Today the sun smiled on Sanssouci and we exhausted ourselves taking it all in. When we had dinner with Robert and Alex on Thursday evening, they offered to buy us tickets for Sanssouci when they went on Friday. Kate arrived on Friday afternoon so we planned to visit the palaces on Saturday.
We took the S Bahn to Potsdam where we met Robert and Alex in the train station. They pointed us to the right bus and we were off. Our tickets to Sanssouci were at 2:20 so we started at the Neue Palais.
The first room in this palace was the most stunning. It was called The Grotto, and was covered with shells and underwater designs.
There were bedrooms, study rooms, a spectacular ballroom, music rooms, filled with porcelain, crystal, mirrors marble and gold.
After a good audio tour we started on a leisurely walk across the grounds to the Sanssouci palace.
As we finished our sandwiches, we were treated to an amazing improv moment. There is a low chain covered by vines that guards the gilded porch and statues.
From there we walked to the famous palace of Sanssouci. We approached from the fountain, climbing the cascading steps through terraced vineyards to the long yellow building with the green dome. We arrived a few minutes early,
This was a smaller place and bore the stamp of Frederick's personality in every room. He was a man who loved nature and music and books. The vines and flowers and animals depicted on the walls, in the furniture on the porcelain were omnipresent.
There were a number of portraits, and the chair where he died is displayed prominently. This was a place where Voltaire and other figures of the enlightenment visited, and where musicians played each evening.
By the time the tour was over, however, we were hot and thirsty, so we headed to the nearby cafe for refreshment.