Corona in Singapore: Here people follow all requirements

Singapur was seen as a successful model for fighting pandemics – until a few weeks ago the numbers rose sharply. Tourists have been banned from entering the city-state since March 23, 2020. Klaus Gottschalk, manager of the “Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel”, is also affected by the influx of visitors.

Before Corona, his 576-room house accommodated around 200,000 guests annually. We asked him about the local situation, about the difficulties and hopes – and wanted to know what is currently going differently in Singapore than in Germany.

WORLD: Many know Singapore as a city full of tourists. What has been the situation in Singapore since the Corona outbreak?

Klaus Gottschalk: Singapore has definitely changed. The absence of foreign visitors, except in the empty hotels, is most noticeable in the typical tourist locations, for example at the airport, the promenade Orchard Road, in the amusement parks on Sentosa Island.

The Singapore Flyer, the famous Ferris wheel, has also been idle since April and the red hop-on-hop-off tourist double-deckers are completely missing from the cityscape. Taxis are now plentiful at any time of the day; before the crisis it was often difficult at certain times.

However, the absence of foreign tourists also has small advantages for the locals. Reservations in restaurants are no problem, even in popular restaurants that had long waiting lists before the crisis.

And you have the great view from the viewing platform high up on the roof of the “Marina Bay Sands” hotel almost to yourself these days. In the casinos there is also not the usual crowd, because the otherwise very numerous visitors from China and other Asian countries are missing.

At the moment, locals have the view from the roof terrace of the Marina Bay Sands hotel almost to themselves

Those: Getty Images / Angelo Cavalli

WORLD: What protective measures apply in everyday life in Singapore?

Gottschalk: Masks are compulsory and are part of the general appearance everywhere, no matter where you are. In addition, you have to register everywhere, in every shop, restaurant, shopping center, at work, by mobile phone QR code when you go in and also when you leave the place again; the goal is seamless contact tracing.

The temperature of all visitors is measured at the same time. Buses and metro are accessible at all times, but there are strict controls with regard to mask requirements and distance. In the city you can meet so-called ambassadors, government employees who monitor compliance with the measures, around the clock!

WORLD: What about the acceptance of the protective measures? A certain amount of face mask fatigue and indiscipline can be observed in Germany.

Gottschalk: The acceptance here is very high; the population is fully behind the protective measures and follows the instructions almost 100 percent. I think that is partly to be understood culturally; In Asia, the common good of society is more important than that of the individual.

In addition, Singapore – after initially very good control of the virus – was nastily surprised by high infection rates by a second wave. This also contributed to the fact that the entire population now follows all requirements very precisely.

WORLD: How is the situation in your hotel?

Gottschalk: The corona pandemic has drastically reduced the occupancy rates for hotels in Singapore, as entry for foreigners to Singapore has been very restricted since March 2020. My hotel, the “Grand Mercure Roxy”, like many other hotels in Singapore, has been fully rented by the local government since April 2020 to accommodate guest workers.

WORLD: Is your hotel very dependent on guests from abroad?

Gottschalk: Before Corona, the rate of international guests in my hotel was up to 95 percent, as in most hotels in Singapore. Now the tourists, business travelers, conference visitors and airline crews are missing. The crisis has brought hotel occupancy to almost zero.

WORLD: Does that also apply to the restaurants?

Gottschalk: Restaurants are doing better again. Eating out is one of the favorite pastimes here in Singapore. However, there are also very strict requirements in restaurants with regard to social distance or the number of guests per table. Larger events and celebrations are not yet allowed, with the exception of weddings and funeral services, here a maximum of 50 guests are possible.

WORLD: Have you been back to the airport since the lockdown? Before Corona, Singapore Changi was one of the busiest airports in Asia.

Gottschalk: Yes, I visited the airport. It is very eerie there now compared to the previous appearance. In July 2020, just 86,000 passengers were registered there. Do you know how many there were in the same month of 2019? 5.91 million!

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A flight attendant demonstrates the safety measures to protect against infection with Corona

WORLD: Is there any government aid for the tourism industry?

Gottschalk: The government has taken extensive financial and other measures to support this industry. In addition to renting entire hotels for several months, the government pays 75 percent of the salaries of all employees with Singaporean nationality until August 2020 and then 50 percent until March 2021. However, there is a maximum amount per capita and month.

WORLD: Singapore continues to keep the borders closed to international tourists. Have you heard of plans to let travelers into the country again in the foreseeable future? Various countries are already doing this under strict conditions, such as Turkey, Rwanda or the Bahamas.

Gottschalk: There are plans of this kind, for example the establishment of “Green Lanes” between Singapore and certain other countries where Corona is under control, even with strict conditions. But so far there have been no official announcements.

WORLD: And what about Singapore’s citizens? Are people demanding that it be opened as soon as possible, or are they perhaps even very happy that the borders are still tight and that no infections are brought in from abroad?

Gottschalk: At the moment, it seems that citizens are generally satisfied with the current conditions. However, this can also be related to the fact that the government provides very generous financial support for all companies. But once these relief efforts end, the mood in the country could change quickly.

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India now accounts for more than a quarter of daily global infections

WORLD: What is the worst thing about the pandemic for you personally?

Gottschalk: How surprisingly this pandemic emerged and how unprepared we were for it. In addition, the resulting worldwide negative effects – global economic crisis, travel restrictions, unemployment, fear of the future.

WORLD: Is there anything good you can get out of the crisis?

Gottschalk: It is difficult to get any good out of the virus. Perhaps the realization that even in the 21st century such a pandemic is still possible. We will therefore have to rethink our behavior in a previously globally oriented world and do many things differently and better in the future.

