We signed up for a tour of Potsdam, just 30 kms outside of Berlin. Rode the underground metro to Hofbanhof Grand Terminal, then took the above ground train to Park Sans Souci. What we wrongly assumed to be a leisurely stroll through Frederick the Great’s favorite palace grounds turned out to be a 10 kilometer hike.
We weren’t prepared for it. Worse, our guide walked way too fast that it was an ordeal to keep his pace. We meandered around the gardens, the lake, the palace, the parks and fountains. But why all the rush?
Hardly found time to appreciate the landscape and allow the historical trivia to sink in. All we cared about most of the time is to keep pace with the tour group as we felt like old pokes or turtles slowing them down. I nearly gave up.
Lunch was not just quick. It was painfully quick. Waiting in line for our sandwiches and then waiting some more for the wash room, we were told we’d leave in 3 minutes just as I was taking my first bite of my sandwich. How horrible!
Potsdam is lovely. Rich in history too. The 5-6hr tour covered much but it’s not for the fainthearted. Nothing in the brochure indicated it’ll be a punishing 10 km hike. Nor that we’d rush from one palace to the next, crossing many gardens and palace grounds. It could have been such a pleasurable tour of Potsdam with a more patient, compassionate guide. Just the same, I say Potsdam is worth the day trip. Just take your time weaving through the vast estate.
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