By Marge Tubalkain-Trell
TALLINN - When a friend of mine kindly pointed to my pale and sickly complexion, I decided to go to Tervise Paradiis, a spa and water park in Pärnu, to try to get that healthy glow that the season always promises but sometimes can’t provide.
The resort is located close to the sea, and I can imagine how great the views from the hotel rooms are. Tickets to the water park and its many attractions are valid for three hours or a whole day.
The first stop was the dressing room, which I was relieved to find was separate for men and women — when I visited the pool at another spa, in Pirita, the co-ed dressing room had been something of a surprise. In the washing room are a sauna and a cold pool.
Impatient to get to the main event, I didn’t spend much time in the sauna. And finally, there I stood in among the chutes — tubular water slides — and the various other pools and opportunities to relax, all waiting for me.
First I tried the children’s chute, the shortest one. Quite good, but not comparable to the cascade, which came next. It was similar to a chute, but the water flows much faster and there were ups and downs, which the chute lacked. We all grabbed each other and started our trip down. I got stuck and had a hard time getting out of there, but it was fun.
Next was another chute, this time the black one. It’s the longest and the scariest, with visual effects. And although I never found fear to be much fun, my friends apparently do, and they enjoyed that possibility to the maximum.
The water in the outdoor pool seemed like it would be terribly cold, but it was actually quite pleasant. From the pool I had a view of the sea, where someone was walking with a dog along the beach. I can imagine how crowded the beach must be on sunny days. I liked that outdoor pool the most.
When I went back, I found some of my friends preparing to jump from a platform that was four meters high. One of them told me he’d hurt hurt his back in a botched landing, but up he went again, undaunted, for another high jump.
I heard once from a staff member at another spa that this kind of water park is growing less popular. That’s probably why you won’t find a single chute — or anything like it — at the new water park in Pärnu, which opened at Spa Estonia this summer. There are different pools and saunas, but the purpose is the opposite : well-being and relaxation, rather than thrills and excitement. Attractions include three steam saunas and a salt sauna with a Japanese pool, with not a high jump or waterslide to be found.
Parnu really can call itself a spa city. With a third of Estonia’s spas and two types of water park, Pärnu is bound to restore the color to your cheeks.