Archive for the ‘Wellness’ Category

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German Sauna Etiquettes, Naked

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Let’s talk a bit about the ins & outs of the etiquette in a German sauna, including the etiquette of being naked in a German sauna. ;-)

Don’t laugh, don’t giggle, don’t think I’m writing this for shock value. The German sauna experience — clothed or not — isn’t cheap and tawdry, it’s purely for health benefits.

The first thing you gotta do before settling into either a sauna or steamroom is shower, shower, shower.

Next, never let your skin touch the benches, always use a towel.

And while any one of you ladies might be sitting right next to a chippendales lad, it’s never polite to stare. The same holds true, of course, for you gentlemen sitting right next to a baywatch chick!

Oh, did I just gloss over the fact that men & women often share the same sauna? Nude? In North American culture, for instance, this is shocking, but not so in Deutschland.

Often a sauna will have same gender specific times throughout the day, so if you aren’t willing to go totally bare in front of the opposite-sex, check the schedule.

Some saunas will allow children, and if you’re gonna bring yours in to experience the “healing properties,” just make sure they keep the noise to a bare minimum.

Yeah, that’s about as easy to do as threading a needle with a limp spaghetti noodle. ;-)

Plus, leave your mobile phone outside. Besides the fact that a sauna’s climate is completely inappropriate for gadjets, no one wants to hear details about your sister’s nasty divorce or your best friend’s gastric bypass surgery. ;-)

Another no-no is either entering or leaving during the Aufguss, the “ceremonial” act of pouring water over the hot stones (times are posted). When all is said & done, it’s only right to applaude them for their efforts.

Just in case I’ve missed something, you’ll generally find a list of rules posted right outside the sauna doors.

The Hills Of Lauterbad, The Winter Getaway, Are Also A Summer Wonderland

Monday, July 6th, 2009

In the heart of the Black Forest lies the tiny community of Lauterbad and the district by the same name. Located just outside Freudenstadt, this district is one of my Secret Tips.

Known for its outdoor activities, in the winter it serves as a skiers’ retreat and snowboarders’ haven. Visitors flock in to take advantage of the snow and then head for colder climates when the springtime comes.

Yet staying away from this area in the summer is a mistake you won’t want to make. When the snows are gone, the Lauterbad region comes to life even more, just in a different kind of way. The welcoming blossoms of the flowers and the lush green of the forest trees will draw out the stresses of your day to day life and have you reveling in the charms of a country summer.

Bike trails, hiking paths and walking trails invite you out away from Blackberries, Emails and TVs. You can go over to the Freudenstadt golf course or rent equipment for water sports from any of the local hotels. From dawn till dusk, there are activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Yet if you are seeking a grown-up pampering you will also not be disappointed. There are a number of spa and wellness retreats, each with their own restaurant. All the competition keeps the quality quite high. You will find yourself spoiled for choice when dinnertime comes around and almost every place will be a top spot.

One of these wellness hotels in Lauterbad, one I personally visited time and again and, consequently, is on my “highly recommended” list, is the Hotel Grüner Wald. Their sauna center is exceptional; sitting outside breathing in the fresh air makes you at least ten years younger; and their dishes are first-class and so delicious, I would fly in there and book a stay just so I can pamper my tummy again. Hmmmm… unforgettable each time!

Lauterbad also offers the delicious local vintages you would expect from this corner of Germany. You can pick up something lovely and then sit out to enjoy the sunset over the mountains. Away from the urban world, you will be able to watch the stars come out and congratulate yourself on having listened to my advice and found this corner of Germany in just the right season! ;-)


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