Prussian Palaces

Back from my mid-week trip to Frankfurt, I was happy to stay put (well, relatively) in Berlin for the weekend.  On Saturday I mostly hung around the apartment, but I did visit the DDR (GDR- East Germany) Museum for a couple hours.  I was wearing my Michigan cap, and on my way there someone shouted “Go Blue!” at me!

It’s a fun little museum, very well put-together and interactive.  This is the East German-style Walk/Don’t Walk sign.  It’s famous in berlin for the little hats the guys are wearing.  When you walk around the city, you’ll notice a mix of the West- and East-style Walk signs.

A Trabi, the prototypical East German car:

On the way home, I snapped this picture of the TV Tower, probably the second most widely recognized landmark in Berlin, after the Brandenburger Gate.  Notice the church next to it.  On sunny days, there is a huge reflection of the cross in the TV Tower.  This is nicknamed “the Pope’s Revenge,” because the last thing East German leaders wanted was to cast a huge religious symbol across the city, in their officially atheist state.  They tried all sorts of things to correct this, but nothing worked.

Finally, I thought it was pretty awesome that city hall, along with the national flag, the E.U. flag, and the city flag, was flying the Pride flag.

On Sunday, I rented a bike and went with one of my work friends to Potsdam, a small city just outside of Berlin where the Prussian kings built their palaces.  We took the train to Wannsee, hopped on our bikes, and took the scenic route to Potsdam.

Along the way, we rode through Babelsberg, home of the German movie-making industry before the World Wars.  This is a film set facade.

In Park Babelsberg (but actual castles, not movie sets):


In Park Sanssouci, the largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany: 

When we took the train back to Berlin, I needed to find my way back home from the main train station because I thought that sounded easier than having to deal with carrying the bike up the steps of the nearest subway station.  My friend, a native (and very enthusiastic) Berliner, showed me the scenic route back to my neighborhood.  I love this picture with Berlin’s most famous site, the Brandenburg Gate, over my shoulder.

And a few random sunset pics from the last week.  The first is from when my mysterious roommate (mysterious because you don’t know what she looks like, since she doesn’t want her picture in the blog) let me know that there was a beautiful sunset down our street and insisted that I take pictures of it for you guys. 

Next, these are from last night, when my roommate and I spent an hour or two in the Mauerpark (Wall Park, formerly site of part of the Berlin Wall, of course).  Click on the first one for a bigger image to see how the hill is covered in purple flowers.

And that’s it, I’m all caught up!  Tomorrow after work I head to London.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get to snap a picture or two of Platform 9 3/4.

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