So, you’re in Berlin. You like it: the food, the people, the general way in which the streets bustle and hum. All the green. I get it, I know. But you get tired after some days; you become weary of the long avenues and historic sites, of long walks through the mile-wide parks, of endless drunken raves into the night. Time to mellow out. But where to go?
Potsdam. Never heard of it? That’s funny, me either.
Forty-five minutes outside of Berlin—via S-bahn—lies a beautiful, less crowded, historical relic of Germany. The town is still pretty big; we walked all day and explored only one of the major sites, Sanssouci. You could pay for a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, you could rent some bikes, or if you are broke (like us!) you can walk.
Sanssouci is the main site, a sprawling park that was the summer palace of Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia. You can visit the New Palace, The Chinese House, the Windmill, Sans Souci (the building), and the Church all in one go. None of it costs unless you want to go inside, and even then it isn’t so expensive. There is, of course more, to see—other castles and lots of lakes—but Sans Soucci is close-ish to the S-Bahn station and makes you feel like your day-trip was worth it.
- Orangerieschloss, the largest building in the park, this is exactly what the German sounds like, an orange grove. Unlike the sunny coast of Cali, this orange grove actually lives within the castle walls, greenhouse style. You can pay to visit the the top of the building which provies you with the largest panoramic view of Potsdam to be found. So much forest.
- The Protestant Church of Peace, enter from the West, furthest from the New Palace, and you will find a beautiful river-strewn building. The greenery surrounding the area is simply amazing–ivy covered trellis walkways, swans dipping in the river which reflects the steep belltower. Have a moment here, breathe in and out. Ah.
- Gardens, the green is just so green in Germany. A river runs through the entire park, meandering slowly with ducks and swans dipping in and out. There are countless small paths that take you away from concrete and tourists; suddenly you are walking the palace grounds as the King himself must have, blue sky barely visibly through towering trees. Bring a lunch, explore, take a nap.