Saturday, 3/19/2011–day of royalty

Our third (technical) day in Germany got off to a start with an optional hostel breakfast, which runs from 7-9:30am M-Sat. and 8-10am Sundays. The breakfast display was vast, especially for a hostel, and in my opinion sehr lecker (very delicious)! They had maybe six different options of müsli (cereal), yogurt, juice, milk, bread slices, rolls, meats, cheese, egg salad, vegetables, and jam that you can spread on what looks and tastes like the bottom of an ice cream cone. They also have a coffee machine with many different choices of drink—hot chocolate, latte, coffee (of course), espresso, etc. It is quite convenient und schmeckt sehr gut—tastes good!

The gang hopped on a city bus that took us to Schloß Cecilienhof—the private chambers of last German Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife Cecilie. This is where the Allies gathered for the famous Potsdam Conference, which took place in 1945, determining Germany’s new borders at the closure of WWII. Our tour guide spoke auf Deutsch und relativ schnell (relatively fast), but we saw, heard, experienced, and learned quite a lot. I could have stood for hours in the room where the Potsdam Conference took place just to soak in all of the history that was standing right before my eyes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7HVAsGBLsU

Photographs were not allowed in the palace during the tour, but luckily we have Dan “the camera man” with us—who brings along his nice camera and accessories everywhere and takes wonderful photos—and he paid to have permission to take photos inside.
Our next bus ride brought us to lunch at Restaurant Mövenpick near Park Sanssouci. After eating we had about 30 minutes before our guided tour, so some people went up the gigantic windmill that was just across the restaurant. View here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmP4xTj0dWs

Sanssouci was the summer home of Friedrich der Grosse (Fredrick the Great), but not his wife. Friedrich was an intellect and very philosophical. Apparently he said that the German language was only good for use in war and in talking with horses—he preferred French. Fun fact “Nummer zwei”: he introduced potatoes to Brandenburg. Once again, photos were not allowed inside the palace (except for Dan…), but when outside our group took viele Fotos! Here is a youtube site that gives a taste of the Sanssouci: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOXzSOXP_PY
We saw a large group of young, Italian-looking men at Sanssouci who all…looked…exactly…the same. It was quite hilarious. They posed for a group picture in front of the gardens, and finding humor in clone-like large groups of people I snapped a few photos of them.

Following the guided tour at Sanssouci was our dinner at die Fliegenden Höllander—the Flying Dutch—located in the Dutch district/section of Potsdam. It was here that we met, ate, and conversed with our “Feundkreis Potsdam—Sioux Falls”—Friend circle/Sister city committee of Potsdam and Sioux Falls, SD. We have been sister cities since 1990, and the oldest city partnership between a city in one of Germany’s new states and an American city at that. After introductions of every student, professor, and sister city member, food, and extended conversation, our new friends headed back to their respective homes and us to ours. Some Augies went back to the hostel while others roamed the streets of Potsdam.

~Heidi R. 🙂

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