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Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Berlin .
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends visiting Berlin, Germany. Here you will see: Red and Black-Thriated Diver, Red and Black-Necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, Balck & White Stork and Whooper Swan.
At (http://birdingberlin.com/) Rolf offers field trips in the city of Berlin.
The Fat Birder (fatbirder.com/links_geo/europe/germany.html) poits out top sites and a directory on German Birding organizations.
At Flevo Birdwatching (birdsnetherlands.nl/birdingberlin.htm) they have an interesting section on Berlin.
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Transportation Tip: The Berlin underground (U-Bahn) is one of the most modern systems in all of Europe and the most extensive public transport network of its type in Germany.
Its nine lines extend a total of 151.7 kilometers, and serve 170 stations. The Berlin underground system is used by more than one million people every day.
Shopping: The KaDeWe is the most famous place to go for exclusive shopping. A massive 60,000 sq. meters in size with the best in international brands!
A must-see is the legendary delicacies department on the sixth floor.
Diagonally across from the Kaiser-Wilhelm memorial church
The Europa Center is one of the classic shopping-centers of Berlin. Almost 100 shops, numerous restaurants and a spacious cinema complex invite you to discover this shopping mall.
Day One: Our Cousin Friedle suggest visiting the Bauhaus Archive – W-M: 10-5, Klingelhöferstraße 14, 49 30 2540
The Bauhaus Archive was founded in Darmstadt in 1960. Walter Gropius and other members of the Bauhaus movement gave their support.
The collection grew so quickly that a dedicated museum seemed attractive and Gropius was asked to design it.
In 1964, he produced plans for a new museum in Darmstadt, on the Rosenhohe, which was prevented by local politics. The Senate of Berlin was, however, ready to supply both space and money for the project.
In 1971 the Bauhaus Archive moved to accommodations in Berlin.
For your lunch today we suggest Ganymed Brasserie – L & D: Daily Schiffbauerdamm 5, 49 (0) 30-28 59 90 46
Don’t pass on the soupe de poisson Ganymed with croûtons, rouille and fromage or the terrine of foie gras with brioche and raspberry chutney. For a light main, the moules marinière with frites are very good.
And if you’re really hungry go for the entrecote with the potato conﬁt in a red wine sauce with légumes.
The grilled Loup de mer with artichokes and olive tapenade and potatoes risoles is another good choice.
We enjoyed a ‘11 Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Estate Kabinett Riesling with our meal.
After this Gallic food journey visit the Reichstag - Platz der Republik 1, 030 22 73 21 52
A visit to the Reichstag is a must. Visitor highlights include a lift ride to the top of the building to a large viewing terrace for the breathtaking views of Tiergarten, the dome and the mirror cylinder at the centre.
The lift to the cupola is from 8am -10pm and the viewing platform area is open until midnight.
Before heading out for dinner a walk around the Brandenburg Gate - Pariser Platz 49 30 25002333 is important to your Berlin sightseeing agenda.
The Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate, rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassical triumphal arch, and now one of the most well-known landmarks of Germany.
Dinner this evening is at Dos Palillos – L: Sa, D: Tu-Sa, in the Casa Camper hotel at Weinmeisterstrasse 1, 030/20 00 34 13
Albert Raurich, who spent time as Ferran Adrià’s right-hand man at El Bulli, has created a cuisine that is based on the gastronomic selection from the far east, including Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.
Dos Palillos is located in the heart of Mitte, a neighborhood in which there is a mix of Soviet heritage and vanguard design, an area full of bars, restaurants, stores, art galleries and the recently opened Hotel Casa Camper Berlin.
A majority of diners are seated at a dramatic 42 ½- foot-long wooden table that faces the open kitchen which takes on the appearance of a gleaming stainless steel culinary stage.
It’s worth splurging for the tasting menu, however you’ll enjoy the Chef’s a la carte menu.
As a starter share the crispy chicken with curry and the marinated mackerel with vegetables. Then we had the fried Chinese dumplings filled with pork and vegetables.
Try the ’11 J.J. Prum Gracher Himmelrich Kabinett Riesling. For dessert we had a mango and coconut flan.
Day Two: Breakfast is at Café Wintergarten in Literaturhaus– Daily: 9:30 – 1 AM) Fasanenstrasse 23, Wilmersdorf, 49 30 882 5414
A few steps off Berlin‘s famed Kurfürstendamm is the Literaturhaus, a literary salon that hosts readings and exhibits housed in a turn-of-the-century villa.
There’s a bookshop at the ground level, while the top floor houses a cafe that is lovely at breakfast time.
The breakfast offerings range from smoked salmon on rye with a glass of champagne, to two poached eggs with a roll; and from quinoa and amaranth müsli to waffles with fresh berry compote and cream.
Today’s touring takes us to The Holocaust Museum of Berlin - The “Field of Stelae” is open at all times. Information Center: Tu-Su: 10-8, Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 49 (0) 30 – 26 39 43 36
The Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, one of the most evocative and controversial monuments to the Holocaust, was designed by the American architect Peter Eisenmann.
The Holocaust Memorial is located in the center of Berlin, laid out on a 4.7 acre site between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate.
The centerpiece of the Holocaust Memorial is the “Field of Stelae”, covered with more than 2,500 geometrically arranged concrete pillars. You can enter and walk through the unevenly sloping field from all four sides.
The strong columns, all slightly different in size, evoke a disorienting, wave-like feeling that you can only experience when you make your way through this gray forest of concrete.
After this experience, our cousin suggests a visit to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church – The church is located at the Breitscheidplatz, the center of former West-Berlin.
