A Travellerspoint blog

Berlin PotsDam Day, Day 2

Today I headed with Claire and the rest of our tour group to the German state of Brandenburg which is the capital of the legendary Potsdam. To get to the state, we took a train out of Berlin and then a bus and did a lot of walking. Our ultimate goal in Potsdam was to visit the gorgeous Sanssouci Palace which was the playground for the Prussian king, Frederick the Great.

Here are some scenes along the way within Potsdam.
Glienicke Bridge
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This city is very rich and upscale although from outwards appearance, I could not tell. Some parts were just run down and old looking, much like a lot of Berlin, but it is affluent and very expensive.
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Palace Cecilienhof where the infamous Potsdam conference was held. These walls hold a lot of government secrets no doubt!
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Along the way, Claire told us about the incredible and often times funny history being Potsdam and the war. Very interesting indeed. Take a read here if you wish to learn more.
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Gate to the city
I managed to take a lot of pictures and have some great laughs at the silly kings and rulers of the time in good old Prussia.
Dutch quarter
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At lunch we made our way to a quaint little cafe that served great sandwiches and were famous for their cakes, apparently. So good. Then it was onto more touring and walking.
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Potsdam's Brandenburg Gate
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city square
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Finally, when we got to Sanssouci, I actually gasped in wonder. So far, this is my favourite castle/palace of them all! It is so pretty and fun.
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Frederick the Great's final, final resting place. There are potatoes on this grave as he first recognized that this vegetable could feed the nation
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After the tour, we made our way back to the city on the train and everyone went their respective ways. It was a great tour and I was sad to see Claire go...But I had other things to tacke that day. Namely, a BBQ.

If you remember from Munich, you will know I met a girl Andrea who I hung out with and promised to meet up with in Berlin.
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Well, we met up that evening and it was great seeing her. First on the agenda was seeing a famous site in West Berlin before going to the BBQ.
Awe inspiring Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. This church was partially bombed in the war and is kept alive to remind the world and Germany to not repeat the same mistake
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After getting off a train, we made our to Kaiser William Memorial Church. This church is kept alive and standing to remind Germans of the war and the destruction it all caused. I was in awe of the building.

We then made our way to the BBQ party. It was a nice night but it was cold so I left a bit after midnight. A great eventful day.
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Andreas salsa dancing with her friend
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Posted by CanaGerm 10:10 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Berlin City tour Day 1

After hopping a very early train from Stuttgart hbf, I made my way to Berlin for a weekend of education and adventure.
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Well, onto my brief explanation of my time there. After getting in, I went to information to find out exactly where Brandenburger Tor (Bradenburg Gate) was so I could go on my first tour. Once again, I used SANDEMANs for the free city tour of Berlin. And once excellent. This time our guide was Claire, a hilarious and wonderful girl from the UK who is in the process of making Berlin her home.
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After making our way to most of East Berlin's iconic attractions, we took one step and hopped into West Berlin.
Brandenburg Gate
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the Polizei! there was a silent protest going on so the polizei were out...just in case
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the silent protesters...literally as their mouths were covered with a black strip of cloth. you gotta love Germans. they always fight for their cause
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Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
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It was a great tour actually. I recommend everyone use this company as even the tours you do have to pay for are usually under 15,00€ which is damn cheap compared to most of the other tour companies in Europe.
part of the Berlin Wall
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checkpoint Charlie
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After the tour, I walked around the city and took it all in. Berlin was sort of grimy but in a good and interesting way. It is just so different from other parts of Germany. I still can't get over it!
Cathedral in the Gendarmenmarkt
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concert hall in the Gendarmenmarkt
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a famous statue of a woman holding child. i forget the name completely. it depicts the ravage and struggle of war that Germany underwent
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Berliner Dom
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At the end of the trip, I asked myself the following questions. Did I like Berlin? No! But did I enjoy anything about it? Yes. Unlike other German cities I have visited though, I would not like to return to it's capital. A lot of people like Berlin and that is fine. I think the overall consensus is you either love Berlin or you hate it. There is no room for a middle ground and after being there for a few days, I understand why. One of the other reasons I didn't love my visit is because I didn't see much of anything that was beautiful about Berlin. I associate Germany with beautiful landscapes and surroundings, none of which I was able to get in Berlin. Anyway, more on Berlin to come in my next posts.

