Monday, June 20, 2011

The Last of the First Week and the First Weekend


I finished school for the week on Friday. There was no test. It seems that we will have a test every other week rather than every week.

On Thursday, I stayed at school and read after class. I signed up for the short excursion to the Jewish Museum. We left from the school at around 3:30. We took a tram to a stop close to the museum and walked the rest of the way. When we got there, the person from GLS who was taking us talked to us a little bit about the museum and then let us go. I think I left around 6:30. It was a really huge museum displaying the history of  Jews; it wasn't just about the Holocaust. Luckily for me, all the descriptions for the displays were written in English and German. The architecture is what really amazed me though. It's some really creative stuff. Here's what the building looks like from above:

Very cool. Here is the website for the Jewish Museum and Daniel Libeskind, the architect of the newer building (on the left).

That was Thursday. Friday was a regular day. I came home right after school. It was a long week.

Saturday, I went on a day excursion with GLS to Potsdam. For those of you who are curious, Germany has 16 different states. Three of them only consist of one city. Those three are Hamburg, Breman and Berlin! The city of Potsdam is southwest of Berlin and it is the capital of the state of Brandenburg.

On Saturday, we met at a bahnhof at 9:45; there were about 25 of us. We arrived in Potsdam at 10:45 and met our guide at 11. He was a very old, very German looking man. I would estimate him to be in his late 60s. We walked all over the city. It was about a 3 1/2 hour tour, and the guide didn't sit down or drink any water a single time. Unfortunately, my brain was functioning very slowly and I missed a lot of the historical information he was talking about. Sigh.

It was a very pretty city. I'm sure its steeped in history, but I didn't catch most of it. We spent about half the tour in the Sanssouci Park. It was really beautiful. The landscaping was incredible. Here, there was the Sanssouci Schloss (castle) where Frederick the Great preferred to spend his summers. He enjoyed his private life so much that he had a guest house built in the garden a good distance from the his summer home so he didn't have to deal with them. Here are a few pictures I took.

Sanssouci Schloss  

In Sanssouci Park

Frederrick's old horse stables

The Brandenburger Tor (in Potsdam--this one's older than Berlin's)

Nikolakirche (a protestant church built in 1830)
Sorry for the long format. I would have put some of them side by side, but it wouldn't let me. So, that was Potsdam in a blur. The tour went by fast as he was trying to get as much in as possible. It didn't help that Mother Nature was PMSing during our time there. The weather was changing between sunny, overcast and raining every 10 minutes. After the tour, we got lunch and left shortly afterwards. My legs were about to fall off when I finally made it back to the apartment. 

On Sunday,  it goes without saying that I slept in as long as possible. This had me waking at around 11 and getting up at 11:30. I didn't go outside at all because the weather was bad and I didn't really want to go anywhere. My brain and my body needed the rest. 

Today is Monday which means it is the beginning of my second week of school. Classes went well today, and it seems that we have lost two students and gained four. There are nine people in the class now. Tomorrow begins the week's after school activities. They are all free of charge this week. I believe I will take part in the events on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday which I'm sure I will describe in detail in a later post. Saturday, the excursion is to Dresden and I think I am not going. It is expensive, and I would rather try to do something around Berlin either by myself or with Toni and/or Frau Luedtke. 

The typical informal way Germans, especially Berliners, say "bye" is  "tschuss" pronounced 'chu sss' and it rhymes with juice. So, tschuss!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting pictures. Wow..what an interesting building at the Jewish Museum.