WORLD: And what exactly could you do better in your industry?

Gottschalk: Intensive efforts are already being made in the hotel industry and concepts are being developed for the time after Corona. For example, how the check-in process can be made contact-free or how hotel rooms can be cleaned and disinfected in the future. Guests receive a “Safety Welcome Pack” with hand disinfection and a face mask.

The government here has also introduced a new program: SG Clean. Hotels and restaurants only receive this certificate if they meet all the criteria. The certificate and logo can then play an important role in marketing.

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According to tourism experts, distant dream destinations will continue to attract holidaymakers in the future

About the person: the hotelier Klaus Gottschalk

Klaus Gottschalk has been in the hotel industry since 1976; For 35 years he held senior positions in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, China and Malaysia. He has been permanently in Singapore since 2014. The “Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel”, which he runs as General Manager, has 576 rooms; Before the corona pandemic, Gottschalk hosted around 200,000 guests annually.

The 66-year-old names the East Coast Park as his favorite place in Singapore. The park, which is almost completely wrested from the sea, is a green oasis in the city for swimming, biking and sizzling with a 15-kilometer-long sandy beach. Gottschalk recommends a Singapore Sling as a suitable cocktail for sunset; the cocktail was created around 1915 in the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel.

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Salina near Sicily: the beauty of the island kept secret

Fif you ask any islander about his ancestors, you often hear the story of visionary entrepreneurs who emigrated to Australia or America and returned to Salina with fresh money and new ideas. From wealthy Malvasia wine merchants or at least from farmers who have grown the valuable capers in addition to grapes and almonds. And who, thanks to their wealth, were able to put a few splendid palaces on the slopes above the coast.

“Our island has always been special,” says Salina-born artist Pippo Cafarella. One volcano wasn’t enough, there had to be two. Both are long extinct, but their black, mustard-yellow or bright red rock shapes the spectacular landscape.

It is also special that the 2500-person island of Salina governs itself, in contrast to the other Aeolian Islands – the film diva Stromboli is one of them, but also Panarea, Vulcano and the rocky spots Alicudi and Filicudi, which are administered from the main island of Lipari . Salina has three independent municipalities, each with a port, a city council and its own mayor.

Salina is considered the most beautiful of the Aeolian Islands

The archipelago north of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea has been a Unesco World Heritage Site for 20 years and is a worthwhile holiday destination well into autumn. Bathing is still in November, hikers climb extinct and not extinct volcanoes or stroll between vineyards and caper fields. Each of the seven inhabited islands is unique in its own way, but Salina is considered by connoisseurs to be the most beautiful and special of all.

Source: Infographic WELT / Jörn Baumgarten

The locals kept it to themselves for a long time. They wanted to prevent Salina from becoming as glamorous as Panarea or as famous as Stromboli. The creation of tourist infrastructure was deliberately neglected, only a few hotels offered a few rooms, anyone who wanted to go on holiday on Salina needed their own house.

Then director Michael Radford came and shot “Il Postino” (“The Postman”) in 1994. The story of friendship between the poet Pablo Neruda and his postman moved many cinema viewers to tears and aroused their curiosity: Where is the village of Pollara, through which the postman cycles? Where is the lonely bay that Neruda walks along? And where is the poet’s pink house? The answer to all three questions is: Salina.

Even the Ferrari boss flashed here

With the film, the island became popular. Pippo Cafarella, who owns the picturesque film house, could have sold his property several times: actors, industrial captains, public offices and even the Belgian royal couple were interested. But he is not thinking of giving up his house with its overgrown garden.

Villa on Salina (Sicily, Italy)

There are some villas on Salina with a great view

Quelle: Getty Images/Hemis.fr RM

“No”, said Patrizia Lopes when the former Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo offered four million euros for her weathered villa above the port of Rinella. “Villa L’Ariana was my grandparents’ holiday home, I live here, why should I sell?”

She prefers to rent a few rooms in the peach-colored property with its terraces and the striking bust trellis on the roof to vacationers: “Some guests have been coming for 30 years, should I put them in front of the door?” And anyway: “What does Signor di Montezemolo want in Rinella? “

In fact, the place doesn’t offer much: a small supermarket, an ice cream parlor, a church and a tiny beach, which – like most on the island – consists of dark gray lava sand. But with the motorboat you are quickly in a Caribbean blue bay and with the Vespa in one of the osterias.

Salina: The village of Pollara with its boat houses carved into the rock and a bay for diving

The village of Pollara with its boat houses carved into the rock and a bay for diving

Those: Getty

For example in the “Villa Carla” in Leni. There is a handful of tables between blooming rose bushes, the view overlooks the sea, island specialties such as ravioli with caper filling and fish in a crust of breadcrumbs, mint and orange peel come from the kitchen.

The straw-yellow Malvasia from the Capofaro winery, which towers high above the sea, goes well with this. It belongs to the Sicilian noble family Tasca d’Almerita, who not only grow this wonderfully dry white wine on Salina, but also run a luxurious hotel.

The rooms and suites are located in houses overgrown with bougainvilleas between vines or in the lighthouse built in 1884 and score points with their chic, pleasantly cool island design.

Despite more holidaymakers, not full even in midsummer

From here it is only a stone’s throw to Malfa, a village with narrow streets, photogenic faded house facades, a church square with palm trees and a few cafes where large cups of almond or mulberry granita are served. On the outskirts of the village, the Scario Beach, which is surrounded by dark cliffs and valued for its crystal-clear water, is attractive, but also for the tiny “Maracaibo” bar, where you get filled foccacia, beer and colorful air mattresses.

