Berlin – December 22, 2013

Took the bus from our family’s house in Zehlendorf to the Kurfurstendamm (known locally as the Ku’damm) where Mr. MM and I went exploring while the family went shopping.

Zoo Station.

Zoo Station.

Walked past Zoo Station on our way to the Museum of Photography.  Helmut Newton’s foundation occupies the first two floors of the building and hosts a permanent exhibition:  Helmut Newton’s Private Property.  The exhibit was good.

Entrance hall at the Museum of Photography.

We then walked around the south side of the Zoologischer Garten.  The brick walls around the Garten displayed a menagerie in brick relief.

Rhinoceros.

Rhinoceros.

We walked along the Landwehrkanal to our next destination, the Bauhaus-Archiv.

Stairs to the water.

Stairs to the water.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen mistletoe ‘in the wild’.  Very cool.

Mistletoe!

Mistletoe!

The Bauhaus-Archiv is a must see for any architect visiting Berlin.  It was lovely to see Ludwig Mies van  der Rohe’s design for the 1921 Friedrichstrasse skyscraper competition.  I’m a huge collage fan so seeing the actual layering of the existing site photo and Mies’s design drawing was exciting.  The juxtaposition of the existing buildings with the stark glass and steel building must have been shocking for Berliners at that time.

Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper Photomontage.

Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper proposal.

Now it was time to meet the family at KaDeWe (Kaufhaus Des Westens). Over 645,000 square feet of shopping!  It is the second largest department store in Europe next to Harrod’s.  What makes KaDeWe so special is that the 6th floor is where they have 30 counters selling everything form cheese to champagne.  There are four distinct champagne bars alone.  My favorite counter sells bratwurst (served with the most perfect brotchen … crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside) and Franziskaner to wash it down.  What more could a girl want?  Every visit to KaDeWe during our stay in Berlin found the 6th floor packed to the gills.  There was no way I could take a photo of the 6th floor offerings that would do the place justice.  See the half circle window on the Ku’damm side?  The lower six windows is where we camped out Christmas Eve (more on that in a later post).

KaDeWe.

KaDeWe.

Full from our brats and beer, we jump in the car and made our way to the Weihnachtsmarkt at Schloss Charlottenburg (the Christmas market at the Charlottenburg castle).  This is the big one, kids!  About 250 vendors … lots of food and alcohol.  The sun had set and it was time to warm up with Gluhwein (mulled wine).  My photos just don’t do the market justice so I found these two which I feel captures the essence.

Christmas market at Schloss Charlottenburg.

Christmas market at Schloss Charlottenburg.

Detail of the main alley in the market.

Detail of the main alley in the market.

Time to make our way home for that last round of schnapps …

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