Not Another Royal Palace!!

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
Trip End Jun 18, 2008

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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, May 25, 2008

<Brian's brief chronological list of "highlights" (and of whinging)>
- We were planning on doing a tour of the Sachenhaussen concentration camp, but the guide was sick so we went back to the free walking tours to do a tour of Potsdam... a city where the Kaisers had their royal palaces. Coincidentally enough, we had the same tour guide as the bike riding tour. Potsdam isn't quite as exciting as Berlin itself, but is a quiet town with a few palaces scattered about. The biggest one is the palace of Friederik the Great who is buried there now. This place is pretty impressive.
- Had dinner at a pub called Dicke Wirthin which was very close to the pension and had schnitzel... yay! We also tried the Berlliner Weisse which is a beer with either red or green syrup in it (introduced by the French). According to the free tour guide, the red tastes like raspberry and the green tastes like green, which proved to be quite accurate really.
<Lang's Extended Version>
Brian's eyes still hadn't recovered after Bled, in fact it had gotten a lot worse, so we went to visit the pharmacist after breakfast this morning. The guy prescribed him some very 'experienced' anti-allergy eye drops, which hopefully will help with the itchy and redness..
So after putting a drop in each eye, we headed out to the meeting spot again for another tour. Unfortunately for us the tour guide for Sachenhausen Concentration Camp was away sick, so we decided to do the free Potsdam one instead..
I don't know if we were lucky or unlucky as once again our tour guide was John. Brian didn't mind him as apparently he reminded him of Wolverine or Hugh Jackman, but I think I would have liked someone else with a bit more experience and all..
Nevertheless, we caught the train to Potsdam and were promptly taken across the bridge and to a square that the old palace use to stand. Today it is just an empty block of land, where the palace is ready to be recreated once again..
We then took the tram to the Glienicke or Spy Bridge. This bridge was once used to exchange spies from the East and West Berlin states - yes the wall came down to this part of Germany also.
Potsdam was where Friedrich the Great decided to build his Royal Palace. He was named 'the Great' as he fought and 'won' the impossible 7 year war. Impossible as all odds where stacked against him and his small army many many years ago..
Anyway, we were taken through the new gardens, designed by Friederick's nephew (Friederick was a homosexual, so did not have any heirs). The gardens were made to look wild and natural as opposed to the carefully manicured gardens of San Souci, the grand palace and gardens of Friederick's. There were even a few nude sunbakers around in the new gardens..
The tour finished somewhat abruptly and we were left to explore and find our way back on our own. In the end since Brian's hayfever was still pretty bad, we decided to head back soon after.. We weren't really sure if the tour was worth a day out though..
Later that night, we headed to Ka De We - Europe's largest department store.. It was full of designer labels and curious shoppers like ourselves. The 6th floor was full of stalls selling chocolate, wine, lollies, coffee, tea etc.. The top floor housed an upperclass cafeteria - we saw one lady buy a plate of food, a drink and dessert for 33 Euros.. That would be the cost of an expensive meal for the both of us, and I'm sure a restaurant meal would be nicer..
So after our quick look around, we walked back to a restaurant near our hotel for tea. We had the stew like goulash soup and a wiener schnitzel each. Both were delicious and we even washed it down with a Berliner Wiesse..
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