I went to Potsdam twice on my trip. Seeing the Sanssouci palace and gardens was just that splendid! In reality, I went the first time with two of my classmates for one of our assignments and the second time with a few of the Berlin lolitas.
Before I got here, I was worried about getting to Potsdam from Berlin. As it turns out, you can easily get there with just an extension ticket from your normal transit pass (although I found out on my second trip that I had been getting the wrong extension and thus paying twice as much!)
Although Schloss Sanssouci, meaning without worry in French, was obviously beautiful and memorable, I think the Neues Palais two miles down the sprawling gardens was my favorite. You can see the front of the Neues Palais in the photo below. It is in my top favorite palaces. Only preceeded by Schönbrunn palace and Empress Sissi's apartments in Vienna...
The first visit to the Sanssouci Gardens was perfect weather, so we spent a few hours strolling around the gardens. We also managed to tour the Orangerie, the Chinese House, and the New Quarters. These gardens used to be orchards and orange groves for Frederick the Great, so the intricately floral version of Rococo decoration and architecture could be seen in every building. I had never heard of Frederician Rococo before, but it is amazing to see. I wish I could show you the photos I took inside each building, but I was only allowed to take them for personal use...
The gardens are so numerous that you could spend a full day walking around in them. Some of them are spacious lawns with fountains and stone benches; some are simply gravel paths weaving through tall grasses and trees; some are elegantly filled with flowers that remind me of one of the favorite movies The Secret Garden.
The second trip was much more sunny and hot, so we didn't spend too much time outdoors. One of the girls was late, so we sat chatting in the shade until she arrived. We only ended up having time to see the Neues Palais (Potsdam has nearly two dozen different castles, churches, and historical buildings you can visit with your 19 euro tour pass).
Funnily enough, I got most of my souvenirs for family at Sanssouci. Most shops have really tacky, kitschy things. This shop had much more "classy" but expensive souvenirs.
From top left to bottom right:
- I got one of my grandmothers a blue-grey peacock thing; I cannot tell if it should be a kitchen towel or decorative table cover but she can use it how she likes.
- I got one of my aunts a colorful peacock thing, much like the one above.
- I got my mother a microfibre peacock sunglasses pouch. I'm not sure why Sanssouci loves peacocks so much because we didn't see or hear anything about them there!
- I got one of my grandfathers a small bag of floral tea. I could only read half of what is in it, but what I could translate in my head sounded lovely.
- I got myself a cheap paper fan because there is no air conditioning here! I also grabbed a wipe for my glasses; this is probably the most practical thing I could have gotten.