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Trip Report Ira Visits Europe - May, 2007

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Hi All,

Our Itinerary:

May 14 Dep ATL 16:25 Arr MUC 07:50
May 15 - 19 Haus Am Moos, Salzburg
May 19 - 21 Gasthof Simony, Hallstatt
May 21 - 23 Hotel Zum Hechten, Fuessen
May 23 - 24 Hotel Stern, Mindelheim
May 24 - 26 Haus Karin, Rothenburg
May 26 – 27 Hotel Schreier, Lindau
May 27 - 31 Hotel Grillon, Beaune
May 31 – June 2
Hostellerie Schwendi, Kientzheim
June 2 – 4 Hotel de Guise, Nancy
June 4 Ascot Airport Hotel
June 5 Dep STR 11:00 Arr ATL 15:20


We started out from Madison for ATL at about 12:30. Arrived with no problems at about 1:30, and were on Concourse E at the boarding gate by 3:00. We each had an adult beverage, in a plastic cup for $7.50, before boarding at 4:15 – about 0:30 hr late.

Completely uneventful and boring ride on a 767. Flight attendants were pleasant, food was something to do to pass the time. They gave us a free wine or beer. Port side had the sun shining in both coming and going.

We had bought the RT tickets last August for $775 each, and that was as low as they got, except for one day in April when the price dropped to $595. The cost to exchange the tickets was greater than the savings.

Arrived MUC 05/15 on time at 08:00. Weather: Rainy. Picked up our luggage and walked toward the rental car area, and walked toward the rental car area, and walked toward the rental car area. As we passed the S-Bahn stop, it occurred to me that we could have taken the train into town and picked up the car there in less time than it was taking to walk to the rental car area – and saved 100E, too.

Arrived at the National desk at about 09:30, where a very nice young lady explained that all of their cars were Opels, that there were no Diesels available, and that we had been upgraded to an Opel Meriva – small SUV-style car with a 1.6 L engine. We were easily able to put one 26” and two 22” suitcases in the covered hatch.

That is all that I have to say about this grossly underpowered, top heavy, softly sprung, gas guzzling machine in which we had to keep the AC on Full in order to stay reasonably cool at temps of 20 C outside. (Got about 30 mpg)

Fuel prices averaged about 1.36 E/L for gas and about 1.11 for diesel, with Austria being the cheapest and Germany the highest.

No difficulty leaving the airport and finding the A92 to the A9 to the A99 to the A8 and the exit for Prien am Chiemsee, where we stopped off to visit Herrenchiemsee. Our timing was pretty good, we got on the boat about 5 min before it left. After a small snack at the Schloss (pizza has become very popular), we took the 1:15 English language tour.

First time I uttered, “It’s good to be the king”.

This is Ludwig’s “homage” to Louis XIV. It is a small-scale Versailles. The interior decorations and furnishings are done in Louis XIV style. The paintings are of Louis’s life and achievements. I think that Ludwig just pretended that he was Louis when he was there. If you like Rococo, you will like this place.

Herrenchiemsee is well worth a visit. Go early in the season and early in the day. We had several tour groups and several school outings to contend with. Especially as everyone left at the same time.

Boat back to Prien. First faux pas.
When you enter the parking lot, you get a ticket. You must insert the ticket at an automatic payment machine and pay the fee BEFORE attempting to leave. If you don’t, you will cause a great deal of shouting as you try to back out of the exit ramp.

We easily navigated our way to Salzburg, stopping to buy a ‘vignette’ (road tax sticker) at one of the gas stations along the way. I urge everyone driving in Austria to get one, even if you don’t expect to drive the highways. Small roads occasionally open up to 4 lane highways for short distances. You need the sticker on these stretches.

Arrived Haus am Moos (www.ammoos.at/main.php?language=en&m=home) at about 5:00 PM. This is run by the Family Strasser – two lovely, friendly, helpful folks who seem to like having guests.

I think that the Haus am Moos is the best value for the money that we have ever come across.

Mrs Strasser showed us our room, a large bed-sitter one flight up, with a separate bathroom, a balcony with a view of a mountain behind a screen of evergreens, and our own entrance (52E/nite w/bkfst). Free parking is provided next to the house.

We had dinner that night at Schachlwirt (recommended by Mr Strasser), a local resto in a guest house a few minutes walk down the road.

Their beer is Stiegl – excellent – a head like whipped cream, tiny bubbles and very good balance between malt and hops.

I had the first of many Spargel specials. Roberta had the smoked trout and the pike-perch. Two dinners (appetizer, entrée and main) with beer, wine and coffee – 55E with tip.

Tipping note:
To summarize a long conversation with Mr Strasser, who was a waiter for 15 years: waiters get a small salary plus a commission above a certain quota, if they don’t make the quota, they get no commission – so, in Austria leave 5-10% on the table for the waiter. Any tip added to the charge card goes to the owner.

My Lady Wife, having fallen asleep at the table, much to the consternation of the waitress, we went back to the am Moos, and so to bed.

((I))

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