“You’re sending me to Sibéria?”
Kathy Buckworth, our Dabble Dare contributor, has flown a plane, surfed the ocean and walked on stilts. This time, have we gone too far by sending her to Sibéria?
I have to admit, I was a little afraid. But, I soon discovered that Sibéria is a cold and remote country, but it’s also an amazing health spa in a cold and remote part of Québec. ‘What’s so daring about a spa?’ I wondered smugly.
The Dare: Plunge into freezing cold waters. (And have your photo taken in a towel.)
The Sibéria Station Spa is located about twenty minutes outside Québec City and promises to leave visitors with an “unmatched sense of well-being.” After freezing you blue, of course.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Nordic Spa, it is an experience where the bather alternates between hot and cold pools and relaxation periods. Having experienced it firsthand, I now know that Nordic Spa translates to, “pretty freakin’ freezing.”
As I change out of my perfectly warm, and appropriate, winter clothing into a fluffy white towel, I hear soothing French voices around me as other (warmer) visitors enjoy massages. Not for the first time I wonder, “Why can’t a massage be a dare?”
Although I am keen to reap the promised toxin cleansing results, I am more excited about the warm portions of the program. So, I start with a 10 minute sauna and allow my pores to open while toxins evacuate my body. (After a night on the town, this could get interesting.)
All too soon, comes complete submersion in a cold pool, which purportedly rinses said toxins (Who gets to clean out that pool filter?) away and tightens my pores. Tight pores mean younger looking skin, right? I muster my courage.
With a last deep breath of the warm, cedar sauna air I dash out the door, through snow and ice to the cold pool. I’m not even in the water yet and my toes are freezing, icing up with each staccato step. Though I’m tempted to turn around and run back, I take the plunge and, “Oh my god. It is really, really cold!”
How long do I have to stay in here? The suggested 10 minutes seems like an hour but eventually time is up and I race back to the sauna and the feeling of goose bumps all over my body is soon replaced by a feeling of true bliss.
The verdict? Yes, it is cold. However, nothing is permanently damaged and I tell myself my pores have never looked better. So, I Dabble Dare you to try it out too.
Québec City, Québec
Blue Mountain, Whistler, Mont Tremblant