I am so thankful to have experienced Potsdam. I had a fabulous woman showing me around and she said it perfectly, “Potsdam is an architectural trip around the world” and she could not be more right. There are many parts of Potsdam and that is probably why I walked over 35 miles – so worth it! I visited the city centre, French quarter, Dutch quarter, Russian quarter, Chinese tea house – you name it, they have it!
I wish I would have paid closer attention in school with history but am walking within it here. It is so rich in history it has been hard to take it all in but there is a story to every building, monument and even street. It fascinates me. With Potsdam being one of the biggest cities, besides Berlin, that I will be visiting I am thankful to have had two days here. The places I was able to see are on the map – yesterday was Postdam city centre and Neuer Garten and today was the city centre again, Park Glienicke and Park Sanssouci. Again, all have their own very special stories and most revolve around World War II. Yesterday, at the Neuer Garten, I was able to take a tour through the Cecilienhof Palace where the Potsdam Conference was held between Truman, Stalin and Churchill. There were a lot of decisions made in that very important building and it was special to set foot in such an important part of the history of the world. A short walk away from this palace is a new beer garden and microbrewery. I got to experience their limited supply of “Marzen” and I wish I could bring it back with me to share. It is the smoothest, flavorful beer I have ever had and it is only served for a couple weeks out of the year. Well now you know, come get Marzen in March (easy to remember)!
Glienicke Bridge is another place I experienced today. Potsdam is known for film, as well, with many movies or scenes of movies filmed here. There is actually a street named after Quentin Tarantino here. Pretty amazing! The Grand Budapest Hotel was filmed here and there is also a Steven Spielberg moving about this bridge supposedly coming out soon so when he was filming here it was obviously a big deal! So this bridge connects Potsdam and Berlin. They show on the bridge the two locations by the different shades of green it is painted. There is a lot of history on the bridge and I got to walk it AND be two places at once!
There are many palaces around Potsdam and they are all incorporated in “gardens”. Spring is just beginning to arrive here and so there are little flowers beginning to blossom, leaves are beginning to grow and the gardens around the palaces are beautiful. There is so much more biking, walking and jogging here. Bikes are not allowed in some areas of the garden but in the city in general, it is the norm to use one. There is so much incorporated in Park Sanssouci (which means care free in French) that you can spend an entire weekend exploring it. I was able to enjoy my first schnitzel, another brewery and experience the former summer palace of Frederick the Great. It is often counted among the German rivals of Versailles – pretty amazing!
As you can see, my stops were really history heavy and my brain was slightly spinning from all the information. However, jotting something down and being able to google it later has been important for me – that’s why we have google, right? History is important and great and all but let’s be real. We all want to know where to get the creamiest, richest heiße schokolade (hot chocolate) in the world right? Well so far for me at least! That is La Maison de Chocolat. It was perfect as it was a very chilly morning and that warmed me right up. Not only the heat but the richness. It is like you’re drinking a melted truffle but better! This is how it is served here but La Maison de Chocolat does it right I have heard and I cannot disagree! It is located in the Dutch quarter. Now, down the road is Café Guam. They also offer hot chocolate but what is highly recommended is La Maison first then head down the street to Café Guam for a counter full of cheesecake options that won’t stand up to any cheesecake you have EVER had – unless you had my grandma’s because hers is pretty out of this world! Chocolate + cheesecake, can it get any better?
Actually it can, if we are talking savory. This all happened before lunch, too! No wonder dinner was light for me tonight. In Park Sanssouci, I was able to enjoy lunch at Krongut Bornstedt – one of Potsdam’s microbreweries. I enjoyed my first schnitzel and warm potato salad. I am not sure this schnitzel can ever be topped but I dare someone to try. They brew two types of beers, a dark and light, and they allowed me to sample both, generous, I know. They were both outstanding. Surprisingly, even though lighter beer is usually my preference, the darker beer tickled my fancy more. They hold many events at their brewery as they are located on the water right by a rose garden. It is still beginning to bloom and warm up so I can only imagine what summer is like! Also, right next to them is a fresh bakery so, of course, had to stop in!
Potsdam is one of a kind and I am sad to leave but excited to see what Erfurt is all about. My train heads out early tomorrow but am excited to take on this new city.
I cannot wait to share more soon!