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And now, it's into the main attraction ­ the central baths. There is one bath that seems to be the same on both sides - 31 degrees and rather still, in a sort of old-boy-clubishness. The bath is supposed to be sort of a transition between the segregated side and the coed center, and technically, boys are supposed to stay with boys, and girls with girls. But no one really seems to care, it's not odd to find a member of the opposite sex here. Indeed, since the steambaths are close by these pools, you might see someone of the opposite sex in "your" steambath.

In the central area there are three large pools. Of the two smaller pools, one is at 34 degrees (94 F) and the other is at 36 degrees (97F) ­ too cold to be called hot tubs, too warm for doing anything other than lazing.

Then there is the central pool beneath a wonderful dome. It's circular, perhaps 60 feet in diameter, and it's 28 degrees (82 F) feels cold enough to rouse your heartrate after the other pools. It's also the deepest, perhaps five feet in the middle, and it's easy to do refreshing laps back and forth.

You can meet your spouse or another companion and laze for a couple of hours, talking quietly. (There are signs that state talking is verboten, but if you're not noisy, nobody cares. Just don't disturb others with loud sounds.) There are also cool showers in small alcoves if you want to rinse off.