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  • Day269

    Day 270: Potsdam

    November 11, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Third WHS for Berlin! This one is a repeat for Shandos but new for me, and a major milestone too - World Heritage site number 200! We were up and out fairly early, again under the typical grey skies, and got the train out to the south-western outskirts of the city. Potsdam is a complex of palaces and parks on the outskirts of the city, sort of like Versailles in Paris or Schönbrunn in Vienna.

    First stop was the Sans Souci palace, built in the 1760s as a summer residence for Frederick the Great of Prussia. He called it "Sans Souci" because that translates from French as "without cares", and it was designed as somewhere he could retreat to escape the pressures of his court, his wars and his realm. He had a very heavy hand in designing it, providing input on room designs, furnishings and almost everything in between. It's not the largest palace, only about 12 rooms or so, but very impressive.

    I spent about an hour on the tour here while Shandos waited outside as she thought she'd visited before (although as it turns out, she hadn't!). After this we wandered around the large gardens area - not manicured like Versailles, but still very impressive. The Orangerie palace was also very impressive, but closed for the season so we didn't visit.

    Final stop was the New Palace, one of the last ones built at Potsdam. It was a commemoration of the Prussian Victory in the Seven Years War with Austria, and all of the decorations were done as a reminder of that fact. Lots of victorious angels blowing trumpets, statues of gods, busts of men in armour and so on. Very impressive. This was designed for state occasions, though sadly it was closed as well.

    Looked around at a couple of the other pavilions, but neither of us felt super inclined to stay outdoors for much longer since it was still incessantly overcast and with a biting wind. I know it's around 5 degrees, so I really hope it doesn't get a whole lot colder!!

    Back home to Prenzlauer Berg where we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. In the evening we headed out to meet up with a friend from the music scene who's lived in Berlin for the last 7 years. He's a music journalist and quite a good conversationalist so it was good to see him again! He brought a couple of Australian friends along too, so it was nice to have some proper conversation with people who aren't your partner! Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Had a funny mix-up with dinner - he'd booked one place but told us another by mistake! By chance we bumped into one of his friends who was in our party and had also been sent to the wrong venue, so we shared a cab to the right place. Had some good traditional German food, then went off to a nightclub where we saw a Dutch band play live. I'd never heard of them but I knew their record label (Kompakt) so I knew they'd be quite good, which they were! All over by 11pm, and we were home in bed by midnight - a nice civilised night out!
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