Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 8 - Sunday, October 2

Today was Sunday, so we had a planned "free" day to tour a tour of Potsdam and travel to Berlin for tomorrows festivities.  We started the day by gong to church and while I didn't understand most of what was said, the ceremony was very similar and it was unmistakeable when the congregation began to pray the Lord's prayer.  We went to church that was built in the late 1800's within Sanssouci, on the grounds of the summer home of Fredrick the Great.  The beautiful gardens and immaculate architecture was striking.  Fredrick is burried on the property, overlooking the gardens.  His grave marker lies next to several other grave stones for his beloved dogs. I know a few ranchers that probably want to be burried the same way.
We walked the city and had a German/Turkish doner kebab, which is pocket bread stuffed with meat and vegetables.  It was one of the best street-food meals I've ever eaten.
The city of Potsdam has the same status that Windsor has in England as it is where the Prussian Kings ruled from and borders one of the areas divided by WWII.  I stood over the dividing line on a bridge between the American occupied West Germany and the Russian controlled East Germany.  The American side is on the left of the picture and the Soviet is on the Right, you can see the line between my feet.  We ended the afternoon with a tradition we are becoming more and more fond of, kaffee and kuchen, (coffee and cake) before returning to Berlin by train. 
When we were back in Berlin we were invited to a new friend's home for dinner.  We had dinner with Frederik (who works for the FDP Party) and his girlfriend Heile.  She cooked us a very traditional meal that her mother makes once or twice a week in the fall; pork chops, sausages, potatoes and green cabbage-pasta side dish that was delicious.  I was a fun evening where we got to discuss and debate politics and spend time with Germans who don't directly work with farmers or agriculture.  They live in an area that was in West German Berlin near the wall.  The neighborhood was never well taken care of because there was fear the Soviets would eventually invade, but now is a trendy and popular part of the city.

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