Half Price for Rail Travelers
Those planning an extended stay in Germany should consider a BahnCard. The cost is 220 DM ($130) for the "main holder" and 110 DM ($65) for a spouse. Persons 60 and older, or students under 26, pay only 110 DM. Children 4-17 years of age pay 50 DM ($29) or there is a special family pass for 110 DM for family groups of one or two parents and at least one child. The cards, which are good for one year and available at railway stations all over Germany, entitle holders to 50% off second-class rail tickets in Germany. For more information contact the German National Tourist Office, 11766 Wilshire Blvd #750, Los Angeles CA 90025, phone 310-575-9799, fax 310-575-1565.
An outfit called American-International Homestays offers lodging in private homes plus roundtrip airfare and meals. The company's brochure says host families are selected according to occupation and interest and will be available to act as their guest's personal guides. You can choose from such cities as Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Sammarkand and Tashkent. Contact American-International Homestays, Inc., 1515 West Penn Street, Iowa City IA 52240, phone 800-876-2048.
New Owners for River Ship
The luxury Danube river cruiser, the M. S. Mozart (see Gemütlichkeit, Jan. 1990), has been sold to a private firm, the Peter Deilmann Shipping Company. According to a press release issued by the Austrian Tourist Office, "installment payments and debt service caused heavy deficits and the Austrian government was not willing to absorb any more of the annual red figures." The new owner will commence operation of a new cruise program in August. Gemütlichkeit has praised the ships facilities but criticized its high prices and mediocre food.
Chiemsee Package Deal
Prien am Chiemsee, in southern Bavaria, offers a "King Ludwig Special" for 210 DM ($124) including six nights lodging, a visit to Royal Castle, Herrenchiemsee, on an island in the lake, and a ride on a narrow gauge railway built in 1887. Contact Kurverwaltung, D-W-8210 Prien am Chiemsee, phone 08051/69050, fax 08051/690540.
Happenings in Austria
• The 1993 Anton Bruckner Festival at Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, is from September 11 to October 3. The event opens with an open-air sound and laser show on the Danube. Performing at the festival will be the Bamberg Symphony, the London Philharmonic and pianist Lazar Berman.
• The 9th International Schubert Festival in Vienna from November 19 to 27 will feature choirs from all over Europe.
• Eighty-one year-old Heinrich Harrer, mountaineer, explorer, ethnographer, photographer and writer, one of the four-man team to first climb the North Face of the Eiger, teacher and lifelong friend of the current Dalai Lama, donated much of his private collection of artifacts to his hometown of Hüttenberg in the 80s. The key items now comprise the Heinrich Harrer Museum in the Carinthian town. The museum, in a 1879 schoolhouse, was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1992 and officially opened in May of this year. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm April through June and September through November; and 10 am to 6 pm in July and August; and by appointment only December through March. Adult admission is 70 AS ($6), 50 AS ($5) for children and students, and 55 AS ($5) for senior.
• Each Tuesday and Friday at 8:30 pm, through September 10, the Plainberg Folk Music Ensemble performs at the Augustinerbräu in Salzburg's Mülln section. Monks have brewed beer at this location since 1621. Local vendors have food stalls on the premises selling sausages, smoked and roasted meats, grilled chicken, breads, salads, etc. Beer is drawn directly from large wooden barrels. Tickets for each performance are 250 AS ($21), food and drink are extra.
• An exhibition of the work of Georg Raphael Donner, a sculptor of Austria's Baroque period and born just outside the walls of Vienna in 1693, will run through September at the Austrian Museum of Baroque Art in the Belvedere Palace. Archduchess Maria Theresa once objected to Donner's near-nude sculptures and ordered them melted down. But the man put in charge of the project was himself a sculptor. He put the works in storage and then lied that they had been destroyed. In 1801, the pieces were put back in place only to be removed and replaced by bronze copies in 1873 because of weather damage. The originals are still on display at the Belvedere.
• From September 14 to November 7 Vienna's Museum of Fine Arts will be the first in western Europe to exhibit the collection of Jewish sacred art seized in the Ukrainian diaspora of 1922 and believed lost until 1990. The silver and gold treasures represent the very best workmanship and include 19 torah crowns, 20 rimonim, 105 torah shields, kiddush cups, Chanukah candelabra, etc.
For further information concerning the foregoing, contact Austrian National Tourist Office, 212-944-6880 in New York, 310-477-3332 in Los Angeles or 416-967-3381 in Toronto.
(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.)