It is one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks. The damaged tower is a symbol of Berlin’s resolve to rebuild the city after the war and a constant reminder of the destruction of war.
Lunch is at Monsieur Vuong – L & D : Daily, Alte Schönhauser Str. 46, 49 -30 – 9929 6924
It’s something of an institution, serving fresh and tasty Vietnamese soups and noodles. A couple of daily specials supplement a handful of regular dishes.
Once you’ve tried the glass noodle salad, you’ll understand why less is more. Chic, cheap and cheery, but often packed.
A good wine pairing is the ’11 Maximin Grunhauser Herenberg Riesling Kabinet.
After a fairly light lunch by Eastern European standards you’re headed for Museum Island – it is the name of the northern half of an island in the Spree river in the central Mitte district of Berlin, the site of the old city of Cölln.
It is so called for the complex of five internationally significant museums, all part of the Berlin State Museums, which occupy the island’s northern part:
The Altes Museum – Tu-Su: 10-6
The Altes National Gallery (Old National Gallery) showcases a range of artwork from Classical and Romantic through to Expressionist and early Modernist.
Here you can see works and artifacts by Greeks, Etruscans and Romans plus civilizations in the Aegean.
The Neues Museum – Daily: 10-6, 30 266 42 42 42
Home for the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection and the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, together with artifacts from the Collection of Classical Antiquities.
The Alte Nationalgalerie – Tu-Su: 10-6, 266 42 42 42
Home to 19th century sculptures and paintings. The Alte Nationalgalerie is regarded as having a comprehensive collection of art of the era between the French Revolution and the First World War, between Classicism and Secessions.
The Bode Museum - Tu-Su: 10-6, 266 42 42 42
The Sculpture Collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art, together with the Numismatic Collection and works of the Gemäldegalerie – Old Master Paintings, are on display in their full splendor.
The Sculpture Collection possesses works from the Early Middle Ages to the late eighteenth century, from the German-speaking countries, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
Major medieval pieces, such as the Madonna by Presbyter Martinus and the Man of Sorrows by Giovanni Pisano, lead on to masterpieces of the early Renaissance.
Glazed terracottas by Luca della Robbia, Donatello’s Pazzi Madonna and the portrait busts by Desiderio da Settignano, Francesco Laurana and Mino da Fiesole are all highlights of the collection.
The Pergamon Museum – Daily: 10-6, 266 42 42 42
A few years ago while touring Turkey Dee and I skipped the optional trip to Pergamon. Not to worry, here it is in Berlin. We visited Apollo, Hercules, Eros and a library façade that could have been in Ephesus.
Currently the museum has an exhibition of the mega city of Uruk, 5,000 years old: considered the first metropolis in Mesopotamia (Iraq).
The Pergamon Museum accommodates three separate museums: the collection of classical antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art.
The monumental reconstructions of archaeological building ensembles – such as the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Ishtar Gate including the Processional Way of Babylon and the Mshatta Façade - make the Pergamon Museum world-famous.
Dinner is at Hackescher Hof – L & D: Daily, Rosenthaler Str 40/41, 283 52 93
For a starter we suggest the grilled octopus with pepper, shallots and aioli on a rocket salad and raspberry dressing.
Then either the wiener schnitzel with asparagus and new potatoes with hollandaise or the pork cutlet with a shallot-apple tapenade, carrots and truffled mashed potatoes.
Try the strawberry parfait, fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Go for the ’09 Dr. Loosen Villa Wolf Pinot Noir.
Day Three: Breakfast this morning is at Brot & Butter – B & L: M-SA, Hardenbergstrasse 4-5, Charlottenburg, 49 30 2630 0346
Here you’ll enjoy crusty loaves of bread spread with creamy quark (similar to fromage frais) and flavored with chives or raw milk butter with their artisanal cured meats, local cheeses and pastries.
Today we suggest visiting Schloss Charlottenburg – Tu-Su: 10-6, Spandauer Damm 10-22, 14059, 030 32 09 11
Schloss Charlottenburg was built by Elector Friederich III in 1699 as a summer palace for his wife Sophie Charlotte. Inside, a collection of 18th century French paintings is the largest of its kind outside France.
Visitors can see the Old Palace, with its baroque rooms, royal apartments, a baroque-style garden, Chinese and Japanese porcelain collections and silverware chambers, as well as the New Wing, with its rococo splendor and fine furniture, added by Friederich the Great.
After visiting the palace you might want to wander about Potsdamer Platz - Potsdamer Platz 1, 0180 5512512
Potsdamer Platz is an important public square and traffic intersection in the centre of Berlin, lying about 1 km south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, and close to the southeast corner of the Tiergarten park.
The Potsdamer Platz quarter was developed by Daimler and opened on 2 October 1998. It comprises 19 buildings, 10 streets, two squares, two hotels, a cinema, three theatres, a casino, two nightclubs, two health centers, a shopping mall with more than 130 specialized stores and some 30 restaurants, bars and cafés.
Diner is at Rutz-Weinbar – D: Tu-Sa, Wine Bar from 4 PM, Chausseestrasse 8, Mitte, +49 30 2462 8760
Start with the pork belly and horse radish or the lamb‘s lettuce with mangalitsa pork belly ham dressed with a champagne verbena vinaigrette.
For your main we suggest the holstein ox shoulder with mushrooms and onion puree or the schnitzel of veal with cucumber potato salad and cranberries.
A nice wine choice is the Becker Estate 2007 Pinot Noir. Top it off with the semi-liquid chocolate soufflé.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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