Grindelwald Hotel

You had a small piece in the Dec./Jan. issue on the Hotel Belvedere (tel. +41/033/854 5454, fax 853 5323) in Grindelwald, and I want to second that recommendation.

I was with a group of about 120 skiers with the Far West Ski Association (FWSA) in Grindelwald last year; a group so big that it had to be broken up in several hotels. I was lucky enough to take the Belvedere. I'm sure the other hotels were fine, too, but none of them had the experience that we had.

Owner Urs Hauser is a real enthusiast for Grindelwald, his hotel, and sports. Each day there was a separate event, often run by Urs himself. The first morning was a ski tour, which is common in ski areas, but still welcome. But, he also took us out curling in the ice rink in Grindelwald, which turned out to be great fun, even if the rest of us didn't have a clue what we were doing. And, you mentioned the toboggan. Urs took us out on that as well. The toboggans are handmade by an 80-year-old man in the South Tirol, and he is on allocation. Urs would like to buy about 20, but can only buy 1 or 2 a year. Great Fun.

Bruce Walker San Pedro CA

Swiss Restaurants

You can add Petermanns Kunststuben (Seestr. 160, CH-8700, Küsnacht, tel +41/01/910 0715, fax 910 0495, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) in Küsnacht, Switzerland, to your list of disappointing culinary stops. We went to Petermanns in December and were sorely disappointed. The dining room looks like an old converted living room and reeks of pungent odors. We were seated next to the kitchen door that remained in constant motion all evening. The food was thoroughly average but for a premium price.

Contrast this to many wonderful meals we have enjoyed at Hotel Restaurant Balm (tel. +41 041/377 1135 fax 377 2383, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) in Meggen just 10 minutes from the Lucerne Bahnhof. The owners, Berti and Oscar Stofer, have created an epicurean excursion into excellence at reasonable Swiss prices. There are many more great and reasonably-priced restaurants out there and finding them is half the fun.

Robert and Rose Huegele

Corpus Christi, TX

(Editors Comment: Petermanns gets two Michelin stars, one of 10 such restaurants in Switzerland. Only two Swiss restaurants receive Michelin's highest, three-star rating.)

More Swiss Restaurants

I would like to recommend the Restaurant Stellambiente at the Hotel Stella (tel. +41/033/822 8871, fax 822 6671, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) in Interlaken. We had a most pleasant dinner there on our latest visit. Fine, creative food and a warm reception. Plus the local yodeling society was there for dinner and serenaded all the diners with a few songs. We'd happily return.

While based in nearby Iseltwald, we took a day-trip to Zermatt and, on the way back, dined at the Ruedihus (tel. +41/033/675 8182, fax 675 8185) in Kandersteg. It's a lovely old building surrounded by an herb garden. After a day of hiking down from the Gornergrat, it was a most welcome, low-key evening. Fine if you're in the area and worth a detour (as Michelin would say).

Russell Wayne

Via email

Schaffhausen/Stein am Rhein

We enjoyed the October 2002 issue very much because it dealt with places we have visited. Schaffhausen is a very nice town and we did visit the Munot Fortress which is well worth the stop. You do have a great view of the river and the town.

Stein am Rhein is a fantastic village. We loved our walk through the old village with the beautifully painted buildings. We also visited the Rheinfall, one of the highlights of our trip. The falls were running full and we were able to get some fantastic video where it looks as though the water will come right over our heads.

The outdoor museum at Ballenberg is also well worth seeing. We visited there for just a few hours, but, as your article states, you could easily spend three days to see it all. While in Brienz, we highly recommend a ride on the Rothorn Bahn which is a beautiful ride up the mountain and, on a clear day, a wonderful view at the top.

Connie Tritt

Via email

Will Boycott Germany

Enclosed is my check for renewal. I ask that you concentrate more on what you - and our Secretary of Defense - term the New Europe countries. Though Germany is the home of my ancestors, I am ashamed of those who now occupy seats of power and hence give direction to the country. Though they may not support our actions, the least they could do is stay out of our way as we attempt to stop a dictator. Perhaps the New Europe still remembers the 1930s when the world stood by and watched another little dictator.

I will not spend any more of my money traveling to Germany - or buying their products - this year or in the future, and I so expressed my displeasure to the German delegation in this country. Again, I hope to see more of the New Europe - including Spain and Italy.

Earl W. Winters Bella Vista AR

(Editors Comment: The New Europe in our subtitle was added in 1990 when eastern Europe opened to travel. It was meant to refer to the former East Germany and to the countries of Hungary and Czechoslovakia (now two countries: Slovakia and the Czech Republic). We felt these were reasonable excursions for travelers to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A reader survey some years ago about expanding our coverage area was clear as to your preference; focus on Germany, Austria and Switzerland with occasional stories on logical forays to destinations like Alsace, the German-speaking parts of Italy, and to Prague and Budapest. Our coverage will remain in line with that survey.

For our thoughts on the other matters raised by Mr. Winters, see this months Dear Subscriber column.)

March 2003