Salina: Malfa is a village with narrow streets, a church square with palm trees and a few cafes

Malfa is a village with narrow streets, a church square with palm trees and a few cafes

Quelle: REDA&CO/Universal Images Group v

Malfa’s mayor Chiara Rametta is closely watching what is happening on her island: “We are seeing more holidaymakers than ten years ago. In the past only Italians came and they only came in August. Now the first holidaymakers arrive at Whitsun, the last come in October. And international vacationers also come. But it is still a very discreet tourism. ”It can hardly be felt anyway – Malfa looks sleepy and pleasantly provincial even in the high season, especially in the Corona summer 2020.

also read

Aeolian Islands (Italy): On Panarea there are also hiking trails with breathtaking views

Santa Marina is a bit more urban, simply called “la città” by the 900 residents. There are restaurants, a marina and a shopping street with lovely shops like “Le Signorine”, where Rossana and Serena Cervellera offer their own line of saline jewelry and Mediterranean home accessories.

The “Mercanti di Mare” hotel on the promenade also belongs to the elegant sisters. They inherited the beautiful building with a spacious loggia from their grandparents. Of course they could have sold it, there were enough interested parties. But that is out of the question for her: “It’s our family’s house. We don’t give it up. “

Salina: The Cervellera sisters run a hotel in Santa Maria - and they don't think about selling it

The Cervellera sisters run a hotel in Santa Maria – and don’t think about selling it

Quelle: Patricia Engelhorn

Tips and information

Getting there: Flight to Catania or Palermo, for example with Lufthansa or Easyjet. Most of the ferry connections to Salina and the other Aeolian Islands are from the port of Milazzo, e.g. with Liberty Lines (libertylines.it/en/) or Siremar (carontetourist.it/en/siremar), tickets from 20 euros (one way ).

Accommodation: “Hotel Mercanti di Mare”, nine rooms furnished in a pretty island style, some with a view of the Santa Marina promenade, double rooms from 100 euros, hotelmercantidimare.it. “Hotel Signum”, charming 30-room hotel in Malfa, which is spread over several renovated island houses in a garden landscape, restaurant with Michelin star, double rooms from 200 euros, hotelsignum.it. “I Cinque Balconi”, ten rooms with beamed ceilings, antique floor tiles and family antiques in two historic merchant houses in Santa Marina, double rooms from 80 euros, icinquebalconi.it. The “Capofaro” is a magical Relais & Châteaux resort in a vineyard with a sea view, 27 minimalist, elegant rooms, spacious pool, gourmet restaurant, double rooms from 260 euros, capofaro.it (not until 2021).

Further information: salinaturismo.it; visitsicily.info/en/salina/

Sicily: Salina Island, Malfa, Hotel Signum, pool

The “Hotel Signum” in Malfa has a pool

Source: pa / DUMONT Bildar / Sabine Lubenow

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Source: Welt am Sonntag

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Corona travel warnings: Now comes the traffic light system

18. September 2020 – 14:23 Clock

Traffic light system is intended to replace global travel warnings

The general Covid-19 travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office for unnecessary, tourist trips to all countries outside the EU and individual excluded states ends on September 30. From October 1st, they will be replaced by differentiated travel and security practices around the world – or more simply and briefly: that Travel traffic light system. This is unlikely to change much in terms of travel options for vacationers. But the new system should provide travelers with clarity in the sometimes confusing border regulations of the individual countries.

+++ You can read all current developments on the coronavirus in the live ticker on RTL.de +++

New Corona traffic light system for travel warnings

A nationwide traffic light system should make it easier for travelers from October 1st to get an overview of possible holiday destinations. In contrast to the previous months, travel warnings will no longer be issued across the board for entire countries, but will be carefully monitored to see how the number of infections is developing in the individual regions and cities and whether a trip there is risk-free. The German federal government had already done this in the past few weeks and was therefore considered a pioneer.

Regions instead of entire countries: How does the new system work?

However, it is questionable whether the new traffic light system actually helps to correctly assess the situation in the respective travel regions. Because according to the travel magazine FVW, the data situation could become a problem in individual countries, as in some countries the numbers of new infections are not recorded regionally, but only for the entire country.

In order to still be able to guarantee comprehensive protection for vacationers, the traffic light system is based exclusively on the travel warnings and notices of the RKI. “This assesses risk areas according to defined limit values ​​and a comprehensive analysis of the health situation in the country”, explains the FVW on its homepage.

Red, yellow, green – what do the individual colors mean?

Rot: These countries and regions are classified as risk areas by the RKI. There is therefore a high risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is why there is an urgent warning against entering these regions. According to the federal government, 125 out of 200 countries are currently affected. Read here what you have to consider when you return from a risk area.

Yellow: In these countries, the corona situation is okay, but travelers must take into account that there are entry restrictions for German vacationers, such as the obligation to quarantine. In the future, travel to such areas should only be discouraged and no longer officially warned.

Green: There are not high numbers of infections in these countries and regions. A trip to these holiday destinations is therefore safe. In addition to most EU countries and the Schengen area, there are currently 38 countries.

Who will benefit from the new categorization?

If the travel warning for 160 countries is officially lifted on October 1st, trips to up to 60 countries can theoretically take place again. In addition, around 38 countries would no longer be classified as risk areas. For example, there are official travel warnings for Australia, Thailand, Canada and Tunisia – the number of infections there are low, which is why there is nothing against a vacation there from a health perspective.

But: The new traffic light system has no influence on how the respective countries regulate entry into their country. For example, only Australian citizens and their closest relatives are allowed to enter Australia and Thailand has also imposed a complete entry ban.

