One to avoid; GAP rentals; a reader returns

One to Avoid

Badgastein is a fun-spa in the Austrian Alps. It has a grotto carved out of the granite inside a mountain containing a big swimming pool fed with hot spring water alleged to cure all ills.

Weissmayr is a leading hotel where my family has gone to the "baths" for generations, because of the customary fine treatment you so aptly described in the January issue. But the last time I went, there were three surprises which terminated our tradition.

Upon arrival, according to custom, the desk clerk offered to take my luggage to the room. But after a 20-minute wait at the desk I decided to take the luggage and the key myself. Not unlike the management the hotel had been remodeled; the windows of my room were exposed to a big neon sign on the other side of the street, flashing all night, unprotected by the flimsy curtains. In order to sleep, I had to tape the windows with newspaper and to warn the maid to leave it there.

At the end of my stay I asked for the bill. It was an unintelligible two-page computer print-out, ending with a total significantly higher than the total any fifth-grader could calculate from the daily charges quoted to me on arrival. "The computer is always right" I was told when I suggested to recalculate with pencil and paper. Unable to cope, the cashier finally accepted my version.

Werner Barasch
Los Gatos CA

Rentals In GAP?

In your Readers Forum section of a recent issue, subscriber Mary Ellen Hunter describes her experiences while staying at the Landhaus Pirchner which is located in or near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Would you have access to either a telephone number or an address for the above mentioned facility?

We eagerly look forward to reading each new information packed issue of Gemütlichkeit since Germany is our favorite travel destination. We always read extensively before each trip and your publication is one of our favorite resources. One city which we like very much and have visited on several occasions is the Baroque city of Fulda. The city center hasn't changed much since ancient times.

One example is Michaelskirche which was built around 860 and is in perfect condition.

This historic city of 70,000 located in the Fulda gap has witnessed Roman occupation as well as untold armies seeking access to Eastern Europe through the mountain pass. In 1994 the city celebrated its 1250th anniversary. The entire town was festooned with flowers and there were daily activities throughout the summer months to celebrate the event. The restaurants and hotels compare favorably with others that we experienced in Germany. German tourists, aware of the many attractions, continue to flock to Fulda in droves. The absence of American tourists is compelling evidence that Germany's best kept secret is still well kept.

Edward Charles
Perkasie PA

(Ed. reply: Details on the Landhaus Pirchner and hundreds of other self-catering rentals are listed in the 120-page Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1996 hotel guide. Contact Verkehrsamt der Kurverwaltung, Richard Strauss Platz, D-82467, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; telephone 011 49 8821/1806, fax 011 49 8821/180 55.)

A Prodigal Returns

I want to go to Italy this year—so I started a subscription with the competition, The Italian Traveler. Within the first issues I missed Gemütlichkeit. I missed the style, the succinctness, the travel deals, the notes from the readers...

So here's my check for two years.

Brenda Donaloio
Galveston TX

(Ed. reply: Printing this letter is shamelessly self-serving but we couldn't resist. Thanks, Ms. Donaloio.)
(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.)

February 1996