We were nervous about getting up the next morning so we decided to set both our alarms. However, something went horribly wrong with Damon's watch alarm. Normally, when he sets it, it just gives a quick beep of confirmation. This time, the beep got stuck. On. It was well after midnight in our otherwise silent hotel when suddenly there was this ear-splitting noise. At first I thought it might be a fire alarm or something, but then I saw the look of horror on Damon's face and realized it was his watch making it! I can't believe that much sound can come out of a watch! We started to hear movement in the adjacent rooms but nothing he did could make it stop. It felt like we were in some horrible sitcom trying to figure out what to do. Damon ended up getting redressed and taking it down to the front desk to ask for ideas, and they held it for him. He had even suggested finding a place to throw it away where no one could hear it, but they were horrified by that idea. By morning it had somehow stopped and was all back to normal - functioning, even!
Then off to Potsdam. I slept through the ride and remember nothing of it. We got out at Sanssouci. I'd wanted to go there for a long time because the pictures I saw of it were always so amazing. Unfortunately in real life it's not like the photos - it's much more crowded! Still, it was beautiful, when one could actually get a look at anything. We walked through only a teeny tiny corner of the park in our very limited time, then continued on into the main part of town. See the photos!
|Potsdam Aug 2007|
In town we had about an hour to eat lunch and look around on our own. So brief. Our guide also was very insistent that we see the Dutch Quarter, rather far from where we were, because it was so neat and looked just like old Amsterdam.
Our first order of business was to find lunch, though. Now, I am generally not fond of shopping, so normally a run down a shopping street is of no interest to me. However, I was in the market for some new cool walking shoes (easier said than found) and a particular CD. On our run down the main street to find food, I saw the perfect shoes in the window of a store at nearly half-off. I knew we didn't have time for me to try them on and also eat and see the Dutch Quarter, so we passed them by, hoping for some time left at the end. We also passed a CD store. No time. No time! Lunch took longer than we thought and we raced through a nearby church and the Dutch Quarter, not really enjoying a second because we were running late to get back to the bus. No shoes or CDs! We made it just in time.....only to find out we had to wait for a guide who would be taking us to Berlin and he was late. But we couldn't go out again because we didn't know how soon he would show up. I will always think of this late guide when I think of those shoes...because I still haven't found a pair I really wanted.
So, to be honest, I was not in Potsdam long enough to have much of anything meaningful to say about it. I did notice that it felt very casual and I liked that quite a lot, being a bit of a frump myself. Not really because I don't like stuff that looks great, but I can't really deal with the stress of paying for it or spending hours finding it cheap, so while I'm not rich, I stay frumpy. The guide told us there was a lot of Neo-Nazi activity in the area though, which is not cool (especially when travelling as a busful of foreigners! Though I didn't hear of any incidents with our people).
On the way to Berlin, we also stopped with the new guide at Cecilienhof, where the Potsdam conference of 1945 (after WWII) was held to determine the fate of Germany. It was interesting and different to see some Tudor architecture, and the place was also surrounded by a huge park. We could see into Berlin from there - former West Berlin. When Germany was divided only Russian big shots could come in here - and the area was also surrounded by beautiful mansions, which also weren't seen by the public back then.
Then it was on to Berlin....