Hotel Pension am Karlstor

Munich, Germany

The key here is price and location. We have stayed at the Karlstor four times and been very happy. It is safe, very clean and run by two nice people. The new owners speak German and English. Double room with shower is 115 DM ($68). Doubles with the shower and toilet down the hall are 91 DM ($55) plus 5 DM ($3) each for a shower. Not a bad price considering it includes breakfast and is just a short walk from three of the most famous saloons in Germany: Mathäser Bierstadt, Zum Pschorrbräu, and the Hofbräuhaus. Fifty meters from the Karlstor is another great beer restaurant, the Augustinerbräu. Cost of meals in these places is about $10-$15, the same as at an inexpensive to moderately priced restaurant in the U.S.

If going to the city from the airport, take the S-8, S-Bahn from the new airport direct to the Karlsplatz/Stachus stop (cost $6). From there it's a three-minute walk to the hotel. Riding the escalator out of the underground you'll spot the huge Karlsplatz Fountain on your left and the three arches of the Karlstor Gate straight ahead. The hotel entrance is just inside the smaller arch on your right.

Auto travelers will find it a little tricky getting to the Karlstor requiring some map reading. Park the car two blocks away in the parking garage ($15 for 24 Hrs.), or find a parking space on the street.

By rail, walk the six blocks from the Hauptbahnhof or take the S-Bahn one stop (Karlsplatz/Stachus).

Hotel am Karlstor, Neuhausee Str. 34, D-80331 Munich 2, phone 089/59 35 96, fax 089/523 46 81.

Pension Wendelsteinblick

Bayrischzell, Germany

The toll road (3 DM/$1.80) connecting the town of Degerndorf to highway # 307 is a beautiful drive. (Once on #307 go right/west to Bayrischzell.) The surrounding alps and developed ski areas give this resort village real zest. Beautiful mountains form a background for this valley village of classic Bavarian houses with a profusion of flowers and paintings as decoration.

Very clean, nothing special, no English spoken. The proprietor is Frau Adden. Doubles with shower, toilet, breakfast are 90 DM ($54). This pension is nice but its true appeal is the Deutsches Haus restaurant across the street.

Pension Wendelsteinblick, D-83735 Bayrischzell, phone 08023/447.

Haus Kathrin

Hof bei Salzburg, Austria

In a tiny village halfway between Salzburg and St. Wolfgang and an excellent base camp to run day trips in all directions. Especially beautiful, well decorated home. House is on a highway so the front rooms get some traffic noise but they also have a lovely view. A double room with shower toilet across the hall is about 600 OS ($52).

Frau Enzersberger is friendly and gracious. She serves a great breakfast in a dining room with a fireplace, a collection of hunting guns and some trophies. No English spoken.

Haus Kathrin A-2322 Hof bei Salzburg, telephone 06229/2208.

Gasthof Hallberg

Hallstatt, Austria

One of Austria's most picturesque towns is Hallstatt. It is small and can be walked end to end in just 20 minutes but its charm has you lingering and looking for hours. The appeal is the manner in which the village is built into the steep hillside overlooking the Halstattersee. The houses are seemingly stacked one atop the other so that none seems more than a few hundred feet from the lake. Winding stairs and walkways between homes and shops take you from one level to another.

We stayed at the Gasthof Hallberg, run by one of the more popular restaurants. Our room was huge and clean as a pin and cost only 700 AS ($71). The furniture was wonderful old pine and the view from the corner window awesome.

One reason to stay at the Hallberg is the museum and the display area on the second floor landing. The landlord is a delightful, gruff guy who also runs a diving school. The museum's display shelves and cabinets hold many decades of booty raised from the bottom of lakes and rivers throughout Europe. The collection includes vases, huge urns from Roman times, arrowheads, tons of memorabilia from both World Wars, and one of every type of munition used by both sides.

Also recommended in Hallstadt is a visit to the salt mine.

Gasthof Hallberg, c/o Tourist Office Post Office Box 7, A-4830 Hallstatt, phone 06134/208, fax 06134/352.

March 1994