THE INTERVIEW IN AGIA PARASKEVI THERMAL SPRING Students:
Mr Galazoulas, when was the specific thermal spring discovered?
Mr Galazoulas: Shortly after the war. The local people came here, looking for sulfur. Someone found the water, opened the hole, discovered some healing properties of the water and started using it.
Students: Since when is this a public enterprise?
Mr Galazoulas: After 1970, two small houses were built. The building, as it is today, started being built in 1999, ended in 2002 with the help of a European program that was then approved by Mr Pakhtas (debuty minister of Economy).
Students: What is the composition of the water?
Mr Galazoulas: Its main ingredients are sulfur, boron and bromine, potassium, magnesium and various other ingredients.
Students: Which are its healing properties?
Mr Galazoulas: It is very good for all skin diseases, psoriasis, mycosis, acne, eczema, and many musculoskeletal problems, old fractures, arthritis and gynecological problems.
Students: In which cases it is not recommended?
Mr Galazoulas: In cases of heart diseases, high blood pressure, varicose veins, or if someone is not feeling well.
Students: Please tell us about the events taking place here once a year.
Mr Galazoulas: We have established a climbing and cycling festival, which takes place in mid–‐September. There are many German climbers who come here each year and we also do cycling routes on the mountain. Are there many tourists that are interested in activities such as climbing, hiking, diving, cycling?
Are there any thoughts on the development of these activities?
It is this thought that has led us creating this festival.
Students: Which element of the water is responsible for its characteristic smell?
Mr Galazoulas: What smells a lot, like a rotten egg, is hydrogen sulfide. After bathing, the smell is different, it is then the sulfur that smells.
Students: What are the services offered here?
Mr Galazoulas: There are an indoor and an outdoor pool, steam bath, sauna, hot tub and massage services in the summer.
Students: …and what are the costs?
Mr Galazoulas: The use of the pool (one cession) costs 6 euros, or 5 euros if you get 7 prepaid tickets. It is 4 euros for groups of people with disabilities, 3 euros for children and also there are various offers depending on the bath. Prices are very low compared to prices in other countries.
Students: Please tell us about the visitors, their age and nationality.
Mr Galazoulas: In the recent years we have too many visitors from Russia. By 2011, when there were many state benefits, there were too many elderly people, because the costs were covered (accommodation, food, bathing). Now, the state benefit given by the EFCA (social security institution) is 150 euros for 15 baths, so it’s not much, but especially the Russians find that the water is fantastic because it is, first of all rare, it is sea water, which goes down to 2,000 meters, heats up and re–‐runs over. Worldwide, there is a source here and a relevant one in Japan.
Students: How long does it take for a patient to be cured?
Mr Galazoulas: We recommend at least 10 to 15 bath cessions.
Students: …and how long does a cession last?
Mr Galazoulas: A half an hour bath is enough.
Students: Please tell us about the recent renovation of the facility.