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First, there's the town of Reutte itself, which is about a 15-minute walk from the hotel. Though not a ballyhooed tourist magnet, the village has a certain authentic charm. There are elaborately painted houses, interesting streets to window shop, and several outdoor cafés good for people watching while sipping a beer or mineral water.

For those who would rather move than sit, there's the ruins of Ehrenberg Castle, viewable, incidentally, from most of the Waldrast's guestrooms.

The ruins are about a 45-minute hike from the hotel. We made the trek in a summer rain, up the steepest ascent path we could find and enjoyed every minute of it. Reutte boasts some of the purest air on earth and we sucked down more than our share of it. There are easier and shorter ways to reach the ruins and they all offer the same reward, a fantastic view of the town and surrounding environs.

The castle, of course, has an interesting history, which Herr Huter will happily relate at breakfast as you gaze across a green meadow to the deteriorating fortress that looms above it.

The Waldrast and Reutte are also a short drive from several noteworthy sights. The hotel can provide a map and also suggest the best sightseeing routes. We spent one day chauffeuring our travel mates on a scenic drive which wound its way along the Plansee through a beautiful forest and into Bavaria where we toured Schloss Linderhof and the town of Füssen. In a single day, of course, one could also visit the impressive castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, as well as great Wieskirche.