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Dick Yeager Jun 10th, 2002 10:39 AM

Just back from 3 week trip to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France
 
We were first timers to Europe. Thanks to this Fodors travel board, and a special thanks to Wes Fowler, we had a super-great time. We, my wife and I, are already making plans for a return trip in 2 years.<BR><BR>We liked everyplace we went, but once was enough for some. Every hotel we stayed at, we would stay again.<BR><BR> MORE

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 10:52 AM

#1-Flew from Chicago to Frankfurt on American Airlines on May 15. Nice flight, but long. Took ICE train from Frankfurt Airport to Munich (not impressed with this particular train. Would not do again.).<BR><BR>Our hotel was Hotel Torbraeu which is just across the street from the Isator S-Bahn station. Great location, close to Marienplatz, Viktualien Markt (this place is simply amazing), Hofbrau Haus, etc. Excellent Italian restaurant in the hotel. Very nice breakfast buffet, fine rooms and very accommidating staff. E 155/night incl. breakfast. We stayed 5 nights.<BR><BR>On Tuesday, May 21, we picked up our car from Auto Europe at the Avis location on Nyphemburger Str. It was an Opel 1.6, 5 spd., air, cd and tape deck, 4 door. Nice car that did all we asked over the driving portion of our trip, some 2200 kilometers.<BR><BR> MORE

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 11:01 AM

#2-Our next stop was Steingaden. Great change of pace from Munich. Our hotel, Gasthaus Lindenhof was almost a country setting. We had a large corner room with a huge balcony. Nice breakfast buffet and very good restaurant. Price turned out to be E 66/night (cash). No web site but Fax at 088621 242. Not much English spoken, but not a problem. <BR>Great center location for day trips. The Wieskirche is only 4 or 5 kilometers outside of town. This is not to be missed! Words cannot describe the inside of this church. You have to see it.<BR><BR>On Thursday, May 23, we are off to Innsbruk.<BR><BR> MORE

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 11:10 AM

#3-Passed through Garmisch on the way. I can't imagine this place in high tourist season. What a zoo.<BR><BR>The drive down into Innsbruk is absolutely spectacular! The only close thing I can relate it to is driving Highway 50 in California and coming over the summit into Lake Tahoe. Actually, the drive into Innsbruk is even more spectacular.<BR><BR>In Innsbuk we stayed at Hotel Goldener Alder. Again, fine location right at the start of the Old Town. The room was small, but we had a small sitting room which was nice. After all, the hotel is very, very old. Nice breakfast and good restaurant in the hotel. We stayed 2 nights. The rate was E 115/incl, breakfast.<BR><BR>Incidentally, the road permit for Austria was E 7.50 for 10 days. Gasoline is about E .10/liter cheaper than in Germany.<BR><BR>On Saturday, May 25, we are off to Lucerne.<BR><BR> MORE

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 11:30 AM

#4-Passed through Liechtenstein. I think there are only about 3 towns in the tiny country. We stopped for a beer in Nendeln. I think the whole experience took about 45 minutes!<BR><BR>In Lucerne we stayed at Hotel Des Alpes. Again, a nice hotel on the edge of the Old Town and right on the river. We had a room on the 4th floor with a balcony that looked out over the river. The hair dryer didn't work and the shower/tub didn't drain. They moved us up to the 5th floor with balcony. Nice hotel with good breakfast and a good restaurant. E 159/incl. breakfast. Parking at the Bahnhoff across the river is E 50 for 2 nights if paid in advance.<BR><BR>On Sunday, right by the river walk, they had a free band concert. Very nice. We also saw the Lion Monument...very impressive.<BR><BR>Note well, Switzerland is more expensive than Germany or Austria. The road permit was the same price for 1 day or a year, E 27.50.<BR><BR>You will also be dealing in Swiss Francs. Although they take Euro, your change is in Francs. When you are leaving the country, you cannot cash in your coins. Spend them or save them.<BR><BR>Monday, May 26, on to Meersburg.<BR><BR> MORE<BR><BR><BR><BR>

Shannon Jun 10th, 2002 11:34 AM

Dick!<BR>We stayed in probably the same room on the 5th floor in Lucerne. Wasn't that a great view?!

