The name Tbilisi derives from an old Georgian word meaning “warm place.” If you’re anywhere near the baths, you can’t miss them. Your nose will lead you there, to an area of the Old Town with its beehive domes that look like something out of a science fiction thriller.
The sulphur springs of Tbilisi are a real highlight. I try to visit at least once every two months because I believe in the health benefits. It relieves arthritis, clears the skin and relaxes aching muscles. I go to the same place each time because of habit and because the majority of locals always recommend them to me.
When you enter at the reserved time, you’re led into a small room with a sofa for changing and drinking tea. You remove your clothes, enter the pool area, and sink into the extremely hot water. It feels like boiling water on the skin the first few minutes, and then it slowly becomes normal. If you’ve also booked a scrub, they let you soak for about twenty minutes before the woman (for women) or man (for men) comes in with soaps and scrubbing glove. It’s quite intimate. You’re naked, and she is naked, except for a bathing suit bottom. She guides you to relax on a marble slab and the ritual begins. You are scrubbed down vigorously from head to toe. Skin revitalized. A few pulls and bends of the joints, a deep back massage and you feel like a brand new person.