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Poland: From Gdynia to Hirschberg – five tips for city trips

Polen is practically on the doorstep – and has a number of special cities to offer that are unfairly overshadowed by Warsaw or Krakow. We offer five suggestions for a short trip to the neighboring country.

Szczecin: tradition and new beginnings

A pinch of Hamburg, a touch of Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg from the nineties: this is how locals describe the new spirit of the old Hanseatic city of Stettin, which is now called Szczecin and is the capital of the up-and-coming West Pomeranian Voivodeship. In fact, the former German, now Polish Baltic Sea port city is different from visitor magnets such as Gdansk and Breslau, whose historical centers were also destroyed during the war, but were then quickly and completely refurbished according to the old model.

Szczecin, on the other hand, located close to the border, still shows breaks in the cityscape.

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Salzburg: Kapuzinerberg and Mönchsberg – an excursion into the countryside

Dhe house number 14 is the gateway to another world. An inconspicuous gate, built into an inconspicuous town house, which with its barren, stained facade and the old windows has obviously seen a lot. Passers-by in the traffic-calmed Linzer Gasse, a lively shopping street in the middle of Salzburg, hardly notice number 14. But if you pass the archway with the meter-thick walls, you will quickly change your mind.

Here it goes to the Kapuzinerberg, the city views and the Franziskischlössl, announced an old plaque with archaic, weathered lettering. Behind it, the narrow asphalt road climbs extremely steeply with significantly more than 20 percent, creates several tight curves until a lookout point opens to the right in front of the walls of the old Capuchin monastery.

Pedestrians puffing hard fill the path, obviously looking forward to the break at the railing. There the cell phone cameras click, a selfie here, a selfie there, always with the old town and the fortress in the background.

On the other side of the path, the light walls of a villa shimmer through a thick wall of trees and bushes. The writer Stefan Zweig lived here until 1934, and he made it a habit to walk down the mountain to the “Café Bazar” every day and spend the hours there with coffee and reading in proper style.

Kapuzinerberg and Franziskischlössl are curious

After the monastery, the path flattens out, passes a brick gate, a statue of Mozart on the left in the meadow and plunges into the mountain forest. For the next 20 minutes the excursion becomes a real mountain tour, the path meanders through nature with uphill and downhill sections.

The goal is a clearing at the top that reveals a view of the Franziskischlössl. The well-fortified fortress dates back to the Thirty Years’ War, was built by Archbishop Paris Count von Lodron and today houses a restaurant and castle garden.

The Franziskischlössl on the Kapuzinerberg now houses a restaurant and castle garden

Quelle: pa/Neumayr/pic

The Schlössl with its historical salons and elegantly furnished suites is a popular wedding location. At lunchtime, some hikers examine the view from the castle wall down to the old town, others sit in the castle garden, an aristocratic variant of a beer garden.

The Kapuzinerberg and the Franziskischlössl are a curiosity: in the middle of the city, on the eastern bank of the Salzach, rises a mountain with a solid 200 meters of altitude, lots of forest and a pack of chamois that has been at home here for many years and that a city forester takes care of.

In the middle of Salzburg: a chamois on the Kapuzinerberg

Chamois have been at home on the Kapuzinerberg for many years

Source: pa / dpa / Michael Hudelist

The way up here has to be found and completed. If you do not take the left path at the crossroads after the monastery and in front of the Mozart statue, but the temptingly wide right path, you end up at a long defensive wall and have a long, steep climb ahead of you.

“Once a groom took the wrong route and had to drag the stroller up the stairs, his shirt was soaked with sweat that we lent him a replacement shirt for the wedding,” says Gruber Anton, one of the two innkeepers in the Schlössl.

Alpine solitude very close to the center

A shuttle service is also available. “When people come for the first time, they are initially nervous about whether they will get up safely,” continues Gruber. “If we then drive up the steep section to the monastery, then dive into the dark forest, they become very calm.”

You could also be chauffeured by taxi. However, there are many taxi drivers who avoid the route. Others don’t know their way around, take the wrong route and let people get out in front of the steep defensive wall and continue on foot.

Austria: View from Kapuzinerberg to Salzburg's old town and the Hohensalzburg fortress

View from the Kapuzinerberg to Salzburg’s old town and the Hohensalzburg fortress

Quelle: bye / Cezary Wojtkowski

So there is a lot to be said for a mountain excursion on foot. You could also spend a carefree and unconventional city vacation up here. Above you can stay stylish, close to nature and extremely quiet, you can hike in front of the front door, take a walk down to the old town.

And when the hustle and bustle becomes too much, you take refuge back up in the alpine solitude. There is a via ferrata with the appropriate title City Wall, eleven Kalvarienberg chapels and a steep path down to the eastern part of the center of Salzburg.

The Franziskischlössl has the function of an alpine hut up here. Just as a mighty castle with elegant salons and a well-sealed castle garden. The guests who sit here are obviously in no hurry, enjoy being just a few hundred meters as the crow flies from the old town and only perceiving a vague noise from the city traffic. This serenity is a surprising and pleasant contrast to the hustle and bustle around Mirabell Palace and Getreidegasse.

A luxury hotel in the castle on the Mönchsberg

Over on the other, western side of the Salzach, the counterpart to the Kapuzinerberg is building up. The Mönchsberg is, so to speak, the little neighbor, does not measure 100 meters in altitude and is less wild and pristine. The Mönchsberg stretches from the large beer garden at the Augustiner-Bräu parallel to the Salzach to the fortress.

This second mountain tour begins in a narrow alley behind the Augustiner-Bräu, meandering uphill with a few sharp bends. The Mönchsberg is a friendly mountain. You almost always have a view down to the old town and over to the high, light walls of the fortress, for comparison you can see the dark hump of the Kapuzinerberg above the Salzach.

