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GUIDEBOOK : Sampling the New Germany

November 11, 1990|Shirley Slater

Getting there: The only nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Frankfurt are on Lufthansa, with connections to Berlin aboard Euro-Berlin, a new airline formed by Lufthansa and Air France. The cheapest round-trip economy fare this winter, a nonrefundable, 30-day advance-purchase ticket with a 21-day stay, is $794 on weekdays, $847 weekends.

Where to stay: The Hotel Hohenhaus in Herleshausen, 20 minutes from the city of Eisenach and less than two hours from Erfurt, is a member of the prestigious French Relais & Chateau group. Reservations may be made through David B. Mitchell and Co., telephone (212) 696-1323. Rates for a double room with bath are about $150, breakfasts an additional $14 per person. Fixed-price dinners at $37 and $67 are additional.

At the deluxe 350-room Grand Hotel in Berlin, standard double rooms are about $300 a night. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, the Grand is just off Unter den Linden at Friedrichstrasse 158. For reservations, call (800) 223-6800. Slightly less expensive in the former West Berlin is the Alsterhof Ringhotel Berlin, Augsburger Strasse 5, D-1000 Berlin 30, phone 011-49-30-219960. Doubles with bath are about $140.

Make sure you have a confirmed hotel reservation before planning to stay in Berlin, which has been jampacked since reunification.

Driving pointers: In the former East Germany, diesel fuel is easy to find but unleaded gas is still scarce. Lines can be long at service stations, especially around the former border. Portions of the autobahn between Herleshausen and Berlin are undergoing badly needed repairs, and traffic is frequently clogged. However, the autobahn in the north, from Berlin toward Rostock, Schwerin and Hamburg, is in excellent condition and less heavily traveled. There are plenty of roadside rests where cars can pull off, but very few public toilets along the autobahns .

For more information: Call the German National Tourist Office, 444 S. Flower St., Suite 2230, Los Angeles 90071, (213) 688-7332.

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