operate the turnstiles, open and close the cupboards and pay for any drinks at the in-bar.
We access the spa by the dedicated turnstile, which separates the sauna area from the rest of the structure and we walk along a corridor where, on the right, we find the locker room doors, divided by gender: the male one then immediately after the female one.
We deposit our clothes, wear bathrobes and find ourselves ready to enjoy our first day of relaxation.
As of now established practice, we opt to make the first sitting in the infrared sauna, a spacious enough cabin, lit with soft red lights, set up with 12 seats on the side walls, eight of which are in front to radiant IR devices.
We stay 20 minutes then we make a quick warm shower and going upstairs to the relaxation room. Being quite early we find place in the area overlooking the outdoor garden and the mountains south of Campo Tures.
The outside area is really nice, functional and well-kept, a medium sized open space enclosed by a wooden barrier all around.
The view from above, from the window of the relax room where we are, stimulates a pleasant feeling of quiet: the well-groomed garden with the large sauna Birke in the middle, where most of the Aufguss takes place, and immediately to the side, reachable by a metal ladder, the artificial pond for thermal shock, all around gentle grassy slopes, a white gravel path with benches, sun loungers for sunbathing are lined a little on the lawn and a little on the paved pavement that develops close to the 'main building, and the hot water pool at 38 degrees equipped with hydromassage lounges and waterfalls, long enough to allow for some healthy swim.
We spend the whole day in absolute relaxation: reading, doing a couple of baths in the pool, taking part in some aufguss (very nice and well done as always) and, given the beautiful sunny day, we also allow a bit of naked tanning in garden. For lunch besides a little fresh fruit we brought from home, we also try a couple of fruit centrifuges at the bar.
At 18:45, after having a refreshing tepid shower, we leave the structure and we head to the hotel which is only 2 minutes away.
The day has been very long, we woke up very early, the long trip.... tiredness is felt and we just do not want to go out to look for a restaurant, so we ask our hotel if we can dine at the hotel. No problem: the half board menu includes for dinner fried pancakes in soup, turkey steak and chocolate mousse. We wet all this together with half a liter of local red wine, then we retire in room.
Monday May 1st - Second day
The program we set for the second day includes a walk in the morning and afternoon at the Cascade, with the goal of staying up to the end and enjoying our well-deserved relaxation. Breakfast is served at 7.30 am with a typical South Tyrolean buffet, salty, sweet, yogurth, cereals and jams. Then we drive along the Ahrntal Valley for about thirty kilometers to the Kasern barrier where we can park in the parking left side of the road. From here onwards you can only walking or cycling (residents excluded). We well-know the path because we have done it in the past, it is not overly difficult, it rises slightly on a dirt road along the river, but the landscape is still characteristic and suggestive, so it's worth it. From the parking to the Malga Kehrer (at the bottom of the valley, where the road ends and where the uphill trail leads first to the Malga Lanher and then, to the Tridentina Hut, under the Vetta d'Italia) are about 5 kilometers. Unfortunately, halfway we find snow on the trail that does not allow us to go further and we are forced to desist and go back on our footsteps.
On the way back we are fascinated by some marmots that, probably just come out of the winter hibernation, run among the rocks. It is spring for them also: a season of awakening of senses and loves.
Let's go back to Campo Tures and, after a quick pizza and ice cream, we go to the hotel to change our trekking clothes and pick up towels, slippers and bathrobes, so we come back to the Cascade in the early afternoon.
Unlike yesterday, today's afternoon is forecasting very cloudy (in fact it rains, a slight but insistent rain that will last all day and part of the night).
Although the weather is not the best, at Cascade there are many people, the aufguss in the outdoor sauna (Birke) are quite busy and if you get late you find it difficult to find a place. We take part in a couple of aufguss, and at the exit from these we let ourselves be pervaded by the pleasant feeling of freedom that is felt by cooling the naked and steaming body under the fresh spring rain.
Also this second day spends pleasantly, between good sweat and good relaxation in a comfortable and fully live environment. We leave just before the closing, at about 9.30 pm, so have time to see and live Cascade during the night. The drops of cold rain, encountering the hot water of the outdoor pool, release water vapor puffs rising in the dark of the night, lighted at birth by spotlight lights installed inside the tub. A truly suggestive image.