Salzburg: In the hotel "Schloss Mönchstein" you stay far above the old town in the countryside

In the Hotel “Schloss Mönchstein” you can stay far above the old town in the countryside

Source: pa / Franz Neumayr

The Mönchsberg is the mountain of stories. The Augustinerpforte and the Monikapforte are defensive structures from the time of the Thirty Years War. On the left, the tower of Mönchstein Castle protrudes from behind the trees. A German-Swiss industrialist bought the historic building and invested several million in the renovation.

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Salzburger Land (Austria): The mountain village of Priesteregg consists of 18 wooden chalets that are built around a square with a swimming pond and a jetty

Today the castle is a luxury hotel that is particularly popular with international audiences and whose restaurant in a modern glass extension recently received a Michelin star. The charm of this hostel lies in the fact that you can stay in a secluded location far above the old town in the countryside and take the Mönchsberg lift to the famous Getreidegasse in just a few minutes, directly at the Museum der Moderne.

Dining with a view of the old town

Diagonally across from the castle, a road branches off to the right and goes slightly uphill until you stand in front of the spacious Johannesschlössl of the Pallottines, decorated with various towers and bay windows. The cows graze on the right on the Paschkow meadow, and you feel like you are on an alpine meadow in the high mountains and not at all on a city mountain.

The Pallottines, a Catholic religious community, have been in the castle for almost a hundred years, which dates back to the 14th century. Today it is used as a mission house and for seminars and seems a bit closed to hikers passing by.

Salzburg: The "Stadtalm" on the Mönchsberg attracts with home-style cuisine

The “Stadtalm” on the Mönchsberg attracts with home-style cuisine

Source: Salzburg Tourism

At the height of the Mönchsberg it is time for a gastronomic break. The “Stadtalm” directly on the mighty defensive wall and on the edge with a perfect view of Salzburg’s old town is the ideal address and only a few minutes’ walk from the Pallottines.

The historic building is a house for friends of nature, a kind of youth hostel with a few rather sparse guest rooms. Outside on the terrace are the preferred places where you can have home-style dishes from schnitzel to Kaiserschmarrn.

Bertolt Brecht caused a scandal in Salzburg

Away from the “Stadtalm”, the Mönchsberg remains the upper-class refuge. Two or three minutes later, on the way towards the fortress, a feudal red villa with an angular turret sits enthroned on the left. The primary school teacher Alois Grasmayr, who was born as a farmer’s son, lived there until 1955. He married into a rich industrial family and treated himself to this villa, where he set up a planetarium up in the tower.

Back then, this planetarium with a round table with a bench rotating around it was a sensation. The stately villas, which are often hidden behind trees and high walls, create a mysterious atmosphere that arouses curiosity.

Salzburg: The Mönchsberg offers a wide view of the old town and the fortress mountain

From Mönchsberg there is a broad view of the old town and the fortress mountain

Source: Salzburg Tourism

A few hundred meters further on, the Kupelwieserschlössl stands on the right, which is known for the fact that Peter Handke rented a room here in the 1980s. The owners at the time, Gerheid and Hans Widrich, belonged to the city’s cultural establishment. She was the first female member of the Salzburg provincial government; for many years he acted as press spokesman for the archdiocese and the Salzburg Festival.

Not a bad place for a writer to be inspired by the privileged and quiet location. Of course, it wasn’t always easy. A woman, who was not very enthusiastic about his work, lay in wait for him up here in solitude. “Your shit literature, nobody reads it”, the Swiss woman is said to have screamed and jumped at him and attacked, whereupon both of them rolled on the floor. Then she hit him in the arm with her stiletto heels. “For moments I was close to slaying her,” he later wrote.

Bertolt Brecht was also involved in the Kupelwieserschlössl, was supposed to work at the festival in 1950, was given Austrian citizenship in return, but then preferred to emigrate to the GDR. That caused a scandal in Salzburg.

A special feature is hidden on the south side between the Zwinger and the Powder Tower: Wine has recently been grown here. The Paris-Lodron-Zwinger, a Grüner Veltliner, is only distributed to selected interested parties. The Mönchsberg is a privileged affair in many ways.

Salzburg in Austria

Source: WORLD infographic

Tips and information

Getting there: Salzburg can be reached by car via the A8 Munich – Salzburg motorway and by train via Munich and Rosenheim (bahn.de). No Covid-19 test is currently required for visitors from Germany. A minimum distance of one meter and mouth and nose protection are required in public transport, cable cars, taxis, in retail, post offices, banks, petrol stations and at events in closed rooms.

Accommodation: If you want to stay up on the mountain in the middle of Salzburg, you can choose between two elegant suites in the “Franziskischlössl” on the Kapuzinerberg, from € 400 per night, franziskischloessl.at. On the Mönchsberg there is the luxurious “Mönchstein Castle”, double rooms with breakfast from 350 euros (monchstein.at) or the simple youth hostel rooms of the “Stadtalm”, from 23 euros per person in a shared room; There is only one double room at the “Stadtalm”, which must be reserved in advance, stadtalm.at.

Information desk: salzburg.info

Participation in the trip was supported by Tourismus Salzburg. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit.

Austria and the virus

Due to the increasing number of corona cases in the Balkans, the Austrian government has passed an ordinance that caused endless traffic jams on the border with Slovenia. Meanwhile, the number of infected people in Austria is increasing again. And the ski season is approaching.

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East Germany: Tips for a holiday with a houseboat or yacht

SSaturday afternoon, in a tributary of the Havel, somewhere in the jungle of the wetlands between Werder and the city of Brandenburg. The journey has come to an end, dock one last time, and then the passengers are back on solid ground.

