Day two. The weather forecast was set fair so we seized the opportunity for a fresh air experience and set off for Potsdam and the Palace of Sanssouci. the trip involved a 45 minute journey on the S Bahn and I have to say that the Berlin public transport system is just wonderful - so easy to get around. When we arrived a Potsdam the station was modern light and airy with great florists - I particularly liked these arrangements in jars.
Next it was off on the bus to Sanssouci where we were greeted by a flautist emulating the flute playing of Fredrick the Great who built the palace.
Fredrick commissioned the palace in 1745 because he wanted a place to live outside Berlin that was 'without worries" or 'sans souci'. It was to be a refuge from government and court life where he would spend time with music, literature and friends such as Voltaire. For this reason, although architecturally grand, it is a small palace with a mere dozen or so rooms.
Time to join the guided tour or rather tour with handsets for the different languages. Unfortunately they were the sort of handsets you have to hand hold which made listening to the commentary and taking pictures a bit of a challenge - but hey, I managed after a fashion.
This is a detail from one of my favourite rooms. I'm not usually very keen on too much gold but I really liked the gold and white here especially the spider's web
It worked for me in this room too. As you might imagine from the musical theme, concerts were often held here and the whole palace was bright and light
This room had a bit of a jungle theme going on and was, I think, the room (kept missing bits of the commentary due to taking photos) that Fredrick had redecorated as an insult to Voltaire after they fell out.
The last thing you see as you exit the tour is this portrait Fredrick the Great by Andy Warhol. It is based on one displayed in one of the rooms which unfortunately I didn't especially notice.
Back out in the garden it was time to explore the park and I have to say my absolute favourite things were these little pavilions,
first glimpsed through the trees
then come upon in their full glory. It took us ages to work out what these grey boxes dotted all over the gardens were, but we eventually twigged that they are winter sculpture protectors!
Next it was off for a walk round the gardens - Sanssouci is built on a hill on what was a vineyard. The vines are still there and make an impressive picture from the bottom of the hill. I used my iPhone and the XnSketch app to take this photo
Our walk through the grounds took us past the Chinese Tea Pavillion, unfortunately not open until May but a joy to behold.
It was decorated with gilded figures that carried on the musical theme from the house
Even the ducks were mandarin!
There is much more to see and do in Potsdam than we achieved in a fairly short day ( this break was not designed to include early starts each morning!) more palaces to visit, lakes and of course the town itself - I think it's Auf Weidersehen not goodbye!