Going to Potsdam was another must. We were recommended to go before we had even arrived in Germany.
I waited until near the end of the stay, watching the weather, always watching the weather, to go. I had no idea that Potsdam is really part of Berlin – albeit the outskirts, but it is quite easy to get to on the train.
Once at Potsdam train station, there are two – so we got off at the first stop – we were amazed at how not like a train station it is. Lots of food available, stores and tourist information that was actually helpful.
Walking into Potsdam from the train station is easy and very pretty. There is so much architecture to see that I felt like my neck was bent up permanently. Potsdam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with all its palaces and parks.
Potsdam is where the reconstruction, military occupation, prosecution of war criminals and the demilitarization of Germany was discussed between the three Allied forces of WWII – United States, Great Britain and the Union of Soviet Republics. It became known as the Potsdam Accord/Agreement and was signed 1 August 1945 at Cecilienhof Castle in Potsdam.
We did not make it to that Castle. There are 5 castles/palaces in Sanssouci Park and they are not little. Potsdam is definitely a place to spend a couple of days.
For a kid, it is a dream come true. This is a huge park where it is easy to walk and run on less populated pathways. You could easily take a frisbee or ball and have a quiet game. Once you get to the palaces, then you will meet up with lots of people, or if you stay on the main direct paths. You might even be passed by people on bikes.
The New Palace (Neues Palais), where we started from, is utilized by the local University. Nice buildings and grounds for that.
The main part of the palace – the living and sleeping areas – is where you can do a tour. Before you can get into the palace, and there is a definite route to take, you must put on slippers – one size fits all. Forget walking this is sliding.
I get it to as to why, but from a parent aspect it makes the tour a little more stressful. I now have a kid more concerned over getting the greatest slide and paying attention. Imagine your kid sliding on a tile floor and there are priceless artifacts on a pedestal. Yeah, I am more concerned if it gets knocked over from a misjudged slide. That was not one of my favourite places.
From this palace we had a great walk, checking out the green houses and different little sites along the way to Sanssouci Palace. There is so much to see that we had to pick and choose. We came to Sanssouci Palace from behind where we found some shops, a road and washrooms.
By coming in this way we were looking down onto Sanssouci Park, with the multiple of terraces and the fountain. Once again it was a kids haven. Magpie went running down and all I could see was the feet going to fast and a face plant. It never did happen but that didn’t stop the images. Magpie was starting to make friends with another kid when their parents pulled them away. Magpie was bummed but it was time for our tour.
With this palace you have to book your tour time. It is well worth it, but considering you book your tour timings at the other side of the park……you really need to keep track of your time in order to see other sites on the way there. Lateness means no tour.
I do understand why they don’t want photos taken but it is still a disappointment that I can not show anyone. You just have to take my word for it that it was interesting and worth it.
When we came out the clouds were getting dark so we high tailed it back to the train station. A funny thing happened on the way to the train station – it was a travelling fair and it had a fun house. Of course we had to stop. One of these days I will be able to go in too and not be the mule.
It must have been the right time for fairs, but of course, it was the start of spring! When we arrived back into Berlin, it was not yet dark but late afternoon, and we walked through the Hackescher Markt and found it alive with people, buskers, everything. Kids were having a hoot chasing bubbles.
It was a great day, with more parks to stop and play in on the way back to our apartment.