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 11:40 AM

#5-Meersburg is a great break after 2 cities. The old town area is very picturesque. Stayed at Hotel Baeren. Was met in the lobby by the owner/chef, Herr Gilowsky. What a nice man. He even helped carry our luggage up tdhe stairs to our very nice room on the second floor. All of the rooms are decorated with antique furniture; very nice.<BR><BR>We were only in Meersburg for 2 nights. Could easily have stayed 4. A great center for day trips around the Bodensee. We did take the boat to the island of Mainau. Well worth the trip.<BR><BR>Wednesday, May 29, to Itterswill, France in the Alsace.<BR><BR> MORE

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 11:48 AM

#6-CAUTION: Avoid driving through Friebourg, Germany. They have a construction project going on by the main road through town. It will be several months before it looks to be completed. It took us 2 hours to get through and this is on a Wednesday and not high tourist season. Traffic was backed up for miles.<BR><BR>Finding Itterswiller, which is on the wine road, was not the easiest thing we have ever done. None of the road signs every say Itterswiller. But we found it!<BR><BR>We stayed 2 nights at Hotel Arnold. Had a excellent room with balcony overlooking the vineyards. This was our first experience with no shower enclosure, but we made out. Just so you know, if you need gas or any other supplies, get them before you get here.<BR>The room was E 99/NOT including breakfast. They charge an additional <BR>E 8/pp for breakfast and, frankly, overpriced compared to what we were getting happily used to.<BR><BR>Friday, May 31, on to Trier.<BR><BR> MORE

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 12:06 PM

#7-Stayed 3 nights at Hotel Villa Hugel.<BR>Very nice room with a view of downtown Trier. You are up on a hill. The walk down is fine, but coming back can be something of a pull. Public trasportation is close by.<BR><BR>The room was E 130 including the best breakfasts we had on the trip. It was really super. Unfortunately, their restaurant was closed for dinner the nights we were there. We would take a cab downtown to eat and a cab back to the hotel.<BR><BR>The Old Town of Trier is nice. We were lucky enough to be in the Dom while the huge pipe organ was playing. That will get your attention!<BR><BR>While in Trier, we took a drive to Luxembourg City. The most spectacular city we saw. This was on Sunday, we were walking the Platz and the National Luxembourg Army Band was putting on a free concert. We sat at an outdoor cafe, had a couple of real good beers, and enjoyed the super music. They even played a Sousa march. Made my day as an old trombone player.<BR><BR>On our next trip, we will definetly inlcude Lux City for a couple of nights.<BR><BR>Monday, June 3, to Assmanshausen on the Rhein.<BR><BR> MORE

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 12:22 PM

#8-Finding Assmanshausen is another adventure in driving. Think 5 kilometers up the river from Rudesheim and it is simple (!).<BR><BR>We stayed at Hotel-Cafe Post for the last 2 nights of our trip. This is a real family-run operation. The senior Herr Hoetger has retired, but "is there". His wife, Frau Hoetger runs the show (That is what Herr Hoetger told me), and runs it very well. The son is the chef (excellent) and his wife does the rooms. <BR><BR>We had a corner room on the 4th floor overlooking the Rhein. Spectacular! This would be the room you want to write "The Novel". The room also had a sitting room and a huge bathroom. This was the largest room we had on the trip. It also has the shower/tub without the curtain or doors. By now, we were experts on taking a shower/bath. The junior Herr Hoetger helped carry our luggage up the 4 flights of stairs to our room.<BR><BR>We did take a boat ride up the river to look at the Lorelie (sp) and the castles. Nice ride.<BR><BR>We ate both nights at the hotel. It was excellent!! Out of our 3 weeks, all of the dinners were very good; 3 were SUPER. One of the three was at the Hotel Post. The Hoetger's are about the nicest people you would ever want to meet. I told Frau Hoetger when checking out that I felt they had almost adopted us!<BR><BR>We had their best room and it was E 92 including a fine breakfast.<BR><BR>Wednesday, June 5, to Franfurt Airport for the trip home.<BR><BR> ONE MORE

