In the spirit of paying it forward, here is some useful information if you’re going to be visiting the Marinus am Stein clinic (compiled from our experience as well as from advice from other patients.)
Location – The clinic is located near the quaint hamlet of Brannenburg, not far from Flintsbach at the base of the Bavarian Alps. Brannenburg is within walking distance (about a mile away). Flintsbach is a bit farther where you can pick up the high-speed train. Being in the country is a relaxed, healing environment. There is not much to do except relax, walk, hike, ride bikes or take the train to nearby cities. The clinic is adjacent to a working rock quarry set into the hillside. There are wonderful paths for walking and bicycles surrounding the clinic. Take a walk up the path on the hill behind the quarry to visit some historical sites. There are numerous hot spring baths or “bads” that can be reached by auto (although we didn’t have time to get there.) There is a nearby train station that travels to the top of Mt. Wendelstein for views of the Alps and valley below.
Language – We had very few issues with language (even though neither of us speak a word of German.) The locals speak a different dialect than the “proper” German in the northern cities, so German translation books and programs are not all that accurate. We both downloaded the iTranslate app for our iPhones but never used it. Dr. Weber understands English better than he speaks it, but we had no problems communicating. If you get stuck, there are a enough staff members that speak passable English.
Meals at the Clinic – I was worried that all we’d be served was bratwurst and sauerkraut but that was not the case. The food was simple, wholesome and delicious. Breakfast is served buffet style with breads, yogurt, fruit, Budwig’s quark. You can order coffee, tea, juices and eggs from the kitchen. Lunch is the main meal of the day and it’s three courses: 1) salad bar 2) choice of two soups (one clear and one creamy) and 3) a choice of two entrees (a vegetarian option and some kind of protein.) Each day at lunch you’ll be given a form to choose your lunch and dinner selections for the next day. Beer and wine are available at both lunch and dinner (which was a very nice surprise!) In the afternoons there is coffee and cake available from 3 – 4 PM. Dinner is a smaller and simpler meal, often the same soup as lunch and a light entree. We came equipped with our own snacks but we would have been fine without them. The clinic is located in the middle of an area known for dairy (you can literally see cows from the back door) so the milk products, cheese, etc. are amazing!
Cash for Incidentals – You won’t need cash at the clinic but you should bring Euros for incidentals. Some of the larger establishments in town accept credit cards, but the mom-and-pop businesses don’t. We weren’t able to get any of our credit cards to work at the local grocery store so it was good that we had some cash.
Apartment vs Staying at Clinic – There are a number of hotels within walking distance as well as three rental apartments right next door to the clinic. They are less expensive but you’d need to either cover the cost of your meals or purchase them at the clinic. The patient rooms at the clinic are very clean and comfortable. Bathrooms are private with a shower (no tub.) There is no A/C but there are individual radiators for heat in each room. For a short stay, it was easier for us to stay on the property.
Dress – Bring loose, comfortable clothing for your treatments. Sweats or lightweight pants with elastic waistband without metal zippers are ideal. Slip-on shoes are convenient as well. You can have no jewelry or metal on your person during treatment. Also bring appropriate outdoor clothing for the time of year, including comfortable walking shoes. Bring bathing suits if you want to visit one of the towns with hot springs or “bads” (baths). We were planning to do this but ran out of time.
Phone and Wifi – You’ll be given a wifi code but you can only have one device (laptop, phone, iPad) logged in at a time. You’re fighting for bandwidth with all of the other patients so during “prime” hours, service is spotty and there will be times that you’ll not be able to connect. I found the best signal on the first floor near the reception stand. Email worked fairly well but uploading photos was nearly impossible. One of the patients purchased a personal wifi hotspot from a store in the village and it seemed to be working quite well.
There is a phone in each room and you’ll be given the phone number. We never used it, opting to use our cell phones instead. (You can add a global data package to your plan for about $30.)
- Bring your own shampoo and soap. Also consider bringing tissues/Kleenex and toilet paper as what’s provided at the clinic isn’t as soft as we are used to in the U.S.
- Blow dryer provided on request.
- Bring several electrical outlet adapter/convertors.
- There is wireless internet and TV, but all channels are in German, so bring books, iBooks or Kindle to read. If you have a laptop with a CD drive, bring a stack of DVDs. There is a DVD player in the room but it isn’t compatible with US DVD’s so it only works with the clinic’s selection (which is limited.)
- The clinic will you do your laundry but there’s a one-day turnaround.
- Bring headphones to listen to music or podcasts during treatment. We also brought a wireless speaker to listen to music in our room.
Hope this is helpful. If you have questions feel free to message us through the “contact us” form on the home page.