Aug 5th, 2011, 08:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 79

I will be traveling to the following villages next month:
In Germany:
Bacharach,( Rhine)
Cochem (Mosel)
Staufen (Black Forest
Rothenburg ob du Tauber

In Switzerland:

I seriously need ice in each of those locations because of a medical condion (neuropathy) which requires me to put my feet in ice water every night before I go to bed in order to be able to sleep. Sometimes also I have to do this after walking much if my feet start to burn. I will be staying in zimmers, but very willing to get ice at a hotel and pay for it.

Thanks for any help you can give.
nanaof4 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 10:57 PM
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How do you want people here to help - are you asking them to bring you ice?

As expected you are staying in a "Zimmer" (room) and not under a bridge (well done, you!). It should be feasible to find a nearby supermarket or/and petrol station that is quite likely to offer some ice. If not that, try the local McDonald's. They may be quite willing to help.
hsv is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 11:43 PM
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Is that a serious condition? I am curious and a bit perplexed because if it was that serious, I would have picked "zimmers" or hotel rooms carefully at the very beginning of search, places that can provide ice. Of course that would limit the choice but if that's what you really need.... Probably too late to change your reservations (or not?)?

Maybe prepare a card in local language (German) that explains your problem and requirement, mentioning also you are willing to pay? Maybe people understand this way easier than you try to explain orally.
kappa1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 12:13 AM
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It looks like you are at mercy of the availability of ice at "Zimmer" or nearby stores, if any. Are you taking a medical icepak with you? If you have a frig in your room with freezer or if the Zimmer owner is willing to give you a freezer space, would it not be a fall back option at some places that is better than nothing?

There are also instant ice packs like these from several suppliers: ,

There are also things like micro fridge, but it would be a major hassle for what little capacity it offers for your need.
greg is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 12:54 AM
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Why not e-mail the places you are going to be staying and explain that you are going to need some ice [suggest you specify the quantity] and a bowl to put it in because of your medical condition? say that you are prepared to pay for it and apologise for the inconvenience etc.

i'd be surprised if they were less than extremely helpful.

as they are all german speaking places, you can send the same e-mail to them all.
annhig is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 01:06 AM
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"Zimmer" means "room" - regardless of whether it's in a hotel, B&B or any other type of house!!!!!!
It is by no means a differentiating term for a particular lodging establishment.
hsv is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 01:18 AM
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> Zimmer" means "room"

I know that. But it could mean "zimmer frei" kind of zimmer (pension, a room rent in a private house) then the service may be far limited from why you could expect at a hotel.

Greg's suggestion of bringing a medical ice pack sounds good.
kappa1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 01:20 AM
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> from why you could expect ..

from WHAT you could expect
kappa1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 02:10 AM
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"Zimmer frei" means "room available", nothing else. That sign could be on any accommodation.

Supermarkets hereabouts do not sell ice (apart from icecram), some but not all petrol stations might have it, otherwise chances are slim. Fridges in rooms don't have freezers. In other words, you have to ask the owners/landlords to prepare ice cubes for you in the deep-freezer in their kitchen, which is asking a lot if it isn't pre-arranged and will take a while.

Bring medical ice-packs, better two or three, and if you want ice cubes have a word with the places you are planning to stay in advance.
quokka is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 02:15 AM
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"Zimmer frei" means literally "Vacant room(s)". Contrary to common use around here, "Zimmer frei" is not the translation of B&B.
hsv is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 02:19 AM
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Can we stop the BS on this thread about what zimmer frei means? It sounds like a bunch of bratty children and is certainly NOT helping the OP in any way, shape, or form.
Dukey1 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 05:16 AM
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German tap water is as cold as ice, even on the hottest summer day. "Zimmer frei" is "Room(s) vacant"
logos999 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 07:25 AM
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As mentioned, finding ice in Europe is like finding sunflowers in Siberia.

Have you asked your doctor for another therapy? A sleep aid I use is valerian (NOT valium). Valerian is a natural herbal relaxant available in health food stores. Chamomile tea is also very good.
spaarne is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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I agree with logos -- every German zimmer I've ever stayed in the cold water felt like melted ice.

nana - do you really need ice, or just very cold water? If it's just cold water, you probably don't need to worry.
wanderfrau is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 10:04 AM
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My "Tengelmann/Kaisers" supermarket in Munich sells ice cubes in 2-liter bags and got one giant freezer full of it.
It's also not uncommon at gas stations.
It's not as common as in the US, though.

It will be hit or miss - try bigger supermarkets, and larger gas stations.

A back-up solution would be those zip-loc type plastic bags for making ice cubes. OP can bring them, and stock up at any drugstore or supermarket here. If one checked it around 2-3pm, one could fill the required number of bags with water, and ask the landlord or proprietor to put them in a freezer.

Nevertheless, I suggest OP experiments with surrogate treatments like cool sprays or whatever can have a positive result while still at home.

and quit the "Zimmers" talk.. It's not about mocking the OP or others who use this phrase, but no one here in Germany will understand what is means.. well, we obviously know that it means rooms, but it does not designate a certain type of accomodation. Even while dukey thinks it's BS, it is not.
A pension could be much more able to supply a larger quantity of ice as a B&B could, esp. if the pension had dining facilities - which usually go along with having big freezers and/or ice-making devices.

