Hot Spots 4


The fourth (and perhaps final, at least for blogging purposes) sauna visit in Amsterdam and area brought me to Sauna Deco, a very centrally located spot in the heart of Amsterdam.

The same rules apply here as for every other spot visited on the tour so far - coed, nude in the saunas and tubs, but sport a robe or towel in the food and lounge-y areas.

Is it getting old, seeing people naked? Normal, even? I would say no, but it certainly doesn't have that holy-s*it-I'm-naked-in-a-room-full-of-women feeling that I started out with last year. I have shed some of that North American prudishness, that's for sure.

Sauna Deco, as its name suggest, takes its decor seriously. A very nicely laid-out place, on the medium side in terms of size (not the colossus that Spa Zuiver is, but larger that Sauna Fenomeen).

It's a really nice building, with stained glass windows, ornate handrails and polished wood steps, and it has a steam room, infra-red sauna, a couple of regular dry saunas, and various tubs to cool off in, along with two outdoor sitting areas.

It also has several spots to lounge about and get your Zen on, or just have a hushed conversation with a partner.

T'was a fine way to spend 3-4 hours on a cool Sunday afternoon. Except for one thing (see "Vibe" below).

Price: decent - 21.50Euros for all day on a weekend. Prices vary for off-peak times.

Crowd/Vibe: 50-50 male/female, anywhere between 30 and 60 years old, and like the others visited on this tour, it was a mix of the fit and not-so-fit.
Sauna Deco is a relaxed, very quiet place, especially the upstairs where you can grab a blanket and lie down on a thick mat. Bring an iPod up here and drift away...

BUT - it can have a slightly creepy vibe if you are male and not into, um, other males. There is a bit of leering going on - and it's not one of those saunas just for dudes either. It's something that women get all the time from the hetero world in saunas and on the streets. Here in the sauna, you can ignore it pretty quickly by just, well, ignoring it pretty quickly.

Location: Very central and ideally located for the tourist, you'll hear other languages here although Dutch is still the main one. Pay attention though - there's no neon sign hanging outside, so you might zip right past it.

Overall: a clean, visually pleasing, not busy, very easy place to relax - unless you are homophobic. Although if you are, you need to relax more anyway.

And this wraps up my unwrapped tour folks. I wholeheartedly recommend doing a sauna in Holland for something new, adventurous, and relaxing.

De Pijp


Living back in De Pijp again, a funky little warren of a neighbourhood consisting of corner pubs, the biggest street market in the city, a little (ok, more than a little) litter, and chock full of high-end and low-end dwellings, restaurants, and people.

The past 3 days, the wind has been blowing like mad. Biking here is an experience almost anytime, but being blown into oncoming traffic or lightposts adds another element of adventure.

Some photos from this morning's walk around the 'hood...

Some fresh flowers for Andre Hazes, De Pijp's favourite son. He was discovered at age 8 at the Albert Cuyp street market here, and went on to become one of Hollands's most popular singers. He sung mostly levenslied (songs about life) - essentially Dutch folk music.

A four-seater, with air conditioning

In many countries, this would be illegal

Copyright infringement? Nah, let's just put "67" at the end

Wind damage