A slight swaying can still be felt. Is that now due to the waves, which confused the sense of balance last week in the steady, gentle rocking of the stately motor yacht “Galathea”, 14 meters long, with three double cabins, saloon, pantry and two bathrooms? Or does it just show the pleasant confusion after a vacation in a strange world that is in a familiar area but looks like a kind of parallel universe in your own country?

After all, the view of things was different: it was the waterside perspective of the banks of those lakes, rivers, canals, towns and villages in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, southwest of Berlin, which one is actually very familiar with when cycling, jogging or hiking with a dog are.

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Mecklenburg Lake District

How big does the Breitlingsee look when you sail on it, how colossal is the Glienicke Bridge, where Russians and Americans exchanged their agents during the Cold War, from below, how majestic and within reach is the Sacrow Church of the Savior on the banks of the Havel, a historical building Icon, inaccessible during the Walling Period, neither from the West nor the East.

But also the industrial areas, the ports for bulk and general cargo such as in Berlin-Spandau, with their huge rolling cranes, can be seen with different eyes from the houseboat. After work, when the crane operator finishes his work and climbs down and you tie up on the quay opposite, for a sundowner on the upper deck and then to sleep, this scenery only looks bizarre and fantastic, but by no means uncomfortable. And there is something special when the sun rises early in the morning while walking through the steel monster skeleton and the coffee smells on the flybridge.

In a boat across Germany’s lakes

Corona times make people look for alternatives when on vacation. The trend towards destinations in the area, in one’s own country, could last for years. Reason enough to get to know the neighborhood anew, to catch a different glimpse of it, to sail across the lakes, rivers and canals.

With the whole family or with friends; Many motor yachts have room for six, or eight adults if necessary, as well as a board dog. There is something for everyone, for holders of boating licenses as well as for newcomers, who after a short introduction are also allowed to drive spacious boats, with minor restrictions (see below).

Lakes in Germany

Source: WORLD infographic

The east offers the most rewarding inland waters in Germany for a week on a motor yacht or houseboat. The Mecklenburg Lake District is legendary, where nature is still wild and untouched here and there.

The heart of the lake district, the Müritz, is the largest inland lake in the Federal Republic of Germany with over 112 square kilometers – here those who enjoy driving can do a lot of distance. Likewise on the wide Brandenburg water course, the main areas of which are mainly to the west and south-east of Berlin. Mecklenburg, Brandenburg and Berlin together offer over 2000 kilometers of rivers and lakes, this is Germany’s largest networked water sports area.

Summer vacation 2020 – Lausitz instead of Mallorca

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Source: WELT / Fanny Fee Werther

If you are looking for pure deceleration instead of shoving around, you will be happy in Saxony-Anhalt: In the Central German Lakeland, which was and is still being built in the renatured areas of the former Goitzsche open-cast lignite mine, you will find a nice range of fixed “floating houses” on Geiseltalsee and Großem Goitzschesee . You can go on water excursions here by canoe or rubber dinghy.

Depending on the size of the houseboat, you can survive a week without mooring once: leave the fairway every evening and out with the anchor. Most charter companies have adapted their refrigerators over the decades to the growth of thirst and customer demands. The diesel supply is always generous, water and waste water tanks are also sufficient with economical consumption – swimming instead of showering.

First nature, then a shore excursion to the restaurant

Nature experiences are guaranteed. Once the engine is off, a giant catfish appears from below in a short arc. In the evening, geese move across the sky high up, water lilies bloom and – depending on the season – a frog croaks in the swamp at the back. At most, the show-offs cause excitement as they hit high waves in their speeding Poser yacht and sweep the wine glasses off the table in the bobbing houseboat.

Every now and then, with all the love for distance, you should moor at one of the countless marinas. The chat there with the neighbors is not only entertaining, useful tips are almost always given about the next stage or the best bakery that you can go to the next morning with the bike you brought with you as a precaution.

The thread of the conversation is already tied in the afternoon when mooring, when a helpful hand catches the thrown rope and routinely covers the cleat with a head blow, i.e. the line is secured against unintentional loosening with a kind of sailor’s knot. And if you have picked the right port from the area guide, the shore excursion will be sweetened with a good restaurant, provided you have reserved in time.

Because of Corona, the demand for yachts is high

In the summer of 2020, Corona ensured that the jetties at the charter companies were empty – and those in the marinas were correspondingly full. Anyone planning a boating holiday for the coming year should start looking for a suitable yacht in good time.

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Large boats offer a lot of space inside – but cause space problems in the ports. For a boat about 14 meters long, jetties are rare. Anyone who probes by phone after 4 or 5 p.m. must expect rejections rather than promises. Maybe the headbridge is still free at the front. Or the steamboat landing – see you tomorrow morning at seven thirty. Hardly any harbor master wants to reserve.

Public quays are more likely to be found in the larger towns, and they are also often full in the high season. It is easier for nine or penalty yachts. There would also be room for a family there. Here and there sailing yachts are also on the move, but if you want to get to know several lakes, connected by canals and rivers with bridges, you would drive more under motor than under sail, with a horizontal mast.

It is important to plan the stages well

Good planning is everything. More than 30 kilometers a day is uncomfortable. Those who anchor in between, who want to walk through Potsdam’s center, Werder, Babelsberg or Brandenburg and avoid worrying about the evening berth, plan shorter stages from the outset.

Especially important for those who like to travel: At the end of the week you have to be back at the charter port – and very punctually, otherwise it will be expensive. If you only plan the return trip on the Friday before the boat is returned (usually Saturday 9 or 10 a.m.), you should think twice about it, given the time-consuming locks and any hectic pace.

