We have already written many times about the Leukerbad Therme complex (formerly Burgerbad), the largest thermal complex in Leukerbad, but as it turned out, even after three years of regular swims in all its ten pools, our team never visited the mysterious Aqua Mystica event held here every second Saturday of the month after the official closure of the term. And now, finally, this hour has come – we decided to penetrate the secret of the main storage of the magic Leukerbad water and booked a night swim.
By the ticket bought at the box office, each of us received a glow stick on the rope – a kind of evidence of belonging to a secret society of “night swimmers” – which we had to put on the neck before going out to the pool in order not to get lost in the clouds of thick steam. Then we were held in a cafe, where the rest of the “initiates” were already sitting at the tables by candlelight and drinking non-alcoholic cocktails based on pineapple juice. The time chosen for the dive also looked rather mystical: “the beginning at 20:13” was indicated on the ticket. And it was at this time, minute by minute, that all the guests were invited to go to the locker room.
Having changed into swimsuits, we descended, following the signs in the form of kerosene lamps, placed along the route, to the floor below. For night bathing, only a few outdoor pools at the upper level were open: Spa vitality (38C), Leisure pool (37C) and Kneipp pool (Kneipp paths with hot and cold water). Under the mystical music of the type “Enigma” we dived into the water tinted with the light of the spotlights and immediately lost each other in a colorful mist.
Magic glow sticks came to the rescue, and we were reunited again – now on the bench with massage jets. Visitors, among whom were a lot of couples of different ages, dispersed around the pools, occupying first of all the Jacuzzi and sun beds with hydromassage, and in the hour that lasted the water part of the event, none of those who took a favorable position left their place.
We made a couple of attempts to change the massage of the priests to some other one, but, circling in a thick fog and still not hitting one jet, we returned to our reserve bench, where the neighbors were still kissing with enthusiasm.
Unleash the Mist, or Aquamistics in Leukerbad
Soon it became chilly from the wind and prickly snow, which had already covered the head with an ice helmet, and here, by the way, people in black, dressed in ritual robes with hoods, began to pour mulled wine from the vat and in plastic cups to spread to its guests.
After several servings of the warming drink, we were finally saturated with the atmosphere of a mystical party: burning torches around the perimeter, appropriate music in the speakers, constantly changing lighting and periodically showing the outlines of mountains-giants through the puffs of steam – all this magic, almost undiluted, was delivered directly to the pools along with hot healing water. The completion of this water ritual was marked by the launch of several firecrackers.
After that, visitors began to be invited to a cafe for a light dinner. Vegetable soup, chicken skewers, several types of mini-sandwiches and red wine (now cold) – the menu is not very sophisticated, but after water procedures such appetite that you do not pay even to plastic dishes. Although the couples tuned to romance were obviously expecting slightly different dishes, rather than skewers floating in the soup and, standing in line for food, giggled, discussing the original serving of their future candlelight dinner. We, however, with Sasha, who left their husbands at home with their children, liked the event from beginning to end. It turned out something like a fashionable water party, where we had a glass of mulled wine and were able to discuss everything that we didn’t have time for lately, and at the same time enjoy the surroundings and massage.
Ticket price for Aqua Mystica – 49 francs. The beginning is at 20:13, the ending is at 22:33, the ticket offices open at 19:30. Reservations are required. Only those who are over 16 years old are allowed to the event. We recommend to bring a bathrobe and slippers.