A Vote for Würzburg
To one stationed five years in Germany, four in Würzburg, your August issue strikes some chords. While agreeing with the Franconian towns included on your Grand Tour, it is hard to imagine being in the area and not visiting Würzburg. As you know, that jewel of a city has everything an American loves about Germany. Since you must travel to Frankfurt you might have considered including that nice Wasserschloss Hotel (phone 06092/6080, fax 06092/608 100) at Mespelbrunn.
Regarding Mr. Bell and his air-conditioning, he should be reading one of the other travel magazines mentioned in your "Dear Subscriber." Get a life! His closing sentence revives images of the Ugly American of yesteryear.
Does Germany have a statute of limitations on photo traffic tickets? I ignored one upon leaving in 1988 and do plan on returning some time.
David P Halbach
Colorado Springs CO
(Ed. note: Sounds like you're in the clear. The German Tourist Office referred us to the German Consulate who thought that unpaid traffic tickets would "go away" in five years, and then went on to book us a little guilt trip with the admonition that "we encourage our tourists to pay their traffic tickets in the United States.")
Your "Dear Subscriber" article fit us to a "T" and we enjoyed reading about the kind of travel we hold dear.
Speaking of "dear," we have just returned from a long trip to Europe which included a two-week sojourn in Switzerland. While always a delight to visit, it was terribly expensive this year, even traveling in our style!
We began at Rote Rose in Regensberg (an admitted splurge), just a few miles into the countryside from Kloten Airport and light years away from the hustle and bustle of Zürich. Please, try it some time! When you do, ask for the Lady Sylvia suite. Such a peaceful spot to recover from jet lag and to begin ones meanderings through this beautiful country.
This trip we traveled to Lake Constance and Stein am Rhein. We loved staying in Stein and particularly enjoyed a day at the Rheinfall and the boat trip back to Stein. We also loved visiting Mainau and Meersburg by car and ferry.
The old town of St. Gallen was really pleasant to walk through on Sunday and we stopped early Monday morning to visit the wonderful library on our way to the Chur area and our beautiful scenic trip to Arosa on the Rhaetian Bahn.
Our stay at your recommendation, Hotel Crusch Alva (phone 082/713 19, fax 082/724 59) in Zuoz, was perfect for visiting the Engadine and the beautiful lakes of the St. Moritz region. This is, indeed, a delightful hotel! We finished our Swiss itinerary with a night in Soglio and a beautiful drive through the Val Bregalia to Italy.
Thanks again for your interesting and informative newsletter!
San Rafael CA
Some comments and recommendations:
1. The Eastern Frisian islands in the Nordsee. My wife and I visited Norderney this past Spring. The train stops at Norden Nordeich (right next to dock) from which a large boat takes you to this island (50 minutes). Fantastic: only Germans, 98-99%. In fact, in the sauna at the Vier Jahreseiten Hotel...no clothes...both sexes. Unbelievable but true! Probably best time of year to visit, April-October.
2. Südtirol, Italy. Many, if not most, speak German. We could not even find an Italian restaurant. We traveled a most spectacular road from Landeck, Austria south over the pass and then east to Merano. It's one of the most beautiful roads we have ever traveled. I think May-October is best, but ice and snow would be for the younger set.
3. The city of Goslar in the Harz Mountains. The mountains are beautiful, so are the cities in the area, Wernigerode and others.
(Ed. Note: Nude bathing and sauna lounging by both sexes is common in Germany.)
Loves Bad Wimpfen
I have only subscribed to Gemütlichkeit for a brief six months. As I plan my 13th trip to Europe I can only say I wish I had known about you're newsletter 13 years ago. The focus of your information matches perfectly with my mode of European travel.
I would like to share with your readers one of my favorite small corners of Germany that is not too well known by American tourists.
A short drive south of Heidelberg is the ancient town of Bad Wimpfen. This cobbled, half-timbered jewel sits directly on the river Neckar. It is easily accessible from Autobahn #6 or #81. The town is walled and there is a footpath along the side of the wall that offers lovely views of the river. The Altstadt is worth a full day of exploration so plan to stay overnight in one of the quite acceptable accommodations that are available. The town reminds one of Rothenburg on a smaller scale, but somehow feels more authentic. The heart of town is the Blauer Turm which can be seen long before you reach the city limits. The turm was erected in the year 1200 and the surrounding buildings are from the same era. There are some steep hills and all the streets are cobbled so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
There are three hotels. The Weinman (phone 07063/8582, fax 07063/1390) and the Blauer Turm (phone 07063/225, fax 07063/6701) are right in the main square area very near the Rathaus. The Hotel Am Kurpark (phone 07063/7091) is a five-minute walk north of the Altstadt. My favorite stop is the Gasthaus Neckarblick (phone 07063/7002, fax 07063/8548). As the name implies it overlooks the river in a quiet area near the Kurpark. The owners are a truly friendly young couple who keep everything spotless. Sit out on the terrace and watch the boat traffic on the river or go inside in the sitting room and enjoy the same view. In 1994, the rate for a double room with bath, shower and w.c. was DM 110 ($91) including breakfast. If you like bicycling, they have a number of machines available for guests to use at no charge.
The rooms are not oversized but certainly comfortable and clean. I always look forward to returning to this "home away from home" when in Germany.
The town has numerous restaurants and Gästehausen. Below the Hotel Weinman is a cellar bar that is worth visiting. There is something cozy about being in the bowels of an 800-year-old building. In my opinion, the only place to eat in Bad Wimpfen is the Kreuterweible. Just around the corner from the Weinman down a steep hill, this fine establishment is without peer. The house specialty is grilled chicken. This may not be considered a delicacy but here it truly is. People, myself included, have been known to travel from Frankfurt just for the Halb Hühnchen.
Don & Elizabeth Schaaf
(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.)