It is, by the way, total nonsense to use the word "zimmers" when asking, for example, a local TI for help. As you will probably pronounce it more or less like the English word "simmer", you will always get a blank face if you asked if there were "simmers" available.
It would be similar as if I asked a tourist information in the US for available "triple A's", as all the motels I stayed at had a placard with "AAA recommended" posted outside. The TI would probably guide me to the nearest AAA office, but would not guess that I was looking for a hotel.
Using the English phrase "bed and breakfast" will get better results even in remote locations, as that English phrase is quite well-known even by Germans who don't speak English.
Or use the German phrase "Privatunterkunft" - if you want to stay at one of the private homes that show "Zimmer frei" signs outside.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Ice cubes are relatively rare in Europe, especially away from a big city or an international hotel. And I understand from your other thread that you're traveling by train, so gas stations won't be convenient.

Some of your stops are small towns; Gimmelwald is very small. I doubt there's ice available there -- except in the mountains of course. And the tap water will be recently melted snow.

Cowboy gives some good suggestions for workarounds. We use bags of frozen peas (or corn) as ice bags.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Zimmer frei is commonly posted in Netherlands beach areas frequented by Germans. You will find many of them in Zandvoort. It is just a room for rent without breakfast. A few also advertise *mit Fruhstuck*, with breakfast. I also stayed in a *Zimmer frei* near Prague.

In Germany a good low cost room sign is *Fremdenzimmer*, typically associated with a *Gasthaus*. These usually have a restaurant with home cooked meals. Good cheap eating.
spaarne is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 11:48 AM
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'zimmer" is pronounced like "tsit" or 'tsetsi".

I think we've frightened the OP off!
annhig is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 12:11 PM
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Ice is not as readily available in europe as in the US and also many stores - even if they would selll bags of ice - are open (very) limited hours.

If you really must have this ice I would contact each of the places you will be staying and find out from them where in the vicinity you might be able to get ice - and what sortof hours those places are open. I would not assume a gasthof would have ice (more a couple of trays of cubes) nor that a hotel would either - unless a very large one. I hope you are trveling by car so you can do the necesary trekking around to find the places that might have ice.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 02:00 PM
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Wow! Never thought my innocent question would produce so many idiotic comments.

First of all "hsv", seriously, did you think I expected you or anyone else to bring me ice. You are just trying to make me feel stupid, and as a result you made yourself look stupid. And, no, I haven't stayed under any bridges lately, either here in the USA or in Europe! Have you?

And then, to all of you who got in to this deeeep discussion of what "zimmer" means. Pleeease, I know what the word means, but it is commonly used to mean "zimmer frei" or room to rent. I have traveled to Europe 9 times previously and have always had complete success using that term to inquire about a room for rent. I hope you all enjoyed showing you intelligence in discussing what this word means.

I am aware that the water in Germany and Switzerland is cold in some places, but have not really had the opportunity to check it out in ALL the places I am visiting, so I was hoping for some help from kind people on this forum.

To "Kaapa1" - Thank you for the suggestion of having a card in German that I could show to ask for the availablity of ice anywhere in the village. That is a great idea. I cannot pick my accomodations (notice I did not use the word "zimmers") based on their ability to provide ice. I am traveling on a very tight budget, as I am a recent widow, who is making a "pilgrimage" of sorts, to many small villages that my husband and I particularly loved.

To "greg" - I have thought of the instant ice packs, but they are very heavy and would take up too much room and weight in my small suitcase. This will be my first experience with using the trains, and I want to be sure I can quickly get on and off the trains.

To "annhig" - your suggestion of e-mailing the places I will be staying ahead of time, is helpful and I have done that with a couple of them. However, they do not all have e-mail. Most are very small "zimmers". Can I start a new discussion of the meaning of "zimmer"?

To "spaarne" - You suggested another therapy, such as Chamomile tea. Don't you think if it was as easy as taking an herbal relaxant or drinking some tea I would already be doing that? I WISH!!!

To "Cowboy1968" - Your suggestions were the most helpful of all. I so wish that a cool spray would give me the relief I need, but that just won't do it. I will probably take a supply of small ziploc bags and ask the proprietor to please freeze me a couple. Actually, the ladies in the kitchen at the klinik where my husband received treatment for cancer in Germany did just that for me.

To "Mimar" - I'm not really so worried about Gimmelwald, as I know the water there is very, very cold, but I included it on the list of places I am traveling.

To "nytraveler" - Thank you for your response. I will not be traveling by car, and in some of the small villages, I can't even remember if there is a petrol station.

Please, fellow travelers, have a little compassion, and show kindness to people who ask questions. Neuropathy is a very difficult condition to manage. I take medication for it, but find that to help me not be awakened by burning feet it is helpful to put my feet in ice water each night before retiring. I plan to walk a lot in Europe, as I always have. I know I could just stay home, and then I would not have found it necessary to burden all of you with my silly question. Maybe some day when you are not as young as you are now you will find yourself with physical limitations, but still not ready to sit at home in your rocking chair.

Well, you all gave me something to do on a Saturday afternoon in responding to your comments. Some of you attempted to be helpful, and I do appreciate that. Others are just plain rude people. I'm glad I don't know you and don't have to deal with you. I am feeling very hurt.
nanaof4 is offline  

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