Today’s little adventure was inspired by some photos in a glossy magazine a few years back. The photos were of the wedding of the descendant of Kaiser Willem II who would be the Kaiser if Germany were still a monarchy. Prince Georg Friedrich married at Sans Souci palace and there were photos taken in the gardens and I thought they looked lovely and became interested enough to want to visit. So off I went today.
The palace complex is at the nearby city of Potsdam where apparently the Kaiser actually lived in another palace (not in the Sans Souci complex).
It did take a while to get out there, mainly due to lack of knowledge of how the Berlin public transport system works! Yesterday I was able to walk everywhere I wanted to go so didn’t catch any public transport, today I jumped into the void of having no idea how it all worked. First problem the ticket machine wouldn’t take my credit cards, tried 2 different ones, nothing! And it wouldn’t accept cash. Ten minutes later I just gave up (there was no human to assist, everything is automated) so thought I’ll risk taking the subway train 2 stops. Next problem I went 2 stops the wrong way, get off, take train in the right direction 4 stops! Accomplished that then work out that the train I needed to Potsdam was an overground train, not subway (even the ‘S’ prefix could be for trains you take underground) Found the Friedrichstrasse train station where I caught the train to Potsdam. (Found ticket machine that accepted cash!) Had coffee and muffin in station, then bus to Sans Souci. Began this journey at 9.15am and arrived at Sans Souci at 11.45am! Just as well I gave myself plenty of time! My timed ticket entry for the palace was for 12.20pm!
The Colonades outside the main tourist entrance and you can see them from the road as you arrive.
This scene really made me shake my head in amusement, it was raining and yet these people still queued to get inside, the tickets are timed! Doesn't matter how long you queue for! Turn up at your time and you'll get inside, no need to queue, I certainly didn't!
The palace was nice (I’ve seen a few!) really appreciated the audio guides which were free, the timed tickets meant that although crowded, not horrifically so. There are only 12 rooms open to the public so it’s not huge.
The nicest of the guest rooms, named after a frequent visitor, the Voltaire room.
After the palace it was time to wander the gardens, in the rain! As the day
progressed it did stop raining which made the gardens and the park far more pleasant to roam around in.
The vine terraces leading up to the palace.
It was a long way to the New Palace, it's that feint blurred shape in the distance!
I headed off to the New Palace, 2km away it seemed, only to discover that it opened every day except for Tuesday! And what was today but Tuesday!
New Palace, don't visit on a Tuesday as it's closed!!!
This part of the New Palace is used by the university.
Seethed a bit, followed path to Charlottenhof, that was open but by tour only and the next one was in German (a language I don’t speak!) By now I was tired so thought I was heading back to the Sans Souci palace and ended up back at the New Palace by a different path. My horrible lack of any sense of direction struck again! Retraced my original steps to palace, bypassed the Orangerie (lovely gardens) to exit the path and caught the bus and then train (painlessly, I knew the system now!) back to Berlin.
What I learnt today, don’t try and do all the palaces, less is more. It's very obvious that I wasn't overly enthused about the rest of the complex by the lack of pictures! The 'I can't be bothered' mindset set in!
See the palace, the nearby gardens, the Orangerie, the Neue Kammern and the Chinese House and that’s enough for one trip. Don’t visit on a Tuesday if you want to see the New Palace! Trying to see too much meant that by late afternoon I wasn’t enjoying any of it, it just became a marathon of walking and my feet hate me now!
OK so I did detour to see the interior of the Banqueting House, the Neue Kammern, only because it was right near the exit that I used to leave! One of the main rooms.