Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

yk's Trip Report: Best and Wurst of Berlin/Dresden in 1 week - Fall 2009

yk's Trip Report: Best and Wurst of Berlin/Dresden in 1 week - Fall 2009

Oct 15th, 2009, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 258
Thanks Yk and Ingo, it does sound like a long day trip but I am very tempted to do it anyway... and I am excited that the Neues Museum is finally open in Berlin !!

The thermometer is showing 3 degrees here in Lausanne this morning I hope that the bise has stopped blowing...
Suja is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,873
yk, what a terrific report. So much information and love the links to pix that show what your narrative is explaining. Really a lot of work. Thanks so much.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 06:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,581
Passerine, glad to hear you finally will visit Dresden. The weather should be better from mid next week on (according to the forecast, but one never knows ...).

Definitely explore "Äussere Neustadt", the 19th century quarter that has funny shops, ethnic food, vibrant nightlife (mostly for the younger crowd) and artisan's shops. One thing you shouldn't miss there is the Kunsthofpassage www.kunsthofpassage.de, the other is Pfund's Molkerei, the famous dairy shop.

I also recommend to explore the area around the Blue Wonder Bridge, especially Körnerplatz - Wippler's cafe and bakery is excellent, the craftsmen's shops around the corner there and the quite picturesque village-like ambience down towards the river. Il Camino is a very good Italian restaurant in that area (towards the river). Take the suspension railway for best views up to Oberloschwitz.

Have a good trip!
Ingo is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,498
I'm catching up on my reading, yk, and have just spent a delightful 30 minutes with your trip report.

This is wonderfully dense, a real treasure for anyone planning to visit Berlin or Dresden. Thank you for posting it.

AnselmAdorne is online now  
Oct 16th, 2009, 03:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,115
Julie & Anselm, thanks for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
yk is offline  
Oct 16th, 2009, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522
What an incredibly well organized trip report! I wish I was half so well prepared. And thanks for the prices... always interesting and so rarely mentioned.

One of the most interesting books I have ever read about the Second World War and the holocaust was set mostly in Dresden:

"I Shall Bear Witness the Diaries of Victor Klemperer"

Well worth reading.

Thanks again for an interesting report...

ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Oct 17th, 2009, 07:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,115
ParisAmsterdam, thanks for reading, and thanks for the book suggestion!

We finally got around to re-watch the movie, Run Lola Run. It doesn't have that many Berlin scenes, but there are some nice shots of Gendarmenmarkt, Bebelplatz, and Oberbaumbrücke. This link has more detailed information regarding filming locations: http://german.about.com/library/bllolafotos.htm

Anyhow, even if you aren't interested in the Berlin scenes, Run Lola Run is still a very entertaining movie.
yk is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,248
Hello again yk,

I've got FF seats on hold for a spring trip to Germany. First thing I did today was re-read your very comprehensive report. We'll be wanting to stay in apartments, so thanks again for all your recommendations.

It looks like the Berlin apartment you stayed in is booked for part of our stay, but their largest place is available.

It does seem just a bit far away from the "action", as you say. But the price is certainly very enticing. Just wish the smaller one was available.

Just wanted to thank you again for this great report.
swisshiker is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 12:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,115
swisshiker, how exciting! And Spring time too - it should be lovely, esp with Spargel harvest. I think it's worthwhile to contact the apartment owner and perhaps put your name on a waitlist - in case the persons who booked the smaller apartment cancels? I can't recall how much more expensive the larger one is, but I think it's still a good deal for the large apartment.

Thanks for you kind comment and good luck with trip planning!
yk is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 04:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
Hi yk, enjoyed your report very much. Can't wait to revisit Berlin again myself. You certainly packed in a lot of galleries including some I don't know so I'll be referring to your report when we do go again !

Thanks especially for your very evocative description of personal highlights of the Jewish Museum - I think they would have been ours too, if we had got to see them (instead of being trapped on a dull tour) so you have made me definitely want to return there.

Where was the East Side Gallery in terms of its restoration when you went ? We were very disappointed when we saw it as almost all of the original artwork had been defaced by run of the mill grafitti, but I read recently that it has now been restored.

