1988: I was Traveling

My cousin, Ruth, lived in New York (she’s gone now) and Ruth and husband Harry traveled a lot. Here are the sights he told me not to miss in Germany. (Harry, a sophisticated intellectual, also lived in Shanghai and worked for Shell Oil in an even earlier life.)

“…Good for you that you decided to go to Europe again and to see something of Germany. If you go again, which you are likely to do, include some of the small towns in your itinerary such as Rothennurg,Goslar, Celle, Hann, Muenden, Fritzlar, and the like….

“Now to the cities you will visit. Frankfurt no longer is the charming city (that is the old core) it once was. The new Frankfurt is lively but architecturally fairly humdrum. The “Staedelsche Museum” is definitely worth a visit, the Liebig House (sculpture) only if you have time on your hands. 

In Berlin you will no doubt want to explore the city to get a feel for the places where your parents spent their youth. For the tourist Berlin offers the great impression of great vitality, museums, theater.

Architecturally, the Charlottenburger Schlose is foremost in West Berlin with the apartments as an added attraction and the paintings in the rooms (two famous Watteaus among them.) 

Across from the Schloss are two smaller buildings, one on each corner. Each warrants an hour’s visit. One is the Egyptian collection; head of Nefretete” and the Green Head.” 

The other one is the Antiken Museum where the main attraction is in the basement : antique gold (Mediterranean, Scythian, etc.) and an amazing set of silverware from a Roman officers’ mess near Hildensheim. 

By far the most important museum, however, is in Dahlem with one of the greatest collections of paintings in this world, good sculpture, remarkable frescoes from Central Asia, etc. etc.

The third museum worth a visit is in East Berlin: the Pergamon Museum.

The others are not worth a visit the time on a few days’ but you will presumably want to stroll through “Unter den Linden” etc. Take a look at the fare in the theaters, if your German is good enough for taking in a play.

Remember this is 1988, when “the Wall” was still up. And as the romantic I am, I loved the Wall and going through the checkpoints with the young boys in soldier’s uniforms checking my documents. I was alone so I strolled about and was attracted more than once with deals to change my money from one currency to another. I had a lovely lunch with waiters wearing tails (dirty) and I most enjoyed the wilted cabbages in the windows of the barely stocked grocery stores. I felt like I was in novel but my character (me) did not want to suddenly disappear so my “adventure” had limits.)

Whether to travel by plane or train to Nuremberg  may depend on the schedule (I have no idea how much time would be involved.). Scenically, the trip is hardly rewarding. Safety and reasonable comfort should be no problem. Nuremberg is worth strolling even though the old town is largely a reconstruction–some of the feel and atmosphere is still there. Three churches are a must : St. Lorenz, St. Sebald and Frauenkirche (Our Lady’s Church.) On the square in front of the last one is the Schoene  Brunnen. The “Germanische Museum” contains excellent sculpture of the 15 and 16th cent. and some good paintings and Munich offers architecture. , art in several museums and in the surrounding countryside. A stroll through the town without visiting any of the churches and palaces is generally enough with the===following exceptions:

Frauenkirchen in the cathedral and the symbol of Munich and the symbol of Munich but the interior was gutted in the last war. The most important church is the small Asam Church exterior and interior, delightful Rococco.

The Court Theater us the best part of the Residenz and worth a visit. The :Alte Pinajokothek” is an outsanding collection of art 


If at all possible 

(more coming)