Dick Jun 10th, 2002 01:00 PM

#9-We had such a great time we are already planning our next trip. Shooting for 2 years from now.<BR><BR> RANDOM THOUGHTS<BR><BR>We went to no museums. We walked the streets and took beer breaks in the sidewalk cafes and beer gardens. I think you get a better feel for the country this way. You also meet the people which is wonderful in itself. <BR><BR>We speak no German. Got along very well. Contrary to popular belief, many Germans speak little or no English, even the younger people. For our next trip, we are seriously thinking about taking some German language classes (cd).<BR><BR>MONEY: Cash machines (they do not call them ATMS), are not as available as you might think. When we arrived at Franfurt, we were so busy going through Passport Control, getting our luggage, going through Customs (all a breeze--probably 20 minitues at the most), and trying to find the train station, I completely forgot to go to a cash machine and get Euro. Fortunately, the bar car on the train took credit cards.<BR><BR>Smoking: In Munich, it seems everyone smokes. The further away you get, the less people seem to smoke. Either way, we consider ourselves a guest in their house. What they want to do is their business and certainly none of mine.<BR><BR>Remember, retail closes at 4 pm on Saturdays and is closed until Monday morning. Get your supplies ahead of time (booze for the room, etc.).<BR><BR>Dress: If you are a lousy dresser in the US, you will be a lousy dresser in Europe. Don't worry about it. Most of the tourists we saw were German. Many of them not the best dressed. Nobody cares. Come as you are.<BR><BR>Luggage: This has been discussed on this board many, many times. I'll put in my 2 cents worth. Anyone who takes anything larger than a 22" roller + a shoulder bag, deserves their fate. It's about as dumb as you can get. Try dragging that 26" up 4 flights of stairs, rolling it over a few blocks of cobble stone streets, on and off trains, etc....brain dead.<BR><BR>Places we will not return to: They were fine for a first time visit, but not really worth a second in our opinion; Innsbruk, Switzerland, Alsace in France and Trier. Again, it depends on what you like to do.<BR><BR>Thanks again to all the Fodorites who helped us plan this trip.<BR><BR>A very special thanks to Wes Fowler. We couldn't have done it without you, Wes.<BR><BR>Will be glad to answer any questions. my email address is posted and I check this board several times a day.<BR><BR>Dick and Marcia Yeager

panvan Jun 11th, 2002 04:26 AM

Thanks for the trip report. Do you have the contact info for the Hotel Post? When I do a web search it returns a Hotel Post in Rudesheim but with a different family running it!

Dick Yeager Jun 11th, 2002 04:42 AM

Panvan,<BR><BR>Yes, Rudesheim also has a Hotel Post. The one in Assmanshausen is email; [email protected].<BR><BR>They also have a web site at rheinhotel.com/hotel-cafe-post.<BR><BR>Dick

Sue Jun 11th, 2002 04:43 AM

Hey Dick, thanks for the trip report. I felt like I was up in the stands of Baseball Stadium Europe, and you were calling the plays. : - ) You also made beer sound so good, I think I'll have to give it another try.<BR><BR>I can almost hear the spirit of the late Ed Gehrlein urging you to give Switzerland another try. Thanks to him, we went up into the mountain villages - don't know what we would have thought, either, without this experience.

Dick Yeager Jun 11th, 2002 06:01 AM

Shannon,<BR><BR>Yes, the view was spectacular from both the 4th and 5th floor. We had a small balcony. Did you? If so, it would be the same room. We really enjoyed watching the swans on the river. A pleasant time.<BR><BR>Sue: The beer is really good. Quick story: My wife, on a tall day is 4' 11", hasn't drank beer in years. In Munich, one day, she drank 5 1/2 liters!!!!!! Drinking beer, especially in Bavaria, seems like such a natural thing. Even the little children drink beer. We never saw anybody drunk or behaving poorly.<BR><BR>Dick

wes fowler Jun 11th, 2002 08:52 AM

In his second posting, Dick mentions the Gasthof Lindenhof in Steingaden and comments that it has no website. It does indeed at: www.steingaden.de/gasthof_lindenhof.htm<BR><BR>Note the bowling alley in the basement!<BR><BR>

Dick Yeager Jun 11th, 2002 09:28 AM

Wes,<BR><BR>I guess I ignored the web site since it was in German. I went through the town tourist office to rent our room over the internet.<BR><BR>Dick

XXX Jun 12th, 2002 05:23 AM

Top

wow Jun 12th, 2002 05:34 AM

Five and a half liters??!!! Holy Cow!

Mr. Go Jun 12th, 2002 05:45 AM

Excellent report, Dick. Thanks for taking the time share your experiences!


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