Touring World War II sites. Plus, Restaurant and hotel recommendations in Chateaux D'Oex, Switzerland; on the Germany island of Sylt; and near Klagenfurt, Austria.
Touring WWII Sites
In recent issues I have I noted several comments about "Hitler sites" and agree with the thought of keeping them available for those who are interested.
In Berlin, I took the "Third Reich Sites Walking Tour" offered by Berlin Walks and found it fascinating. The bunker, at the moment, is under a parking area next to an apartment building.
Although you commented about the Nürnberg site of the huge Nazi rallies as being overrun with weeds, the reality is otherwise. Not only is it marked, but one can see the rally area, the coliseum, and the arena where the Cathedral of Lights took place. We took an exceptional walking tour provided by an organization in Nürnberg devoted to history. Their website is http://geschichte-fuer-alle.de/start.htm.
We were led on a three and a half hour private tour by John Jenkins, a Welshman, who is one of 40 tour guides (but the best for English-speaking people) used by this group. For the seven of us, we paid 130 DM ($57). This was the highlight of our trip and I commend it to you.
Next, Salzburg. While visiting last year, we went out to the Restaurant Karl-Rudolf Obauer (tel. +43/06468/521220, fax 521212) in Werfen, which was the finest meal of that trip. Werfen, 45 km (28 miles) south of Salzburg, is a small resort village that we might well have considered for a few days of peace and quiet.
Last summer, we were based in Rougemont while our daughter was studying French there at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS). Rougemont is quite charming, great for those who like listening to cow bells and appreciating chalet architecture. No great restaurants or hotels, but pleasant, simple living. In Chateaux D'Oex, a few kilometers down the road, we had an excellent dinner at La Rocaille (tel. +41/026/924 6215, fax 924 5249), which you might want to check out when in the area. We also visited Gruyères, but found it overrun by bus tourists.
(Ed. Note: The Karl-Rudolf Obauer gets two stars from Michelin. Reserve well in advance. The website Mr. Wayne speaks of is in German.)
Castles in Austria
A brief overnight stay at Schloss Haunsperg (tel. +43/06245/80662, fax 85680) with the von Gernerths was as wonderful as you have described.
After learning that we were driving south, they suggested we stop at Schloss Moosberg (tel. +43/04272/83206, fax 83206-23) northwest of Klagenfurt. After they had called the owner for a reservation they told us we were very lucky because at Moosberg we would be participating in a feast celebrating the end of Lent. A Catholic priest who presided over the event had spent several years in California and spoke excellent English. It was a truly remarkable experience. As you can see from the enclosed brochure the hotel has a beautiful site at the foot of the Alps.
I would like also to say that the Hotel Benen-Diken-Hof (tel. +49/04651/93830, fax 938383), on the North Sea island of Sylt in the town of Keitum, is still every bit as fine a hotel as you said it was several years ago.
Gemütlichkeit readers who visit the region must visit the Sansibar Restaurant (tel. +49/04651/964646, fax 964647) in nearby Rantum. The hotel tried to get us a dinner reservation but couldn't. We went there for lunch and met the owner, Herbert Seckler. He spent two or three years in California and is a wonderful host. We toured his basement cellar with over 50,000 bottles of wine. The food is out of this world. Herbert told us we must return for dinner, which, of course, we did. We highly recommend the experience.
Gemütlichkeit has been a wonderful companion on this trip and others in the past.
Phillip T. Backer
Hayden Lake ID
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Prices in local currency have not been updated since the date of publication of this newsletter, and...
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