Thursday, April 23, 2009

SHORT EXCITING WEEKEND IN BERLIN AND POTSDAM

Over the past weekend, we decided on a last-minute trip to Berlin with our younger daughter, Sydney. It was the last few days of her Easter (or spring break) break and figured it would be nice to have a very short vacation in Berlin. We have been to Berlin several times during the past years, it is such an exciting city which never goes to sleep - eat your heart out, NYC, Berlin is way cooler!!!

However we hadn't really planned on what places to see and visit in Berlin, so we hit the same areas as previously and I admit, we were a little bored. We arrived in Berlin on Friday evening and discovered an Italian restaurant nearby our hotel pension (which is another horror story but let's not get into it). The food was fabulous!! Each time we are in Berlin, we have hardly can fault any restaurants there.

On Saturday we went to a 'insider' area in Berlin called Prenzlauer Berg - not unlike NYC SoHo. Such a delightful area, full of cafes and restaurants. We stumbled upon a Wochenmarkt (which is a weekly open market) and of course found food of all sorts. Hey, that's our main idea of any holiday, no matter where we go, food is the main theme with the Schubert family!

On Sunday, we headed to Potsdam which is on the way home to see the Palais Sanssouci and I confess, I had no idea that Potsdam is so beautiful! Sure, there are still buildings to be restored, renovated and cleaned up but on the whole, the East of Germany has a lot of intact buildings. I guess that during the communism, there was no money to upkeep the facilities. Similar in Berlin, each visit we make, we see more and more buildings sprouting up and coming to life. The Potsdamer Platz in Berlin is now the main source of activity in Berlin. Below are some photos of the trip we made. If you are interested in seeing more of my photography on our short visit, please click on the flickr site on my blog.

The original Brandenburger Tor, built about 12 yrs before the one in Berlin. This gate is smaller than the one in Berlin. I have no idea why the gate in Berlin is always mentioned instead of this one in Potsdam.


This was taken in Palais Sanssouci, in front of the Chinese garden (or something like that, sorry for being so ignorant). I love the figures depicted, they remind of Charlie Chan.
This is the summer palace or Orangerie - this was built to house the orange plants during the cold winter months and is still being used to house the plants today. The building is still being restored.

My husband, Kai and I, in front of one of the many palaces within the Sanssouci grounds - I don't know which palace this is really! I only am interested in snapping certain things within the grounds. The usual photos can be bought on postcards or books. I prefer things out of the ordinary. BTW, Sydney took this photo.

This is Sydney in front of the structure which I find so fascinating. It's some kind of gazebo.


Below is a typical florist's store front. I love the red price labels placed among the plants.


Ok, back to lampwork beads. Some beads I made before the Berlin trip.

Taj beads in black, white and grey


Earth-To-Mum bracelet
Made these beads while spacing out and my daughter Cara remarked to me: Hello, Earth to mum!! Earth to mum!! I thought it is most appropriate to name these fun beads the same name! This is the first bracelet and set of beads, more to come in different color combos!


Paper Roses Focal Bead
Made with Precision 104 Diamond Clear. Wow, this clear glass is great to work with!! Quiute similar to Bullseye clear, but hey nothing beats Bullseye clear!!!