Eastern Germany hotel recommendations; Munich hotel; Austria's Achensee; Petrisberg correction; a couple of Swiss restaurants
East Germany Recommendations
My wife and I recently returned from a two-week excursion through the eastern regions of Germany. Especially enchanting were the areas in the Zittauer Gebirge along the Polish/Czech border, and the Erzgebirge, further to the west along the Czech border.
We stayed in the Hotel Riedel in Zittau (double room 86 DM/$40, +49/03583/6860, fax 68 61 00). It was very clean and comfortable, with a helpful staff and delicious breakfast buffet included in the price. From Zittau, you can easily take day-trips to the towns and sites in this region. Görlitz, with its medieval town center, is well worth visiting and everyone we met was extremely friendly and helpful.
An experience worth undertaking while in Zittau, is riding the Bimmelbahn which is run by the Sächsisch-Oberlausitzer Eisenbahngesellschaft mbH. It consisted of several old steam locomotives with wooden rail cars built in the late 1800s. The trains depart from Zittau and run through the Zittauer Gebirge to the Kurorts of Jonsdorf and Oybin on a published schedule, with an all day ticket costing only 12 DM ($6). Those who are familiar with large scale LGB model trains, would easily recognize the restored, full-scale locomotives and passenger cars that were used.
Another charming corner of Sachsen is the Erzgebirge, located about an hour south of Dresden. One interesting attraction is the little village of Seiffen, where the handmade wooden Christmas ornaments, Raucher Männer and Knussknacker figures are manufactured. The intricate lathing process from which various shapes and figures are cut can be viewed first-hand.
A very convenient location in this area from which to branch out, is Ansprung, a little town located just south of Olbernhau. We found a room at the Pension Schalling (50 DM/$23 per person with breakfast, tel. +49/037363/4009). The rooms were as nice as any hotel we stayed in during our trip. In addition the pension has an eating room and little kitchen for use by guests who wish to do their own cooking. Herr and Frau Schalling were extremely gracious hosts and their pride in ensuring guests were comfortable was evident in the meticulously clean facility and scrumptious breakfast served each morning. During our stay, they encouraged us to attend the local German Reunification celebration that was held at a nearby horse ranch.
The Schallings are planning an expansion to their current facility to increase the number of available rooms, and hope to soon be listed on the Internet.
Steve & Mary Anne Medaglia
May I tell you about a great little hotel where we have just spent a week in Munich for the Christmas markets? Hotel Acanthus (An der Hauptfeuerwache 14, D- 80331 München, tel. 011/089 / 23 18 80, fax 2 60 73 64) is just one block east of the Sendlinger Tor station and therefore within easy walking distance of the Marienplatz, the Victualienmarkt, the train station, etc.
We first found it in Karen Brown's book and looked up their website and made our reservations directly with the hotel. Our double rooms (there were 4 couples of us) came to l95 DM/day which at the present exchange rate is about $90/day. A huge breakfast buffet is included in this price. The rooms are larger than average, have nice bathrooms with tub and shower with a shower curtain!
All eight of us thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. I don't think they need any publicity, but your readers might like to know about it.
Peg and I have driven by Achensee (Austria's largest lake within her borders) several times. We thought, how beautiful; this clear lake meshing with the mountains. So on our last trip we stayed there one night to "scout" the area for futures stays. We are now planning the next trip that will include a longer stay.
Achensee is a winter and summer resort with off seasons between the peak seasons. A lake cruise boat covers the entire 14 miles of shoreline with six port calls in two hours.
It is approximately 90 minutes south of Munich and about 45 minutes to an hour northeast of Innsbruck - turn north at Jenbach. From Jenbach a steam locomotive train is available to the shore of Achensee. Accessible also by car.
Hotel Petrisberg Correction
September's Dear Subscriber column quotes rates for a number of hotel room accommodations at this time of favorable exchange rates.
You state that "the top double room at the Hotel Petrisberg is 150 DM." I recently corresponded with Mr. Pantenburg there regarding the booking of three double rooms for next year. He confirmed same at 175 DM per room and enclosed a rate sheet, effective June 1, 1999, indicating the price of a double room ranging from 160 to 190 DM.
You may wish to amend this in a later issue or be kind enough to let me know if subscribers are, indeed, eligible for the lower rate.
H. Martin Ems
San Francisco CA
(Editor's Note: We thank Mr. Ems, a longtime subscriber, for setting us straight. No special subscriber rates. We relied on prices found on the Web at hotelguide.com, which lists the Petrisberg double room rates at 130 to 150 DM.)
Here are a couple of favorite restaurants:
Auberge de l'Onde (tel. +41/021/921 30 83, fax 922 1692). Rustic tavern perched on side of hill overlooking Lac Léman. Chicken and meat grilled over after-harvest vines. In Saint-Saphorin, 20 minutes east of Lausanne/Ouchy on lake road.
In Zürich, try Jacky's Stapferstube (Culmannstrasse 45, tel. +41/01/361 37 48, fax 364 00 60). Biggest thickest veal chop ever seen, three-four inches juicy charbroiled, other grill specialties, only locals know this place. Only a four-minute cab ride from Paradeplatz.
Los Angeles CA
December 2000/January 2001