Tuesday 17th July 2018
Leaving Berlin, we head west towards Potsdam, 22kms, we have seen a free Stellplatz just outside Potsdam at the Volkspark Biosphere, (N52.419265,E13.050040) on arrival Pogo is pleased with his leafy private bay, we chock him up and head over to the tram stop, No. 96 takes us 5 or 6 stops in to the centre, we are looking for somewhere to watch the World Cup final – France vs Croatia, we ask a young lady and she says there’s a beer garden with a big screen, come with me I’m about to work there, she’s carrying a bottle of Pink Moet Champagne and I ask if she is celebrating anything? “yes” she says the end of the football! We get prime seats before it gets busy, order 2 beers and share a huge burger.
Everyone is supporting Croatia including us as we’ve built up an allegiance from our month there, there is a handful of French people who are mega excited, France win and are the World Champions, there are 10 happy faces in the crowd and to be honest I’m glad it is over!
We walk back to the tram stop near the Dutch quarter, once back at Pogo we sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine in the sun and I start to write the blog. Dave gets his German book out and plans tomorrows visit to Potsdam and it’s UNESCO sites.
We meet Sheila from Ireland a very friendly, happy lady , Dave’s having a book and map and leaflet sort out, he’s got it all on the table, Sheila is heading to Berlin, so she gets a map and some info, she’s asked a friend to bring her a camperstop book, costs £25, we don’t use ours and she offers to buy it, we give it to her, we don’t want any money for it, saying goodbye Dave tells her the tourist info table will open again at 9am! We have a good laugh about that. She’s a brave lady travelling all over Europe on her own and she’s got a few years on us.
After a very peaceful sleep we head off for our full day to Sanssouci Schloss , it’s €19 each for a combined ticket to all the palaces and £12 just for Sanssouci Palace, we’ve read that Neue Palace is full of Roccocco decoration, thousands of sea shells and minerals adorn the inside, we decide we will pay for that entrance €6 and take a nice slow amble through the miles and miles of gardens, it was so enjoyable, at the front of Sanssouci Palace is a steep vine terraced garden with huge fountain at the bottom, marble seats all around, its known as the German Versailles.
Frederick the Great had Sanssousi built as his summer residence and translated from French ‘’sans souci’’ it literally means without care, he wanted it to be close to nature and be a place of relaxation away from the pomp and ceremony of the Berlin court, it is smaller than many European royal palaces and only has 10 rooms in all, he defeated nature by building on swamp lands and sought experts in this field. Schloss park and it’s palaces are listed as a Unesco world heritage site.
There is a 2km shady boulevard towards the Neue Palace, so we stroll along enjoying the cool shade that the trees provide, as we approach the Neue palace we notice there’s hardly any one walking up to it, its splendid form appearing at the end of the boulevard, it’s then that I notice a fence.
They’re doing some repairs, so we head around to the rear, that’s splendid too and the entrance signs are there with opening times, its closed on Tuesdays!
Dave was a bit annoyed about that, there had been no indication at the main entrance, oh well, we see a café and go and have a coffee under the only available umbrella, I have an apple crumble slice, Dave doesn’t want anything he’s got a dodgy belly, he blames the broccoli in the veggie curry I made in Berlin but that didn’t stop him snaffling a bit of my cake.
We spent a few hours wandering the beautiful Sanssouci park, we didn’t go inside any of the palaces, we had only wanted to go inside the shut one!
We had thoroughly enjoyed our day out, ending back at Sanssouci palace we sat in the sunshine on the cold marble seats admiring the fountain. We would recommend this place to anyone visiting the Brandenburg area of Germany.
We got back on the bus and spent 25 mins going the wrong way! Luckily for us the bus turned around and went back the other way, we didn’t mind as it was air-conditioned and our legs were tired. We had walked at least 8 kms or more today and again it was really hot especially for us Brits.
Back at Pogo I boiled up some eggs and new potatoes and made a Tuna Nicoisse salad another of our favourites and go to meals, we like this Stellplatz for several reasons, its free which is a bonus, there’s some privacy and shade from the tall hedges, it hasn’t got waste services for motorhomes but there are bins at the tram stoops, its next door to a huge park, Volkspark Biosphere and ALDI is within walking distance.
Sheila strolls past after tea, she’s been to Potsdam for the day, she’s had no luck getting a SIM card from anywhere, Vodafone say they don’t have a deal that Dave got in Berlin 2 days ago, she’s got at least three SIM’s and none working, her sat nav is cracked on the screen Dave offers her a seat, I offer her a wine and he sorts the sat nav out for her, between them they got her Samsung phone working, it has two card slots and a helpful stranger had put her SIM in the SD slot, she pops back to her van and brings us 2 bottles of wine for giving her the Camperstop book and a St Patricks jacket and hat for the bottles, she didn’t need to do that but it was very kind of her and the wine will be enjoyed. I’m sure of that! oh and as a bonus she gives us a booklet about the Wild Atlantic Way around Ireland and 2 maps, we’re heading there later this year after this trip so we are excited about that.
Before leaving we go to buy some tea bags I didn’t realise how difficult it would be, we can’t win, it’s either no tea at all or the Imelda Marcos range! There are as many teas here as the First Lady of the Phillipines had shoes! except breakfast tea! I just want black tea! Next time we travel there will be a whole cupboard dedicated to the lovely brown nectar!