Today we were up early for our visit to Potsdam, which lies to the south west of Berlin. No need for an alarm call though, as we’re under the flight path of Tegel Airport, and the flights started at 6 AM!
Getting to Potsdam was a bit of a performance. We took the bus and U Bahn to Friedrichstraße, and from there the S Bahn S7 line runs to Potsdam. The ride on the S Bahn was very reminiscent of the Liverpool Street to Shenfield Metro service back at home… similar trains with not very comfortable seating running over a similar distance and, as it was a Sunday, there were engineering works part way along the line, so we had to take the rail replacement bus service between a couple of stops.
When we finally arrived at Potsdam we caught a bus up to the main attraction, the Schloss Sanssouci (palace without a care), which was Frederick the Great’s retreat. We paid for a timed ticket, and had an early lunch whilst we were waiting. What we didn’t realise is that entrance to the grounds was free, and if we had known, we probably wouldn’t have bothered paying to go into the Schloss itself. The gardens were quite grand, with a steep slope down to the formal garden, complete with fountain. We didn’t hang around for long, otherwise we’d have missed our time slot. The Schloss itself was very grand if you like your fine art, but it was all a bit much for a heathen like me.
Once we were done in the Schloss, we caught a bus to the old town and went for a stroll and a drink. It’s a lovely town, though a lot more spread out than I was expecting it to be. We did want to go to the Neuer Garten, but there didn’t seem to be any buses or trams running that way, so we took the bus back to Schloss Sanssouci, and from there walked about a mile through the gardens to the Neues Palais, where there was a lot of restoration work going on.
By now time was getting on and, with a long journey back to Berlin and the rail replacement bus service to contend with, we decided to call it a day and took the bus back to the train station.
We’d have liked to have done more, such as the Roman Baths and Glienicker Brücke (Bridge of Spies), but there simply wasn’t time, and getting here late because of the trains didn’t help. With hindsight, it would probably have been a better idea to have found a camp site in Potsdam for a couple of nights, but we’re glad that we made the trip.
Tomorrow will be hopefully be less faff, as we’ll be spending the day in central Berlin.