Trips to Germany & Austria
Index and Berlin

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From Berlin to Munich via about everywhere

This was a holiday we took in September 2000 & this is Ken Baldry's diary entries, stuffed with extra guide book type information. We have included it here in case anyone not au fait with travelling in Germany can use the information.

I (Ken) need to emphasise that Germany is a very easy place to travel just out of season. There seem to be plenty of hotel rooms available & (outside Berlin) prices are reasonable. This is our route, with the places we slept in, in bold:-


Wittenberg for Martin Luther

Dessau for the Bauhaus

Weimar for Goethe, Schiller, Liszt, Herder, Wieland and Cranach

Bayreuth for Wagner

Frankische Schweiz


Linderhof for Loopy Ludwig's castle



Hit the links above to jump straight to your place of interest. This guide is on a lot of pages, as there are many photographs. I have only reported on what we have actually seen but mention initalics, things that we did not see but are there to be seen. This is not, however, a substitute for a proper guide book. We intend to go back to see more another year and, when we do, we will add to these pages. Where the hotels have web sites, we have provided links on their names.

Monday 4th September to Berlin

Up at 0455 & the owner-driven hire car came 10 minutes early. We joined him at the scheduled 0545. NOTE. We were at Heathrow at 0630, as I had hoped but there was a big 20 minute jam on the M4 spur road, which apparently happens every Monday, so we will avoid Monday starts in future. We had an English Breakfast in Est & the 'plane, a BA 757, was on time. We cached most of our 'plane meal. Our luggage was last off at Berlin - Tegel. We took a taxi to Hecker's Hotel in the Grolmannstrasse for DM25, not bad. The hotel is a four star businessplace. We walked up the Kurfurstendamm to the Memorial Church, inspected it & the dreadful phots of the bombing, then by the Budapester Str. to the Tiergarten in spots of rain & where we had lunch from our 'plane food. This is such a huge wood to find in a city centre. Then, along to the Brandenburger Tor & had a look at the Reichstag, with Norman Foster's new glass dome but there was a long queue to get in, so we went through the gate onto Under den Linden & found a café for hot chocolate, as it was rather cold. Then further East past the vast Russian Embassy to the Opera & St. Hedwig's catholic cathedral, which is entirely under a large dome & looks rather more modern than Fred the Great's time. It has a beautiful 1978 organ. I had left my brolly in the café, so dashed back & picked up Avis again at the Friedrichstrasse, where we caught the S-Bahn (with some difficulty, as nothing was clearly marked) back to the Savigny Platz for the hotel, where we had a kip. Then, we went out into the Savigny Platz for a mediocre but cheap meal. Passing on pudding, we walked West along the Kantstrasse to Kant's Café, which we had to stop in of course, for coffee & apfelstrüdel with vanilla sauce. This is a student hang-out. We went back via the Kurfurstendamm, with Avis oggling the very imaginative but very expensive women's clothes. There were very few people about.

Reichstag with its new dome

The Opera House & St Hedwig's Cathedral

Tuesday 5th September

We went out & bought all-day travel passes for DM8.70, then took a bus to the Potsdamer Bridge to get tickets for an all-Schönberg concert tonight in the Philharmonie. It was not open, so we examined the Potsdamer Platz, which is a huge building site. Fairly good modernist architecture but they will have to do something to give it a bit of life when it is finished. The Wall used to run through it, mucking it up before. There was a vast traffic jam, so we took the tube to the Alexanderplatz, which was a dull, soulless place & had coffee on the Karl Liebknecht Str, which is the Unter den Linden continuation. Wwe walked West to the cathedral, which is late Victorian & gross. It is opposite the DDR Parliament (Volkstag) which they do not appear to know what to do with, it being essentially a good building but now rather tatty. We took the bus to the Zoo, which seems to be the hub of the old West Berlin & had doner kebabs for lunch there, before getting the bus to the Charlottenberg palace. This is very sweet, being well-scaled which is not usually the case with German imperial architecture. We went round it & into the gardens, where a storm broke while we were under a large, waterproof tree. The gardeners were using a gadget which picked up whole small trees, roots and all, & moved them about like chess pieces. We got another bus back & had ice-creams in a Spanish café where the Uhlandstr crosses the Kurfurstendamm, just by our hotel. We had a snooze then back to the Spanish restaurant for a big tapas before getting the tube to the Potsdamer Platz. NOTE. The inspector pulled us up, as we were supposed to stamp our tickets but he showed us how, realising we were dim tourists. There were unfortuantely, plenty of tickets available for the Schönberg concert in the Philharmonie. It was the Violin Concerto, played with great gusto (especially the military march) by Christian Tetzlaff & conducted by Christian Thielemann (this was the Deutsches Oper Orchester, not the Phil). Tetzlaff played a bit of solo Bartok as an encore! The second half was Pelleas & Melisande, terrific to hear it live (Avis could not remember hearing it at all). This new hall is very modernistic bit I think the acoustics are a bit suspect.

Potsdamer Platz is all glitzy new architecture

The Charlottenberg Palace from the gardens

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: Last revised 30/9/2001 © 2000 - 2001 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.