The Europa Hotel Mainz offers Gemütlichkeit subscribers a special three-day, two-night package this summer between July 1 and August 16. For 262 DM ($144) per person, the hotel offers a large air-conditioned room, a candlelight dinner, a welcome bottle of Rhine wine, roundtrip Mainz to Rudesheim on a KD Rivercruise ship, a Mainz info packet and entrance to an exhibition honoring the life and work of Hildegard of Bingen, one of the most remarkable women of the middle ages. The exhibition runs from April 17 to August 16 at Mainzs Dizesanmuseum.

To reserve the special Gemütlichkeit subscribers package contact Marianne Ziegner, Director, Best Western Europa Hotel Mainz, Kaiserstr. 7, D-55116, tel. +49/6131 9750, fax +49/6131 975555

Golfers planning a trip to Switzerland should obtain a free golf guide available from Switzerland Tourism. While we haven't yet seen the 98 guide, the 1997 edition contains information on 52 public and private courses. Some are open to the general public, others require a valid club card with handicap. For each of the 52 there are directions on locating the course, green fees, course length, altitude, dates of operation, recommended nearby hotels, and phone and fax numbers.

Green fees range from about 50 to 120 Sfr. ($34-$81). Contact Switzerland Tourism, 222 N. Sepulveda Blvd., #1570, El Segundo CA 90245, tel. 310-640-8900.

International Home Stays places travelers in English-speaking private homes in 24 countries including Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Poland. Host families offer home-cooked meals and personal guide service. Bed and breakfast deals begin at $59 per night. Homestays with more services and pre-planned itineraries are available at higher prices. Contact: American-International Homestays, Inc., P. O. Box 1754, Nederland CO 80466, tel. 800-876-2048, fax 303-642-3365.

A new train now connects Chur, the capital of Graubünden, with the mountain resort of Arosa. State-of-the-art panoramic cars aboard the Arosa Express offer unobstructed views of the alpine scenery and the interior design of the bar car is that of a traditional Swiss restaurant.

From May 24 through October 16, there are three departures per day from Chur at 10am, 12:50pm and 3:50pm. Passes valid on the route include Eurail, Europass, Swiss Pass and Swiss Flexipass; otherwise the roundtrip adult first-class fare is 38 Sfr. ($26) and 22.8 Sfr. ($16) second-class. Kids under 16 pay half price. Reservations of 5 Sfr. ($3.50) each way are mandatory and can be made at any train station in Switzerland.

This year the Rhaetian Railway system offers rides on steam trains built in 1906.

The "Engadina" (St. Moritz - Samedan - Scuol-Tarasp - St. Moritz) departs St. Moritz at 9:45am and returns at 5:20pm on the following Sundays: July 19; August 16; December 27, 1998.

The "Surselva" (Landquart - Chur - Ilanz - Disentis - Landquart) operates on Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, September 13. Departure is at 9.20am and the return is at 5.40pm.

The "Davos Roundtrip" (Landquart - Klosters - Davos - Filisur - Chur - Landquart) operates on the following Sundays: June 7; July 26; and October 11. Departure from Landquart is at 9.35am and return is 6.30pm.

The steam-ticket is 60 Sfr. ($ 41) for adults, 20 Sfr. ($ 14.00) for children under 16 years of age and holders of Swiss Passes, Swiss Flexipasses, Eurail passes.

Reservations can be made free of charge at any Rhaetian Railway station or with Graubünden Tours, tel. +41 81/254 9110, fax: +41/81 254 9111, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Again this year, the University of New Orleans and the University of Innsbruck jointly offer a travel-study program for adults. Participants can choose from such courses as 19th Century Romantic Opera: The Tragic Muse, Where the Arts Meet, The Origins of Celtic Culture in Austria and German Language: Roots, Culture and Use and join a variety of optional weekend excursions to Venice, Vienna, Verona and Munich. Cost is $3295 per person and includes 21 nights accommodations and a variety of meals, field trips, German lessons, and entertainment. Contact: The European Centre, University of New Orleans, PO Box 1097, New Orleans LA 70148-1097, tel. 504-280-7484 or 504-280-7318.

Very briefly...

In Switzerland, one can rent a Porsche Boxter from Europcar for from one to three days for 399 Sfr. ($270) per day. A 911 Targa or Carrera is 599 Sfr. ($405). Lufthansa is the only airline offering nonstop flights this summer between Houston and Frankfurt. The airline also operates four weekly nonstops between Dallas/St. Worth and Frankfurt. The Entertainment Hotel & Travel Directory for 1998, priced at $64.90, offers discounts usually 50% at some 5,500 hotels worldwide, quite a few in Germany, Austria & Switzerland. Order at 800-445-4137.