Re your comment on the Dresden opera house "The Dresden opera house was rebuilt in 1985. It is beautiful, definitely more so than Staatsoper. I was surprised to see the "Royal Box" section. I thought that was something the Communists didn't approve of?" If it's like the Berlin Staatsoper they rebuilt it after WWII exactly as it had been before. I was surprised, actaully, that you didn't find the Staatsoper as attractive as the Vienna one - we thought the latter was much drearier as it was rebuilt in 1950s style as opposed to recreating its past glories. Maybe we saw fancier bits on the tour.

Glad you enjoyed the Sammlung Hoffmann and I am very envious you got a personal tour and to meet Frau Hoffmann ! (She's been away each time we've visited.) What was she like ? Did you notice evidence of her swimming pool on the glass top floor ?! I just noticed it last time when looking out of a window across the courtyard. That's where I want to live !!

On our first visit there was also a pile of Felix Gonzalez-Torres posters (ours is still waiting to be framed but our sweetie from Venice is on display ) - I wonder if they were the same as the ones you saw this year (a famous nihilist quote) ?

110op, it sounds as though you visited SH the same year as our 2nd visit, as we also saw the Marijke van Warmerdam snowball. (I think it was one of a few years by this artist whom we'd just come across and liked at an Edinburgh gallery the previous year.)

I don't remember seeing anything by Boltanski at SH but the Missing House nearby is his.

yk, you were also very lucky to have such a wonderful last evening to celebrate your anniversary, in & around the Reichstag. I hadn't realised it was open at night and that is a good tip, for going when it's very quiet. I liked your analogy with experiencing a James Turrell installation.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 09:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,115
Thank you for your comments, caroline! Our trip wouldn't have been as fun and interesting if you didn't post your informative trip reports in the past.

Regarding the East Side Gallery, I'd say it was ~80-90% restored when we went. There were some artists repainting sections of the wall while we were there. I've mentioned this upthread that DH & I went to see a documentary on the Fall of the Wall after we returned from our trip. In the documentary was clips of the East Side Gallery shot during the summer of 2009. We were shocked by how much graffiti there was all over the Wall. So I guess we were lucky due to the timing of our visit, just 1 month before the 20th anniversary.

As for the Berlin Staatsoper, unless I remember wrong, I don't think it has a "grand staircase" or a grand lobby like the Vienna Staatsoper, no? In fact, the whole Berlin Staatsoper feels quite cramped. I'm interested to see what it'll be like after renovation.

Mrs Hoffmann was very unassuming and very personable. We stopped by her office on the tour, and it was just a regular room with regular desk & chair, and it was quite chilly there!

When's your next trip back to Berlin, caroline?
yk is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
Hi caroline, it was fall of 2006.

I didn't notice that swimming pool, but she had some colorful large-scale Stellas on view at that time. I also remember a Sarah Morris, a video installation by Pipilotti Rist, and an Ernesto Neto installation (which was quite wonderful -- one of my favorites definitely -- he recently had an installation at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC).

I also took some posters -- by Felix Gonzalez-Torres also, I think. She also had a Julie Mehretu print, which I think was behind the table where she had mineral water set out for us. We got to meet her also.

Her collection was interesting. There was nothing that seemed particularly pricey except for the Warhols she had on display, which I think she (they?) commissioned from him

The Edinburgh gallery must have been Fruitmarket. I looked into the van Warmerdam editions they had after the Sammlung Hoffman visit, but I decided to pass.

I should be in Berlin for two days in January. But probably I'll have only a few hours for the city itself.
111op is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
What do your posters look like, caroline?

I actually have quite a few -- I guess I really like free stuff.

One is basically white with "somewhere better than here" printed in the middle. It's probably Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Another one is very small, about the size of a usual piece of paper, with events and dates (for example, Helms Amendment, 1987). Seems like classic Felix G-T also.

I also have some posters by Christopher Wool (pretty sure it's by him -- with those recognizable black block letters).

I'm intrigued by some posters of what seem like the sea and clouds in the sky. Could they be by Felix G-T too? I'd rather that they be by Gerhard Richter. Free posters by Gerhard Richter? Only in my dreams.

I'm kind of amazed that they are in quite good condition, surviving flights from Berlin to Vienna and then Vienna to NYC. I haven't unrolled them in years, though I was thinking of them all the time.

My apartment is just taken over by all the stuff I'm rapidly accumulating.

Thanks for hearing me talk about this!
111op is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:23 AM.