Cycle Tour Around West Berlin
Dag/day 3: Potsdam 1
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Added on 18 Jul 2023
on 11 Aug 2023
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by Ottocolor on 18 Jul 2023
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Potsdam, BB, DE (37 m NHN)
Potsdam, BB, DE (48 m NHN)
08 Jul 2023
Hot! Above 30°C and sunny all day long. Almost no wind.
I got up correspondingly late from my new, very comfortable sleeping mat in the tent, as the tent stood in the shade. Breakfast from the camping kiosk was a pleasure. Although it took time as there was only one newly hired girl to cope with the pressure of the many hungry and often impatient campers. The first program item of the day was - relaxation on the beach. The site's own sandy beach by the lake was crowded. The water was a little muddy, but otherwise okay.
After a quick lunch, I cycled into the Old Market Square in downtown Potsdam to join a guided city tour I had signed up for. And it was an enjoyable affair. At first the very old guide was difficult to understand, but you got used to his snuffling. He had held the job since 1983, so he knew a great deal, especially about the changes since the GDR era. And he talked widely for an hour and a half without getting tired, as some of his listeners clearly did. He told that the castle, which houses the parliament of the state of Brandenburg, was completely rebuilt from the ground after reunification, like its counterpart in Berlin. In GDR times there had been a car park here. Impressive. So was the Old Market Square in general with the old town hall and not least the large domed church St. Nicholas. It now turned out that a lot had been renovated and rebuilt in East German times as well. We ended up in the Dutch Quarter, where he set us free. I had struck up a good conversation with three ladies who were holding a girls' party in Potsdam, and we had refreshments together. One of them, Tanja, was a particularly exciting woman. After I had enjoyed a good beer at the Alter Markt, we met again in front of the St Nicholas church, which I wanted to see from the inside. Naturally, I took off my straw hat, because head coverings in churches are inappropriate. But the East Germans are so godless that it hardly matters, I noticed. Well, I had got Tanja's business card and I wrote to her when I was home again. And we have arranged a meeting, so who knows...?
Afterwards I cycled up to Frederik the Great, King in Prussia (not "of Prussia")'s pleasure castle Sanssouci, which means Sorrowfree. I walked around it and looked down into the park. The castle is quite small, but the park, on the other hand, is huge. With several other magnificent buildings. I cycled around a few like Neues Palais (The New Palace) which is much bigger than Sanssouci. All in all an impressive sight with the many castles in the park, all of which, including the park, seemed very well maintained. Huge sums of money are needed to maintain all that. But okay, Sanssouci Castle is in need of a coat of paint on the outside.
When I was fed up with castles, another hunger arose. And thirst as well. So I googled "Biergarten" near my location on my mobile phone and let Google Maps guide me to Luisenplatz in the city center to Alter Stadtwaechter. Just what I was looking for. These are "the new times", I thought happily. The Brandenburg Gate is also on Luisenplatz. Yes, Potsdam has one too, and it's even older than its Berlin counterpart. Frederick the Great had it built as a triumphal arch after his victory in the Seven Years' War, which made Prussia one of the great European powers.
Well, I didn't care about all that, as soon as a large glass of hop juice was placed in front of me, plus soon after a glorious dish of food. In addition, in the beer garden, which was more of a restaurant, there was a large group of people, dressed in 18th century clothing, sitting at a table in my line of sight. It suited the day perfectly. The beer garden's chairs were wide, and they needed to be that to make room for the ladies' behinds in the crinoline dresses that were fashionable at the time. Once again, things fit together. After the rich infusion of wet and dry stuff, I really just wanted to go back to the campsite in order to jump into the lake.
After the swim I felt tired and thought about early bunking in my tent, but then my tent neighbour Dieter meant we ought to drink a beer together in the campsite's restaurant. It turned out three, and they totally sunk me.