Houseboat rafts are popular even if some routes are closed to them and they move slowly

Houseboat rafts are popular, even if some routes are closed to them and move slowly

Source: Getty Images / Westend61

Boats up to 15 HP do not require a license. These are either smaller specimens or houseboat rafts with a rectangular hull, which have become increasingly popular recently, even if some routes are closed to them and they are only making slow progress. Which is why the radius for weekly planning has to be set significantly smaller with them.

Most are booked for day trips because they only offer spartan sleeping places. Sometimes they are also equipped as party boats with booming bass loudspeakers and so make those seeking peace and quiet annoyed.

Locks can be a problem in a houseboat

But there are also real swimming bungalows for newcomers in every comfort and price class, inside with cabin suites, professional kitchens and, if necessary, even with a sauna and wood stove. The advantage of these houseboats: They only have a shallow draft, so they can hardly run aground. While the cabin cruiser captain has to feel his way around at walking pace with a fixed view of the echo sounder where the marker barrels tend to be missing in the shallow fairway, a bungalow like this can – carefully – almost advance to the shore.

The worlds then separate when it comes to the mooring maneuvers or, more clearly, in the locks, where the clumsy newcomer in the houseboat just before the crash has to listen to instructions over loudspeakers, more or less friendly and audible for everyone. So if you like it stress-free, choose a route without locks.

Experienced license holders may prefer a traditional yacht. Many things have become easier for those who may have made the appearance decades ago; bow and stern thrusters, for example, have long been standard. Which is why nowadays nobody can be admired from the jetty while “parking backwards” perfectly. With draft beer later in the harbor bar, there is still enough to talk about. By far, of course.

With over 112 square kilometers, the Müritz is the largest inland lake in Germany - recreational captains can do a lot here

With over 112 square kilometers, the Müritz is the largest inland lake in Germany – recreational captains can do a lot here

Source: FlickrVision / Ursula Sander

Tips and information

Houseboat provider: Brandenburg and Berlin: the small landlord mariTeam in Deetz near Werder offers good service, houseboats from 750 euros / week (dialog-charter.de). Kuhnle Tours is based on the Müritz, but also has locations in Berlin and Brandenburg, bungalow boats from 59 euros / night, houseboats from 511 euros / week (kuhnle-tours.de).

Mecklenburg Lake District: Yachtcharter Schulz in Waren an der Müritz has a wide range of houseboats, from 490 euros / week (bootsurlaub.de), as does Müritz Yacht Management, from 649 euros / week (mueritz-yacht.de).

Leipziger Seenland: Seeblick houseboat rental offers fixed houseboats and “floating houses”, for example on the Großer Goitzschesee and Geiseltalsee, from 120 euros / night (hausbootvermietung-seeblick.de).

Requirements: A boating license is often not necessary for many models and areas; more than 900 kilometers can be traveled in East Germany without such a document. Houseboats up to 15 HP are mostly free of license, classified “tourist waterways” are often navigable with boats over 15 HP without a license, a briefing (charter certificate) from the rental company is sufficient. Rules vary regionally and should be requested from the landlord.

Further information: deutschlands-seenland.de; reiseland-brandenburg.de; mecklenburgische-seenplatte.de; blaues-band.de (Central Germany)

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from August 30, 2020

Source: WELT AM SONNTAG

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Vacation in Corona times: We shouldn’t condemn travel

opinion Vacation in Corona times

What does the world offer beyond the garden fence?

Travel doesn’t have the best image at the moment – for two reasons: Corona and climate. Of course, pandemic rules and flight shame have their place. But to completely question travel as such is wrong.

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Federal government extends travel warning for more than 160 countries

A good five months ago, the federal government issued a worldwide travel warning for tourists due to Corona. It still applies to almost all countries outside Europe – and it will stay that way for the time being.

WDo you still eat what it was like when you first saw the sea in the south? Not the North or Baltic Sea, but the mystical Mediterranean in which Odysseus crossed, on whose shores there was stracciatella ice cream and mussels, almost unknown in Germany at the time?

I can remember my first time well. I was about eight years old and we were going to Lignano Sabbiadoro. That fantastic name alone! There were six of us in the Opel Kadett, besides my parents and the two brothers our great-grandmother was there; There were no child seats or seat belts, that’s how people were out back then.

From the apartment you only had to walk through a strip of pine forest – and there it was, the sea. It was blue and we raged inside.

On the way back through the fragrant pine forest, we once lost our great-grandmother and my youngest brother. Disappeared without a trace! My parents went out but found them nowhere. Then the police drove up and the missing people got out with a squeaky cheer. They got lost. I immediately loved Italy: the beach, the ice cream – and such lovely carabinieri who brought my little brother back. And the great grandma.

Vacation in times of corona and climate change

For me, that’s exactly what traveling is about: seeing the sea and having exciting experiences. Getting to know the country and its people, as it is called something flat. But now traveling is no longer well-regarded, for two reasons: Corona and climate.

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In social media channels and often also in conversations, traveling is condemned in fluff. It’s your own fault, it is said, if you have to go into quarantine. Why go away, Germany is beautiful too. Yes, Germany is beautiful. But you already live there, you already know that. People are curious, they want to see more of the world.

The Polynesians got into canoes and started paddling across the endless South Pacific. The Vikings wanted to know what was on the other side of the Atlantic, the Greeks sailed for Italy and founded Magna Graecia. And many a little pants-shit buzzes from home, only wearing a diaper, just to see what the world has to offer beyond the garden fence.

