We were glad to see your recommendation of Weinhaus Messerschmitt in Bamberg since we had made reservations there. We very much endorse that recommendation. We also appreciate your advice not to miss the rauchbier at the Brauerei Schlenkerla. Bamberg proved a beautiful and interesting smaller city, and a great beginning for our trip.
In Tegernsee we found an available room at the Fischerstüberl am See which was very adequate and had a beautiful view of the lake from our balcony. A particular highlight was beer by the lake at the Herzogliches Brauhaus Tegernsee. The lake is also, of course, an ideal location for walking or hiking.
From Tegernsee we went to Seeg and were fortunate enough to find a room at Pension Heim. It was at least as good as you said, and once again we appreciate good information. A particular treat came in the general conviviality after dinner, where we made a new friend (another guest) whom we will visit on some future trip.
From Seeg we drove to Zürich for a stimulating two days. We had made reservations at the Schweizerhof and were very pleased with both accommodations and the French restaurant. We had a great deal of difficulty parking our car, however, and this detracted somewhat from an otherwise enjoyable stay. Without getting into all the unpleasant details, we were essentially left on our own to park at a time when nearly all the Parkhauses near the hotel were full. We wasted a significant amount of time before we were able to get the car situated. The irony is that I decided against your recommendation of the Hotel Florhof because of parking difficulties you mentioned there.
Our final night was spent at the Post Hotel in Aschaffenburg where we were served an excellent dinner. When the waiter told us the trout was "still swimming" we both agreed that that was the correct choice. The Schloss Johannesburg in Aschaffenburg also was an interesting tour.
It was very slow-go the next morning on the autobahn from Würzburg to Frankfurt, reinforcing a policy of stay close, start early, and perhaps look for a different route to the airport.
(Ed. note: Sorry if we misled readers. Parking is difficult near the Florhof, but not for hotel guests. Leave your keys with the front desk and your car will be taken care of for about $5 per day plus however much you choose to tip the porter.)
Munich Hotel Praised
I was certainly pleased to read the August Gemütlichkeit on Munich hotels. I noted the Hotel Kraft in the moderate range and am glad that you placed the Kraft on the list. We were fortunate to be able to stay there for a week in the spring as it was near the medical school. It was just a short, very pleasant walk, to the Marienplatz, the City Gate and other interesting aspects of Munich. We also found that it was not a bad long walk to the Oktoberfest area. The Kraft has an elevator and I think about 30 rooms. Prices were reasonable and it included an extremely nice American-type breakfast. The staff was kind, helpful and very, very friendly to us during our period there. We felt quite at home.
Reuel May DDS
I travel regularly to Eastern Europe on business. A recent trip was to Budapest, thus this letter.
Arriving at the small Budapest Airport, one should head for the hotel/bus desk just inside the entrance. There, for a fee of 240 forints, or about $2.50, one can take a comfortable van into the city and any designated hotel. Changing dollars can be done right at the airport, next to the baggage area, before entering the main terminal. Currently the exchange rate is about 95 forints to the dollar and this has remained stable within a few cents for the past six months. You should also plan on booking a reservation for the return van trip from the hotel to the airport since they will arrange for pick-up at any time from any location. Taxis to the city run near $20 and the van system is superior.
Compared to other eastern European cities, staying in Budapest is a joy for the spoiled western traveler. Accommodations are near the standard of large western European cities. I stayed at the top-of-the-line Grand Corvinus, Kempinski, owned by Lufthansa. Priced at about $190, it offers good value considering the service and the outstanding daily breakfast. The hotel has an indoor pool and spa, a masseuse and a business room with computers, faxes etc. Its elegant three-story entrance foyer is fast becoming the meeting place for business in Budapest, and the two restaurants serve a variety of menu styles, but alas are hotel fare.
Less expensive and less modern is the old Gellert Hotel and baths, also on the Buda side of the river. This one falls into the $50-$95 range and at one time was the grand hotel of Budapest, now slightly worn at the heels but still enjoyable.
Food is a pleasure in this city and not expensive. And don't forget to order Hungarian wines, they are very pleasant. Watch out for the unicom, a favorite after dinner liqueur produced by a former parliament member who retired to tend the family business. This one can leave you guessing where you are and why you are there.
An excellent meal is on tap at the Kakas; this means duck, and is the special of the house. Wandering gypsy music accompanies your meal and, for the proper tip, will stay right at your table. A meal of duck, stuffed with plums and served in a plum sauce was excellent and the cost for two was around $50, including wine.
Two other nice spots are the Amadeus off the Vorosmarty Square, where grilled chicken or steak, with salad and wine runs about $12, and one of my favorite spots, the Margaret. Just across the Margaret bridge and up the hill one block. This is a small restaurant, owned by a prominent local architect. It is frequently visited by foreign political figures and is well known as a local gathering spot for politicians. A wonderful courtyard covered with vines and flowers is a favorite place for locals to dine and I found it a warm, friendly place to eat and enjoy the local color. Prices are $15-$20 per person including local wine. Be sure to ask for Cjac Mattai, the owner; a very entertaining and educated man who can and will give you a fascinating verbal tour of Hungary and its history.
Budapest is high on my list for a repeat visit.
Colin F. McGowan
I wish to simply extend my thanks for your excellent inducement to subscribe, namely the $400 per business class ticket reduction on my Swissair flight to Geneva. Considering my associate and I are flying roundtrip, the $800 savings is very much appreciated!
Once I decided to proceed, the transaction was easily handled through the extreme efficiency of Liane at Swissair in San Francisco and my tickets immediately arrived via Federal Express. All in all, it was actually much easier than having to bicycle down to the Swissair offices on West 49th Street here in Manhattan to pick up my tickets.
New York NY
(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.)