Visiting Thermal Baths in Alsace
(Freehold NJ USA)
We will be visiting Alsace and Lorraine in July-August (as far east as Metz, Nancy and Itterswiller, as far south as Remiremont and Rouvres en Xaintois) and would love a dip in a natural thermal bath some afternoon, but without checking in to an expensive spa-hotel.
How do we do this and how do we inquire (I can speak French fairly well, German badly and no Alsatian)? Can we just show up in Contrexeville or Vittel or Plombiere-les-Bains, for example, look for signs and jump in a public pool?
Is there a fee? Is there a time limit? Do we need reservations? Do we need bathing caps?
Are the baths indoors or outdoors, co-ed or single sex, group or individual, bathing suit or nude? (not that I want to bathe nude with strangers but I wouldn't put it past the French!) Are they for swimming or just soaking?