Austria, Germany Recommendations
I am in the process of planning my second trip to Europe in the last three years, and I wanted to pass on a few comments based on my 1993 trip.
I found your newsletter to be an invaluable source of information about Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I used your recommendations quite often planning my trip, and was never disappointed.
In particular, I found the Hotel-Pension Heim and the Gasthof Hirsch, both in Seeg, Germany, to be charming places and remarkable bargains. At the Hirsch we enjoyed not only good food and service, but also the company of friendly German travelers. The location of the Heim is lovely; I especially enjoyed the sound of cow bells in the morning from the meadow behind the inn. The quiet village of Seeg is a welcome relief from the tourist bustle of Füssen. Your recommendation of both these establishments is well deserved.
I found a couple of nice places through other sources I would recommend. In Munich we stayed at the Hotel Uhland, on Uhland Strasse, near the Theresienwiese, which would make it an ideal location for Oktoberfest, although we were there in the summer. It's a bit far from Marienplatz, but a subway station is within two blocks of the hotel, and we were easily able to walk there and back, even late at night. The hotel is moderately priced and very pleasant. It was nicely decorated with flowers outside, and there was on-site parking and a good breakfast. No one should go to Munich without seeing the Deutsches Museum (science and industry)!
We also found a lovely, small country inn 10 km outside of Salzburg: the Gasthof Schön, Fürstenbrunnerstrasse 50, in Fürstenbrunn, Austria. It's located in a quiet, rural village and the view from our room was splendid. The room was quite inexpensive, and included a great breakfast. It is convenient to Salzburg, Hallein, and Berchtesgaden, all of which we visited. The tour of the salt mine in Hallein was certainly memorable. We had an excellent and inexpensive meal at the Restaurant Schorn in nearby St. Leonhard, a beautiful facility with a very pleasant outdoor café. No English was spoken at either the Schön or the Schorn, but we got by on my high school German. The mine tour was in German, but at major points there are recorded explanations in English, French and Italian. The town of Grödig, near St Leonhard, also had a number of interesting inns and restaurants.
I have relied heavily on information from Gemütlichkeit in planning our upcoming trip to Rothenburg, Heidelberg, the Rhine Valley, the Black Forest, Lugano, Zermatt and Montreux. Thanks again for all the help. I also enjoy reading about places I will not be able to visit in the near future.
(Ed. Note: Gemütlichkeit gave the Hotel Uhland a favorable review in the January, 1992 issue.)
Your description of mid-priced hotels in Zürich in the February 1995 issue says nothing about air conditioning. I assume that none of these hotels have air conditioning. I, for one, will not stay at a non-air conditioned hotel (even in Switzerland).
I think it is deceptive to refrain from advising Americans when a hotel is NOT air conditioned. Americans expect air conditioning and should be warned when a hotel does not have it, regardless of local custom.
Dennis A. Bell
Editor's Note: According to the 1995 Hotel Guide of the Swiss Hotel Association, none of the hotels reviewed in February have air-conditioning in all rooms. The Michelin Red Guide indicates at least some rooms in the Hotel Glockenhof are air-conditioned. Even the great Hotel Dolder Grand, arguably the city's finest, does not rate the "all rooms air-conditioned" symbol in the Swiss Hotel Guide.
Hotel air-conditioning in Germany, Austria and Switzerland is the exception rather than the rule. In general, one can expect AC in four and five-star hotels in major cities, though it is not one of the criteria by which the SHA awards its stars.
The general lack of air-conditioned hotel rooms is attributable to three factors: first, Europeans generally prefer their automobiles and hotel rooms without air-conditioning; second, many hotels were constructed before air-conditioning; and, finally, hot, muggy days are not nearly as common in Europe as in the U.S.
As to our failure to mention the presence or lack of air-conditioning, why don't we call it an "omission" rather than a deception?
The July 1995 issue of Gemütlichkeit was packed with useful and interesting information. I read the letter from cover to cover without an interruption.
The feature on Heidelberg whet our appetite and we will revisit this university city on our next trip - November 1995. Uncle John's report on Praha has assisted us in making the decision to visit the Czech Republic.
The lodging referrals in Dear Subscriber and Readers Forum are helpful in planning future trips to Gemütlichkeit countries. Thanks again for an excellent July letter.
Pay Those Traffic Tickets
Referring to the article "Traffic Tickets by Mail", in the July 1995 issue of Gemütlichkeit, I strongly endorse your decision to pay it.
Several years ago, while living in London, I was lecturing at an institute on the outskirts of Zürich, and was in rather a hurry crossing town from the airport one late evening.
Some time later, I received a very official envelope from the Swiss Consulate containing the ticket and the photographs. These were not things of beauty, but from three angles, there was no denying my profile. I decided to ignore it.
After some time, I entirely forgot the incident and made subsequent business visits to Switzerland.
However, one day, the passport control officer inserted my passport into the computer, and immediately decided that there were matters for needing a private conference in the inner Sanctum.
To make a long story short, it's much less expensive, and much less embarrassing, just to pay now, since I assume that the Germans have now become as ordentlich as the Swiss in these things!
(U.S. Dollar prices quoted in this issue of Gemütlichkeit may be inaccurate for these reasons:
* Prices in local currency have not been updated since the date of publication of this newsletter, and...
* The dollar prices shown were obtained by using exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.