Berlin Restaurants

We were tempted by Berlin’s growing roster of Michelin-starred restaurants (13 and counting)–and even made reservations at one. In the end, however, we decided to save our primarily culinary experiences to the French and Italian legs of our trip. Even so, we found a few good and atmospheric venues to sample all types of primarily [Read more …]

Berlin Museum Highlights

Berliner Dom

Berlin has two large concentrations of world-class museums, plus a number of smaller ones scattered throughout the city. Given our limited time, we had to be selective. While we briefly explored both of the big museum clusters—Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and Kulturforum–we selected three museums from these two clusters. plus one Nazi regime historical site on [Read more …]

Berlin Rebuilding

Bldg-shrapnel holes

Joyce and I first visited Berlin in 1991, while the Berlin Wall was still in the process of being torn down. While the Western section was relatively modern and lively, the recently opened Eastern section of the city was characterized by depressing Communist-era buildings and a somewhat foggy atmosphere, like it had just emerged from [Read more …]

Berlin Awakening: Recovering from an 80-Year Bad Dream

RC - Mem Park - Belin

Joyce and I first (and last) visited Berlin in 1991, while the Berlin Wall was still in the process of being torn down. While the Western section was relatively modern and lively, the recently opened Eastern section of the city was seemed to be in something of a haze; like it had just woken from [Read more …]

Mosel and Rhine River Cruise

Cochem-from-river-g-2_thumb1

We do not normally do cruises. We generally do them only when necessary to see something we really want to see, such as the Galapagos, the Three Rivers Gorge (before the dam) and the temples and tombs of the Nile Valley. We similarly wanted to see the Mosel and Rhine River Valleys. The [Read more …]

Savoring the Foods, Wine and Liqueurs of the Mosel Valley

Our time in the Mosel Valley was relatively short, three nights and two days of exploration, before departing on a cruise which spend another half-day on the river, before entering the Rhine. The short time, however, was devoted primarily to our mission of exploring as many of the local restaurants, wines, and as [Read more …]

Cruising the Mosel River Valley: Day trips from Cochem

Cochem-from river

Cochem was our base for exploring the Mosel Valley—and a great base it was. As explained in our blog on Cochem, it is a fairy tale town with pastel-painted and half-timber homes, winding streets and alleyways next to a meandering river with vineyards planted at unimaginable angles. And, of course, it is all overlooked by [Read more …]

Cochem: Jewel of the Mosel Valley

Cochem-from river-g (2)

Cochem is a beautiful German fairy tale town: pastel-painted and half-timber homes, winding streets and alleyways next to a meandering river with vineyards planted at unimaginable angles. Heck, it even has a huge 1,000-year old castle on a hilltop 300 feet above the town, keeping a watch on the former charges of the Count. [Read more …]

Our Role in the 1991 Russian Coup: Accidental Eyewitnesses to History

Seeing yesterday’s news about the 20th anniversary of the 1991 Russian coup brought back memories of one of our most memorable, and certainly one of our most historic trips—one where we found ourselves in the midst of history, without even realizing it.   The Remnants of the Berlin Wall Tom had business in Berlin. After [Read more …]