Old Fritz

Potsdam and Sanssouci

Today, Tuesday 28, we spent the day at Potsdam and Sanssouci. This involved us leaving home at 8.30 with our packed lunches and getting a couple of trains to take us the 22km. We were at the booking office just after 10am and made our bookings to visit the main palace – the Sanssouci palace. We checked about an hour later and our time slot was booked out by then so we were lucky.

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Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse

We decided to slow our pace on Monday 27 after the challenging exposure to Luther and his friends yesterday. The blog definitely can’t be managed if one spends ten or eleven hours out of the house and then cooks and eats a relaxed dinner on one’s return! So today we set out after blogging and lunch to explore the recommended Bernauer Strasse section of the Wall to the north of the city centre. That proved to be another very reflective afternoon.  Dwell a moment on the featured image for this blog.

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Luther, Cranach, and Melanchthon

Lutherstadt Wittenberg

On Sunday 26 we were prompted by our friend Chris Mostert to take a trip to Lutherstadt Wittenberg as this year marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Reformation. It is an 80 km (40 minute) ride on a fast train from Berlin. It is a small town, population 50,400, pretty well given over to Luther. It has been a university town since 1502 and well known for its progressive thinking on theology. It has been known as the Rome of the Protestants.

The station is about a kilometre from the town, and the old town is about another kilometre in length, so there was plenty of walking between sites. We suspect they will run buses during the festivities later in the year.

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Lots of politics

The Deutsche Bunderstag

Today, Saturday 25, was our earliest start as we had a booking for 9am to visit the Dome  of the Deutsche Bundestag. The Bundestag is usually known as the Reichstag but it seems they are in the process of renaming it so it better reflects Germany today when it no longer has a King or Emperor. 10 out of 10 for a most professional visit. We got there early but were allowed to proceed immediately. Security was high. We needed to show our passports on entering, then a typical airport check before being loaded into the biggest lift we have ever experienced. 42 jolly and excited persons were crammed in and were taken up 4 floors to the bottom of the Dome.

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Life in the German Democratic Republic

We definitely set out to pace ourselves a little more carefully today, Friday 24. We devoted the morning to blogging on yesterday, leaving in time to make the 1.00pm Reconciliation Prayer service around the Cross of Nails at the Kaiser Wilhelm Church in accordance with the Coventry Cathedral initiative for every Friday. However there are exceptions to every rule, and it wasn’t held today. We undertook our own Reconciliation meditation in the beautiful Church instead. Picked up salmon and some vegetables at the Friday Wittenberg Platz market and then spent the rest of the day at the Museum in the Kulturbrauerei exploring with a different approach ‘everyday life in the GDR’.

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Tracing Jewish Life in Berlin

The Jewish Quarter

Today we spent almost all day in the section of central Berlin where the Jewish population mainly lived. The day was wet and cold. It is so like Melbourne, a bit colder, but it is very hard to tell what the weather is going to be like from one day to the next.

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Max Liebermann 1847-1935

Today, Wednesday 22, on the suggestion of Jen and Dave’s friend’s mother, we went to the villa of Max Liebermann on the shores of Lake Wannsee, on the outskirts of Berlin, in a posh area consisting of lots of large villas. Took us just under an hour on the amazing transport system – 2 trains, then a bus which dropped us at the door.

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