Tropics and Royalty

The last time we toured Postdam Derek stripped off his shirt much to the delight of the young ladies, as the heat was unbelievable that day.  During that particular summer Berlin was having quiet the heat wave, however this summer is a different story we stepped the train in Postdam and walked into pouring rain. I guess the wetness was fitting as we were heading to the tropics. Out in the middle of nowhere stands this grass roofed concrete and glass building that would leave you to believe that not much was inside.  We discovered the exact opposite inside a tropical paradise filled with plants, lizards, birds, fish and butterflies.

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These guys were IMG_2895our first encounter in our walk along a corridor  that had a least 20 built in terrariums housing different lizards, snakes and insects. The only thing missing was the opportunity to get close and personal with some of these guys.  Naturally some insects particularly the Stick Insects, were playing the game  hide and seek.  Their camouflage was fantastic we had a challenging time finding them, it was sheer delight when we did discover them.

IMG_2896We rounded the corner and beheld this beautiful sight, a small example of what we would soon encounter. Before going to the tropics we entered Darwin’s library (reproduction) and we were given a brief history of his life. Next elevator ride going down , doors opened….IMG_2967

Awestruck is what we were when we stepped through the door, for few minutes we did not move. We were taking in the beautiful flora and fauna in the Potsdam Biosphere while coming to the realization that this breath taking scene was achieved with 20,000 plants. To make the experience complete  rain began to fall along with clap of thunder and the blitz of lightening.IMG_2912

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Coral reefs with all their splendor was our next visual delight.IMG_2942

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Graceful and enchanting creatures beyond our grasp.  In dreams that  land gently upon my hand.  I watch these winged angels of the sky secretly wishing I could fly.

IMG_2996IMG_3002 We were hard pressed to leave this tropical dome but there was still more to see that day. One the first things we saw as we left the biosphere was the sun. Making our next journey nice and dry.

Cecilienhof  was built for  Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern  and his wife Cecilia hence the castle’s name. It took about 3 years to build from 1914 to 1917 interesting is the architectural design used for this castle English Tudor.

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It’s historical significance is what happened inside this building, Churchill, Truman, Stalin during  June 17th to 2nd of August 1945 met in the  halls of Cecilia Court Palace for the Potsdam Conference.  These men decided the fate of Germany and her people by taking steps to ensure post-war order through peace treaties, reversing all Germany’s annexation of Europe,  partitioning of  Germany  and the prosecution of Nazi war criminals.

IMG_3019Glienicke Bridge connects Postdam to Berlin after WW II it was divided into east and west. It became know as the Bridge of Spies during the Cold War as the United States and the Soviet Union used to carry out their exchange of captured spies.

Crossing the bridge over to Berlin we headed to a beer garden for refreshments. Good thing unbeknownst to us (Steve and I) we still had a fair walk ahead of us. You would think the last our son the Tour Guide would want to do is alot of walking on his day off. Lets just say Steve and I slept extremely well that night.  All that walking was just a prelude as to what lay ahead and that is another story.

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Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

History and Culture Abound

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Would you believe that this lovely iron work is part of a bridge structure? It is the wall or protective rail of the bridge, like Vienna there are many intricate things to see in Berlin and sometimes in very unusual places. Before I continue with our Berlin vacation, just thought I let you know we survived our train to Berlin. It was a good thing we packed snacks as the galley car was left behind has it had no electrical power. By the time we got off the train the only thing on our minds was food. Luckily where Derek lives there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. In fact having too many made our task more difficult in picking a place to eat. Finally decided on a Indian place and the food was great. The one thing we did not find was a typical German eatery. There are Indian, Chinese, Thai, Turkish and Italian eating places galore. The ethnicity around here amazes me. It is a far cry from what Hitler had planned for Germany.

IMG_2675To no ones’ surprise Steve and I naturally did a couple of Derek’s History of Berlin tours. I was intrigued and surprised by this statue, it is part of a larger monument/statue in on honour of Friedrich Schiller standing in front of the Schauspielhaus now known as the Konzerthaus.  Friedrich Schiller  was a philosopher, poet, historian and playwright. On all four corners of the monuments sits a woman, 3 are young contemplative as you see by the photo this one is not. In fact even her clothing is different from the other perhaps she wears the cloak knowledge  and awaits to impart the wisdom she has obtained from the past. (more…)

Published in: on August 17, 2009 at 12:34 am  Leave a Comment