We have moved from our Airbnb in Die Mitte to a hotel in Kurfürstendamm where our tour will begin. The hotel is a busy tourist district and has a very different vibe to our home of the last four days.
The tour started with journey around Berlin with a home grown Berliner who has a degree in German literature and history. The first half of the day he took us around Berlin and we visited many of places we had walked past earlier in the week.The guide provided the story and context of the buildings especially those on Unten dem Linden, the majority of which where build by Frederich the Great.
In the afternoon Greg and I visited Potsdam and San Souci with the same guide. It was a beautiful day, the weather has been very kind to us during our stay in Berlin. The guide provided an interesting overview of the Hohenzollern dynasty and how they became one of the dominant families in 18th century Germany.
Our first stop was on the "Bridge of Spies" which was the location where spies where exchanged between East and West Germany. We then drove on to the Cecilienhof Palace, the location of the famous Potsdam conference between Churchill/Attlee, Harry Truman and Stalin. The palace was located in East German prior to reunification. The building was commenced 1913 and completion of the building became increasingly difficult during the First World War. With the end of the war, and revolution which ousted the German royal family, the Crown Prince fled to Holland but his family remained in the place until the Russian invasion Berlin in 1945. Many of the furnishing and fittings of the family had been replaced and the building complex is now part of a hotel.
After our tour of the house we proceeded to San Souci, Frederich the Great favourite house. On listening to stories of Frederich's life we heard that there were suspicions that Frederich was gay as his marriage was never consummated and he had no known affairs with women. Greg believes that the statues in the garden celebrating the male form confirmed these suspicions. The gardens surrounding the house are magnificent. The guide provided a wonderful description and anecdotes of Frederich's reign we really thought we where there with him.
It was a long day and we arrived back to the hotel in the late afternoon where we met up with Tess for a little wine. Tess was tired after a long day's walk and called an early night so Greg and I decided to find a local restaurant for a relaxed dinner.
The local delicacy is curry sausage and chips, which is seems to be sold everywhere. I opted not to partake in this gourmet delight. Berlin is a very multicultural city, there where restaurants from just about everywhere around the hotel. We eventually found a Lebanese restaurant and opted not eat outside with the smokers.
Eating our meal our conversation once again turned philosophical. Greg mused that he can't understand how he wasn't more curious as a young man. He has trouble recognising his young self and can't understand how uncurious he was. Perhaps we all become more interesting people as we grow older (under ideal conditions) I certainly know that Greg is a very interesting man. It seems that quiet restaurants promote interesting conversations.
Tomorrow we head north to Copenhagen.