Fantastic Floating in Barcelona
After yet another TBEX blogger conference in Costa Brava, I decided not to leave Spain without visiting Barcelona for like the 20th time already.
This time I took one of my best Slovak girl friends with me, and another girl friend, also a blogger from Veronika’s Adventures. For both of them it was their first time in my favorite city in the world which, let be honest, put some pressure on me. I needed to show the best of Barcelona to understand why out of all the hundreds of destinations on Earth I have put my foot on, this one was THE one.
We were sharing a Superior room with the girls at the Aparthotel Silver in Gracia neighbourhood which is full of shops of different prices (from the most expensive designer ones to cheaper.) And in that area I found a super cool experience I’ve always wanted to try.
Floating in Barcelona
Does it ring the bell? Or are you just wandering why would I do any floating whatsoever in a city neirhborhood if I had 4.5 km of beaches along Barcelona coast?
Well, floating experience is a bit different.
Let me explain to you …
As it was our last day in town, I took a bycicle I was renting from Born Bikes Barcelona as I needed to return it in the afternoon. Veronika walked on the side. The Flotarium in Barcelona is located just a few minute walk from Aparthotel Silver which could not have been more convenient.
We entered the small reception and read through the rules of what to do and what to avoid during the next hour. None of us knew much about floating which did not take place in a swimming pool, lake or sea. And apart from that, Veronika is so not afraid of heights (she’s doing even better than me), but is not so comfortable with the small closed places. I don’t really mind those unless it’s underwater because I’m scared of depth.
It was definitely going to be a challenge for both of us.
And as other solo travelers, we like to face our fears and do anything possible to overcome them. Am I right?
And floating in Barcelona might look like 100% relax to some, but before we tried it, we were so not sure how we would deal with it.
What to think of before and during floating:
- no coffee nor alcohol a few hours before
- no shaving nor waxing for a couple of hours
- no heavy meals at least 1 hour before
- take off all the jewelry, watches and glasses
- put vaseline on all the cuts or stretches you have all over your body as the salt would make them super itchy
- use ear plugs when inside the tank
- it’s not recommended for people suffering of psychosis, bad skin problems, epilepsy, strong ear infections, nor those who take drugs
- during pregnancy, you have to ask for doctor’s permission before trying floating (many pregnant women love floating)
- the most important rule – no water in your eyes. Try to close them but when it happens, use a water spray which you can grab with your right hand from the right side of the floating tank and wash the salt off.
- take a shower both before and after the floating experience
- you don’t need to know to swim as your body floats by itself – one of the reasons why floating in a floating tank has more advantages than floating in a pool or sea
- drink a lot of water afterwards to help with detox
- apply natural oils on your skin afterwards as it will be very dry
What is floating?
You float in a 2.5m x 1.6m tank with super-saturated Epsom salt solution. There’s 300 kg of Epsom salt melted in 600 l of water which makes the density 5 times higher than the density of the ocean water. It’s basically saturated to 33%, the same as the Dead Sea. The water is just 30 cm deep so a part of your body is outside surrounded with air.
The floating therapy was developed by the neurologist John Lilly from the U.S. already in the 1950’s who studied its effect on human mind.
So I took a shower, put my bikini on and Veronika took some photos of me before I let myself forget about the outside world. I entered the tank and started floating immediately. I closed the hatch with a button on my left side and first listened to the classical music which was making me calmer and calmer.
There was a very dim light inside the tank just enough not to be scared of dark and to see the buttons if needed.
To be honest, the very few minutes felt very weird. I did not know where to look, what to think and most of all, I had no idea how to forget about the millions of problems accumulating in my head.
I’ve been meditating for a few years but this position did not feel like Savasana when I kept touching the inside wall of the tank with or my fingers or toes each time I took a deeper breath or moved a slight movement.
And then, just after a few minutes I needed to pee. I thought my body was just joking! Now? I mean, now?? I still have maybe another 45 minutes in the tank. No way!
It was so urgent I had to open the hatch, get out and run to the bathroom next door. I left a couple of puddles all around. So slippery!
I came back. The bikini felt so heavy with all the salt I decided to strip them off. No one could see me there anyway so what was the point anyway?
I put the ear plugs back and started floating again. This time as soon as I closed the hatch, all the stress disappeared. Claustrophobia was gone and so was the nervousness.
There was no music any more, so at first I started humming, then even singing.
After a few minutes I closed my eyes and found myself in the meditation Alpha level of mind.
When I heard the music again, I opened my eyes and realized I had a smile on my face. Satisfaction I’d call it!
The hatch opened by itself when the floating therapy was finished, I slowly stepped out trying not to slip and took a shower. Before we left, we received a bottle of water as the Epsom salt makes you dehydrated and you need to drink in order to help your body to get rid of the toxins easier.
What is floating good for?
- it releases stress
- as the water temperature is of skin temperature, it tricks your mind to make your body think you are floating in the air
- no gravity – the feeling of weightless is precious!
- good to release back pain and soothe sore muscle
- all sights and sounds are blocked, you can only hear relaxing music in the beginning and in the end of your session which is the best meditation ever. It makes you forget about the troubles of the outside world completely.
- because most of the sensations are blocked, it calms the nervous system to maximum and allows brain to relax
- Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulfate containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen usually found in thermal water. It also makes your skin smoother.
- helps with insomnia, headaches, depression, rheuma, migraines, PMS syndrome
- it prepares the body to release hormones of happiness and endorphins
I can highly recommend to try floating in Barcelona if you find yourself visiting the Catalonia capital. And if you have more time in the city, check out also my post about 30 things to do in Barcelona.
If you are also going to visit Barcelona landmarks, the best would be to book your Barcelona tickets online to avoid crowds.
Our floating in Barcelona was booked via Tinggly as part of my Adventure and Spa project. Tinggly is a website where you can book different kinds of experiences in more than 80 countries as a gift for your loved ones or yourself.