Posted by CanaGerm 14:03 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Bremen Times

A few weekends ago I went wwwwwwaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy up north to Bremen, Germany to visit a friend. I had a great time but I spent most of it either visiting the country or being drunk. My friend Christine is a true party girl so I followed along and had a good time with her. I met some great people also but also took in the difference between Northern and Southern Germans.

I think the old adage is true that Northern Germans are a bit colder is so true. Not Christine though. Wow, she is great! But, I just got a different vibe being in Bremen than lets say Stuttgart or Muenchen. But, in the end, I had a relaxing and wonderfully fun weekend. I will have to repay Christine in spaids if she ever returns to Canada.

at the farm
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me obviously holding a cute baby piggy. it was about 4 days old
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there are a lot of wind machines in Bremen. very flat land
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the city square
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the city created some 'garden' ideas so that the citizens might use these designs for their own gardens at home
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the characters from the "Fearless Four". A very popular story for children in Bremen (and I think Germany)
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the Roland statue, Bremen
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Bremen has some remarkably tiny streets that the city is known for in the alstatd. quaint!
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good times
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Posted by CanaGerm 10:30 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Too many places to see not enough time: Europe

13 °C

Since I posted about places I wanted to see but didn't have time for in Germany, I thought I would follow up with my wish list for Europe. Please don't get me wrong. My intention is not to only visit or live in Europe. Not at all but for all intense and purposes, I will keep it simple for now.

I know I will be asked, "why didn't you visit more countries outside of Germany?" when I return so to save some throats the trouble, let me tell you. The answer is very simply, dissatisfaction. I travelled on weekends so I only tasted a tiny bit of the country I entered leaving me feel dissatified and frustrated. I felt this when I was in Austria as I would have liked to visit more than just Salzburg. There were all these little towns I saw from my train that I would have loved to explore for one day but because of time restraints, I couldn't. I felt supreme frustration in Munich of all places. There was so much to do. I remember being on a bus (tour) being driven around and almost in tears because I wanted to see this and that (all of it!) but I couldn't as I had to get back on a train very soon.

Don't get it twisted. I am uber happy and know I am blessed to be given this opportunity but at the same time, I think the travel fire has been ignited in me. I want and NEED more.

Without further delay, here is my wish list places in Europe.

-eat waffles in Belgium
-Luxembourg just because it is so puny and cute
-Amsterdam. I was never interested in this country until I saw a special that Canadian actress Sonja Smits did on it. Now my interested is piqued.
-stay in a château and get drunk off good French wine in Bordeaux
-take a walk through and visit in depth Chaîne des Puys of Auvergne, France
-spend at least 14 full days exploring France in depth and eating and drinking all the wonderful regional foods and wines
-Taking the time needed to see all of the hidden treasures in London, England
-search for loch ness in the Scottish highlands
-spend one day in Prague visiting all the normal tourists traps and then capping off the night by watching Alice in Wonderland at the Black Light Theatre
-finally, finally, finally bask in the beauty that is Lake Bled (Slovenia)
-spend some time in crisp, cool and expensive Norway
-explore the walls of Troy and then delve into the underground city of Derinkuyu, Nevşehir Province, Tukey. Cap this journey off with a stay at a luxurious beach side resort for some serious R&R
-visit Susie's parents in Oporto, Portugal
-learn about the Tsar rule in Tallinn, Estonia

I think that is about it for Europe. You will notice that Italy and Greece are not part of my list. I have no desire to visit either of these countries. There is not one thing that attracts about these places.

Don't even get me started though on my list of countries I want to visit around the rest of the world. That is too long and involved. I feel like I am starving to see and do more now.

Posted by CanaGerm 10:24 Archived in Germany Tagged educational Comments (0)

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