When you find a property at €10 a night with a pool, espresso machine, and sauna, you take it, for these are the unicorns of the travel world.
After staying at La Despani in Brașov, Romania for one night with a good friend from university, I decided to return and enjoy some good ol’ fashion R&R. BONUS: The owners said they would be running the smoke-run sauna on Sunday if I came back.
As I peeled off my backpacks at 6 pm when I arrived at La Despani for the second time, one of the owners told me the sauna would be ready around 8. So would I!
Going into the 100 °C sauna, (that’s 212 °F, folks) I immediately began to sweat. My pores opened up, drinking in the mint and sage steam that rose from the rocks; that sizzling “TSZZZZZZZZ” sound gushed forth as the owner splashed water on them. After about ten minutes, I started to feel like a turkey basting on Thanksgiving, so I exited the sauna and jumped in the pool. Dead skin cells practically jumped off my body and my legs felt like dolphin skin.
This seemed to me a good circuit: sweat it out in the sauna, then shock your body with a splash in the pool. Only one thing was missing. I needed hydration for my throat as well as my skin. My newly revised circuit became: sauna, pool, beer (Repeat).
Needless to say, I felt every sort of wonderful after completing this circuit a few times. Once I figured there were no more dead skin cells on my body, the owner invited us into his man cave/bar to try some homemade cognac. I obliged, and was joined by an Estonian (remember the lovely Estonian couple from last week?) and a French couple, in addition to the Romanian owner.
As often happens when you travel, and 100% of the time with people from various countries, we attempted to solve the world’s problems with spirited discussion. A couple of glasses of cognac in, we defended and decried French laicism. “Would that work in other countries?” Only more cognac would tell.
Anytime you’re wondering how to pass a relaxing evening followed by world changing revelations, just follow this recipe:
1. Sweat in a sauna.
2. Jump in a pool.
3. Drink some ____ (beer for me).
4. Discuss critical world issues with a posse of peeps from across the world.
5. Add homemade liquor for maximum effectiveness.
6. The world most definitely becomes a better place.