Mein Mann ist zu mir so gut! (My husband is so good to me!) Not only did he take care of the boys who wake up before 6am every morning so I could get some much needed sleep, he insisted that I spend the morning at our local Mineraltherme Böblingen and just relax while he takes the boys to their favorite fun park. It is an all boys play date at JUMPINN fun park, I know they are having a blast!
My husband and I are starting the 30 day Paleo Challenge tomorrow morning so what better way than to start out with some steam rooms, cold baths and foot soaks to begin the detoxing process. If you have not spent any time in a German Bath house I'd like to walk you through the process so that you might find yourself over there taking advantage of a wonderful therapeutic and peaceful place.
The first thing that you need to know about the mineral therms is that they are coed and some areas no bathing suits are allowed. It is easy enough to stay private by keeping your towel on at all times but many of the men there don't always cover up as they are walking from steam room to wherever. So for us Americans where nudity is not so open and comfortable this is something you will need to prepare yourselves for. They also allow children ages 6 years and older to enter with their parents so don't be alarmed if you see young little ones walking around. This is a part of their culture and is very normal. With that in mind I might only see one or two kids each time I go in the downstairs area. For the most part the families stay upstairs in the bathing suit area.
When you arrive at the Mineraltherme it will cost you 10 euros for entry. Yep only 10 EUROS... a total deal! They give you a timed wrist band that is activated when you go through the entry gate. You have 2.5 hours to go anywhere you like except the downstairs sauna garden but if you'd like to go in you can swipe your wrist band on the gate and it will charge you an extra 4 euro that you will pay for when you exit the building. The sauna garden has the outdoor pools where everyone is naked so if you want to go in the large pools and are uncomfortable with the nakedness you can stay upstairs and use the indoor and outdoor pools in your swimsuit. I actually prefer the the swimsuit area pools because they are bigger and have more waterfall areas to pound on your back and the only hot-tub in the place is in that area. Sometimes I will start in the upstairs area then make my way down to the steam rooms.
Things to pack in your bag... You will want to bring 2 towels, a bathrobe, flipflops, shampoo & soap, swimsuit (optional), brush. They do have hair dryers so you won't need to bring one.
- Find a dressing room, undress to my bathrobe. You can lock your bag in a locker next to the changing rooms or take your bag downstairs and place in a cubical. There are showers both upstairs and downstairs to use when you are done. I took my bag downstairs because I spend most if not all my time down there.
- Take one towel with you for the steam and dry sauna rooms.
- My first stop was the steam room where I sent about 10 to 15 minutes sweating it out. You'll want to leave bathrobe and flipflops outside of steam room and wrap with your towel.
- Out of the steam room I use the cold shower hose to cool my body off and man is it cold!!! There is also a cold bath just outside the steam room that you can submerge completely in but for the first round I'm usually not brave enough for that cold water.
- I then headed over to the hot/cold water walk. Leave your flipflops and step into the hot side first. Just watch the other people and follow them. It is a nice slow walk through the hot water then step over into the cold water and again take it nice and slow. Do this three times and you will feel like you have new feet.
- To continue with this first detoxification process walk around the plants into the middle solarium space and take a seat in front of one of the foot baths. Fill up the water with luke warm water and soak your feet for 5 minutes.
- Next I moved to the outdoor pocket garden where on a sunny day you can get your Vit D. Today was not so sunny but I took up a lounge chair that was facing due East and actually felt like the sun was coming through the drizzle of rain. I spent 10 minutes relaxing there.
- Now my body has cooled off enough to go into my favorite steam room, the music and light therapy steam room. At certain times of the day like at 10:15an they offer seasalts during that session and as you sit through the 20 minutes you can give your body a great exfoliating massage with the salts. Today however I was a little too late for that session and the next one is not until 1:15pm. I highly recommend this steam room! It was good day today, only 4 other people where in there which gave us plenty of space to lie down and really enjoy the 20 minutes.
- When you come out of this steam room you will really be ready to submerge the body into the COLD bath and that is what I did. The only bad part for us Americans is that once you hang up your towel you are full on naked in front of whomever might be in that area. But it is sooooo worth it! Stay in the water as long as you can handle and then once you get out and wrap up in your robe again, OMG, your whole body will get a rush of sensation that is indescribable and wonderful!!
- Back to the hot/cold walk and then the foot baths again to finish out that cycle.
- Today, I sat in the solarium and read a book for about 20 minutes and then felt complete and ready to shower and head upstairs to change.
There is a lot more that you can do... this was just a snap shot of my morning today. If you like dry saunas there are plenty of those. I don't prefer them unless I'm in the sauna garden. They have wood burning stoves in those that are very very cool!! But remember if you are uncomfortable being naked you'll want to bring in two towels to the dry saunas because you MUST put one towel under your feet. If you don't you will get dirty looks and be told to take your only towel off and put it under your butt and feet. Could be quite embarrassing as I know from a friend of mine that happened to.
You can also sit at the cafe and have lunch, dinner or drinks. They don't have a specific gluten free menu however there are many healthy choices that are naturally gluten free. There salads are amazing and what I usually order!!!
If you have any questions please feel free to email me directly and I'd be glad to help. It really is one of the best things about living in Germany and I'm really going to miss it when we leave.