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Just back from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and London - Part 1

Just back from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and London - Part 1

Old May 29th, 2002, 11:01 AM
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Just back from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and London - Part 1

I am still trying to put together all my thoughts on this 2-week trip, but wanted to throw out a few tidbits since I received so much helpful information from this forum.

Arrived in Frankfurt from DFW (really enjoyed the extra legroom on American's 777), picked up our Fiat Station Wagon (there were 4 adults + luggage) from Hertz and headed off to Rothenburg. Stayed at the Roter Hahn Hotel. Lots of tourists during the early afternoon but most of the tour buses had left by 4 PM. One of my favorite places. Photo ops around every corner!

Next we headed to Vienna and our 2-night stay at the Admiral Hotel where we had a very nice room near the Ringstrasse for under $100. Had an early dinner at the historic Griechenbeisl Restaurant on Fleischmarkt. The food and service were excellent. Went to Schoenbrunn Palace early the next morning, had lunch at the Augustinerkeller (good food, slow service) and walked along the Ringstrasse. Had a very enjoyable dinner in Grinzing at the Bauermandl Restaurant.

Off to Hallstatt with a stop in Salzburg to visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress and have lunch. Stayed at the Seehotel Gruner Baum in a large lakeview room with terrace. Great views. Had dinner both nights at our hotel. Excellent food. Visited the Salt Mine -- interesting but IMHO overpriced. Love this town. How could anybody have a bad day in a place so beautiful?

Next, a short stopover in Lindau on Bodensee before going to Lucerne. Stayed at the Hotel Helvetia right on the Seepromenade. Great location, lousy shower. Will probably try the Lindauer Hof next time. A nice place to spend some time.

In Lucerne, we stayed at the Des Balances. Shopped til we dropped but also walked up on the old city wall (the Musegg) for some great photo ops. Dinner the second night was at a great Greek restaurant called Syrtaki on Morgartenstrasse near the Bahnhof. Excellent food.

More in Part 2.

Old May 29th, 2002, 11:41 AM
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I hope that you will post part 2 here as a reply to yourself, rather than the (sometimes frequently made) mistake of posting in separate pieces - - they get scattered like the wind, and greatly thwart your being able to tell a coherent story.

Best wishes,

Old May 29th, 2002, 11:46 AM
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Re-posting your part 2 here, since the advice above was too little too late:

We left Lucerne and headed back into Germany for an overnight stay at the Auf Schoenburg Castle Hotel in Oberwesel on the Rhein River. Made an impromptu stop in Strasbourg, France, and had lunch at the Brasserie Stern. Arrived in Oberwesel and were completely blown away by the sight of Schoenburg Castle. This place was way beyond our expectations. So much attention to detail. All the modern conveniences in fabulous surroundings at reasonable prices. Didn't have time to explore the town of Oberwesel or take a river cruise, so we put it at the top of our list of places to visit again.

After a short drive to Frankfurt, we flew to London Heathrow where we had arranged to be met by London Transfers. Went straight to the Rubens Hotel across from Buckingham Palace. We'd gotten an excellent rate thru www.londontown.com. Friendly, attentive staff, full English breakfast, and a great location. Had a good fish and chips dinner at the Duke of York Restaurant (not the pub)before walking over to the London Eye. Best 10 pounds we spent. Got right on the 6:30PM departure and had a whole car to ourselves! Did the usual tourist spots: Tower of London, Hampton Court (via train from Waterloo), St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Hard Rock Cafe (good food, but VERY loud), and shopping at Harrod's, Regent & Oxford Streets as well as Carnaby Street. One thing we all really enjoyed was the Cabinet War Rooms. Also, the recommendations about the Changing of the Horseguards was right on. It's well worth the 30 minutes it takes and you can get some great photos. Didn't get to spend enough time in the parks, but enjoyed a couple of walks thru St. James and Hyde Park. And we were only able to spend a short amount of time at the National Gallery. That place could consume at least a whole day!

One of Ben Haines' recommendations I wanted to comment on was the Red Lion Pub near Parliament. Had lunch there and it was one of our better meals! A little disappointed in the Tube. Much dirtier and more crowded than I remembered. However, everything else has really been spiffed up for the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

Another big thank you to Lorie for recommending London Transfers (www.london-transfers.com). We were lucky enough to have Ray Skinner take us to Gatwick for our flight home last Friday. He is the nicest man -- a real character!

We had a great 2 weeks driving and eating our way across Europe. Can't wait to do it all again.

Glad to answer any questions if I can.
Old May 29th, 2002, 11:59 AM
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Thanks, xxx. I know better, just wasn't thinking! (Vacations do that to me!)
Old May 29th, 2002, 12:05 PM
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Old May 29th, 2002, 03:38 PM
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How much was the Fiat through Hertz?
Old May 29th, 2002, 07:31 PM
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Total cost for 10 days was a little under 800 Euros. That included insurance and unlimited miles. Not cheap, but since there were 4 of us with luggage, didn't think we could get by with anything much smaller.
Old May 30th, 2002, 09:32 PM
Ben Haines
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But I do not think I know a Red lion pub near Parliament. In that area I lunch at the Two Chairmen and at the Prince Albert. Strange. Ajnyway, I am glad the lunch was not bad.
Old May 31st, 2002, 06:18 AM
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Sorry, Ben, I realize now that it was Wes Fowler who provided me with this information. Thank you, Wes.

Author: wes fowler ([email protected])
Date: 04/23/2002, 08:06 pm
Message: There is a pub you can visit on Parliament Street. Parliament Street is at the end of Whitehall not far from Westminster Bridge. (Actually, Whitehall changes its name to Parliament Street as it nears Great George Street. At 48 Parliament, you’ll find the Red Lion Public House, popular with members of Parliament and other civil servants. In fact, if you hear a bell go off while dining, it’s a signal to Parliament’s members to return for voting.
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