Travel with understanding – and look forward to the sea

Of course, it’s not about questioning the mask requirement and complicated corona rules. That has to be the case – in dubio pro prophylaxis. But to completely question travel as such is wrong.

Pine trees, picturesque places and the Mediterranean: Italy is and will remain a place of longing

Pine trees, picturesque places and the Mediterranean: Italy is and will remain a place of longing

Source: Getty Images / Westend61

Flight shame is also justified. You can avoid short-haul flights within Germany, after all, there is the train, and you don’t have to go to Rome just for a weekend.

Maybe in the future we can keep traveling the same way we do with meat consumption. The good Sunday roast is making a comeback, but you can enjoy the variety of vegetables during the week. So we could do without many short flight trips in favor of the rare long-haul trip for which you just get on the plane. Incidentally, that would save Venice and Barcelona from overtourism.

On the weekends, you think about short-term goals, you haven’t seen everything right behind the garden fence either. True to the travel motto of Friedrich Hölderlin, who wrote very appropriately in his poem “Curriculum Vitae”: “Man check everything (…) and understand the freedom to go wherever he wants.” Travel with care and understanding, and looking forward to the sea.

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Little Square "Plönlein" (Rothenburg ob der Tauber Landmark)

Travel in times of Corona

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The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is one of the sights that the author believes should be seen

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from August 30, 2020

Source: WELT AM SONNTAG

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Boeing 747 and Airbus A380: The last giant jets in the sky

TA lot of onlookers were standing at Narita Airport near Tokyo when a huge airplane from Europe floated in for the first time in spring 2019, painted in a funny turtle design. When the Japanese All Nippon Airlines (ANA) offered its first scheduled flight with this jet shortly afterwards, it was sold out in no time. The airline called its new A380 “Flying Honu”, named after an endangered sea turtle in Hawaii. The fans stood upside down, had themselves photographed in front of the giant plane before the first flight with A380 models or with turtle actors in kitschy costumes.

The Airbus A380, the largest airliner in the world, has always sparked enthusiasm among passengers and airplane fans, since its first flight with paying guests in 2007 with Singapore Airlines. ANA was the last of 15 airlines to get their A380 – that was just over a year ago.

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Hotel vacation: take a towel with you? How hotels catch stealing guests

Europe Theft in the hotel

Be careful – this towel could beep!

Hotel guests who take items with them are getting bolder. Towels are particularly popular with thieves, but even mattresses are taken away. This drives hoteliers to take new measures.

| Reading time: 3 minutes

editor in charge of travel / style / engine

How an elephant emerges from a towel

Fascinating the skill with which this maid folds towels. In less than a minute, she easily creates a real sculpture that amazes.

Kdo you call that? After paying you are walking out of a boutique and suddenly the security scanner is ringing. All other customers turn around and look at the alleged delinquent. Embarrassing, embarrassing, the clumsy cashier just forgot to deactivate the security label on the coat she had bought.

These are no longer just those white plastic eggs that have to be laboriously assembled from the inner lining at the cash register, but tiny RFID radio chips, one gram in weight, two millimeters in size, which are simply deactivated by radio.

RFID stands for radio frequency identification. They get electricity wirelessly via the reader using electromagnetic waves. The signal has a range of up to ten meters. These chips can be read out in passing. They are so robust that they can withstand many washes.

Hotels are upgrading their security technology

In future, they will also beep more frequently in hotels – at least as an alarm on the tablet at the receptionist or the housekeeper. Even if you, as a guest with no bad intentions, are only going to the beach or the pool with the chipped hotel towel – and then take it back to your room.

“Better let it be! That’ll just be embarrassing, ”advises hotel tester Tassilo Keilmann from the Wellness Heaven Hotel Guide. In a survey of 1157 hoteliers in German-speaking countries, he found: “More and more hotels are working with RFID chips sewn into bathrobes or towels.”

Even if towels were lovingly formed into swans in the hotel, they are only intended for drying off

Even if towels have been lovingly formed into swans, they are only intended for drying off

Source: Getty Images / Pierre-Yves Babelon

When it comes to security technology, four- and five-star hoteliers in particular are upgrading, even if they don’t like to talk about it. Because many high-quality textiles don’t just disappear on the way to and from the laundry; Even among the mostly innocent hotel guests there are some thieves who actually think it is just a minor offense to simply put fluffy laundry in the suitcase as a souvenir.

The favorites among stolen goods are towels and bathrobes, even if, according to a survey carried out every two years, their “theft rate” has dropped slightly compared to 2017 (minus 1.5 percent). The security technology obviously deterred thieving guests.

The thieves are getting bolder

Anyone who is checked out with beeping suitcases is usually not exposed or frisked, but receives the equivalent of the stolen goods on their credit card statement. “Hoteliers don’t want to alienate guests,” says Keilmann. Sometimes they leave it with a note in the regular guest system: “Bathrobe was gone again.”

Nevertheless, they are stolen – and always bolder. 49 hoteliers report stolen mattresses, especially in five-star hotels. How the bulky goods were transported out of the hotel unnoticed remains a mystery. The damaged hoteliers suspect that the mattresses, rolled up and tied, were dragged into the underground car park by direct elevators.

But there is even more brazen: A complete Tesla charging station was dismantled from the garage in a South Tyrolean hotel in 2019; and from a spa resort near Salzburg, the sauna benches disappeared into a suite – handcrafted from stone pine – which someone had obviously taken a liking to. Only when a new guest complained about the strange standing sauna (“Where should I sit down?”), This brazen theft was discovered.

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Without adequate protection, hackers can manipulate room cards in the hotel in such a way that they turn into a master key

This article was first published in December 2019.

The text comes from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from December 1, 2019

Source: WELT AM SONNTAG

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