Last Thursday, I introduced you just briefly to Plombières Les Bains, one of two new favorite cities of mine in France, each with many, many beautiful doors. There’s plenty of information online about it, unfortunately mostly in French. The Wikipedia entry in English is notable only for its paucity of information in comparison to the French version!
The “les bains” part of the name means “baths”, baths started by the Romans to take advantage of the thermal springs in the area. Just imagine you’re a Roman, roamin’ the countryside in formation, wrapped in all that armor, maybe burninating a few peasants (anyone here familiar with Trogdor? Trog-door?) and you discover thermal springs, probably at that time in the shade of a number of leafy trees! Ah, the bliss of a hot bath after a long day of marching (and maybe burninating)! And I do mean hot. These springs offer up rather toasty waters: 85 degrees Centigrade, 185 Fahrenheit! Of course, no spa wants to parboil their guests, so no worries about either relaxing in or drinking the waters. At the National Baths, those with a prescription can enjoy five weeks of free baths (and much, much more, including lodging and meals), courtesy of the national health care system. Nice work if you can get it, but who’s getting soaked here? I’m assured that it’s not all lounging around while turning lobster red, though. You have a regimen meant to shape you up and cure what ails you. We sampled a drink of the two waters (different sources and temperatures) in the lobby of the National Baths. Although one steamed gently, both were drinkable. One had qualities to take care of constipation, the other the opposite. We made sure to try both to avoid any complications!
Plombières isn’t just about baths, however attractive and healthful they may be. As befits a city of ancient heritage, there are also a plethora of beautiful doors a/o doors with character. So without further ado, let me introduce you to the first three in my rather substantial collection.