Munich Insider

Having just returned from a week at the Oktoberfest (my traditional Wohlfahrt each year, the first was in 1965!), I have a few comments regarding your last issue.

1. I fully agree with your poking fun at the letter writer who spent 20 Sfr. ($16) for a sandwich. Who would want a self-serve sandwich, anyway?

2. Munich Note. I agree that the Hofbräuhaus band is very good there - are two bands, by the way, and the Reinhold band is better. Die Schwemme has been steadily improving over the past 16 years under the present Wirt, Michael Sperger. His appointment runs out in 1999, I don't know what will happen when he is replaced. You wrote that the HB-Haus is "now" state-owned. It has been owned by the state since 1919, when the royal house of Bavaria ceded power. There is a current movement to privatize the place, but the HB brewery and the three state-owned Wirtschafte (HB-Haus, HB-Keller, and HB-Biergarten adjacent to the Keller) make so damn much money for the Freistaat Bayern that privatization doesn't look like it's gonna happen anytime soon.

3. A Hotel-Vorschlag. Even though this hotel might be a little "down-market" for the typical Gemütlichkeit reader, my experiences have always been good at the Hotel Stachus Bayerstrasse 7, D-80335 Munich, tel. 089/592881. One of the few Munich hotels that doesn't surcharge during the Oktoberfest. My hotel room, a single with bath, was 150 DM ($100) per night, including a very good breakfast buffet. Located adjacent to the Mathäser Bierstadt, the surroundings are a little less-than-genteel (right next door is a Beate Uhse!), BUT, as my realtor friends always say, location, location, location. Fifty feet from the Stachus Underground, within staggering distance of Mathäser (which has a BETTER band than HB and better food, too), and centrally located for those who want to explore the Innenstadt on foot, and who don't expect to spend much time in their hotel room. Another nice touch is CNN-International on the cable TV.

As usual, your August '96 issue is great - I always look forward to reading each one cover-to-cover as soon as I get it.

Art Black
Carmel CA

Factory Porsche

We especially enjoyed your July, 1996, Readers Forum where Mr. Helm described in ebullient terms his joy and surprise in discovering that he could rent a new Porsche.

For those desiring the ultimate Porsche experience, my husband and I suggest doing what we did in September 1995 - taking delivery of a brand new Porsche at the factory in Zuffenhausen, a suburb of Stuttgart.

We flew to Stuttgart via Frankfurt the day before our scheduled pickup and stayed overnight at the Hotel Traube (D-7000 Stuttgart 70 (Plieningen), Brabandtgasse 2, tel. 0711/45 89 20, fax 0711/4589220), a comfortable village inn composed of several buildings, including a restaurant featuring grilled entrées. Only a 10-minute drive from the airport, in the village of Plieningen, the Traube provides a quiet refuge for guests recovering from jet-lag, and avoids the hustle-bustle of downtown Stuttgart.

The next morning we took a cab (Porsche picks up the cab fare) to the factory where we were welcomed and given an informal tour of the museum displaying vintage Porsche cars one can see and touch, and in some cases even climb into for that behind the wheel feeling. We then viewed the assembly line with great interest, and watched with delight as engine, frame, and chassis became one in what was described as "the wedding".

After a fine German lunch with Bier vom Fass, our excitement level increased dramatically as we were escorted to a very large room containing at least 75 gorgeous cars in every conceivable style and color, each awaiting a new owner. Our Porsche representative seemed to take an inordinate amount of time leading us through this maze to our car, but at last we found ourselves face to face with a brand new silver 993 Carrera - as ordered through our local dealer in the States.

After the obligatory photos, demonstrations, and signing of papers, we found ourselves heading out the main factory gate towards the Autobahn, direction Freiburg (va-rooom!).

Following two weeks of "thrill of a lifetime" driving, we returned our silver bullet to the factory with absolutely no hassle, and took a cab to our hotel in Stuttgart, the Steigenberger Graf Zeppelin (Postfach 10 23 53, D-70019 Stuttgart, tel. 0711/20 48-0, fax 0711/20 48-542), located near the Hauptbahnhof. Next morning we took the train to Frankfurt for the flight home. After returning the car to the Porsche factory, they prepare it for export to your dealer back in the U. S., who finally delivers it to you as a new vehicle, complete with standard U. S. specifications and warranty.

The car arrived in beautiful condition about eight weeks after our return, a wonderful reminder every time we drive it of one of the most unique travel experiences we have had in Germany.

Freelyn & Bill Jeffers
Boulder, CO

Hotel Bargains

Your travel letter readers might be interested in two fantastic places to stay and eat:

Gasthof Canisiusbrünnl in Rum near Innsbruck, Austria - Family Hölbling - Murstrasse 75 - 6063 Rum - Telephone 5 12/26 12 03 - Fax 5 12/26 12 03-81. Cost was 400 schillings ($36) per person per day. Nice, clean rooms. They also have apartments. Well known in area for their food, especially wild game. The Hölbling family is very friendly and helpful to their guests. Closed on Monday.

Hotel-Gasthof Alte Post
Siegsdorf, Germany, just off Autobahn 8 near Salzburg - Family Häglsperger - Traunsteiner Strasse 7 - Telephone (8662)7139, 9454 - Fax (8662)12526. Cost was 115 DM ($77) per double room. Very clean and spacious rooms, newly renovated hotel first built in the 1400s as a tavern. Herr Häglsperger has dozens of awards for his cooking. He, his wife and staff were very friendly and helpful.

Tim Pecsenye
Toledo OH

(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.

October 1996