Potsdam, Dessau, Leipzig & Weimar,
From our convenient car park we walked over to the huge Sanssouci Park, near the centre of Potsdam. It was part manicured garden and part natural parkland, dotted with several palaces and other ornate buildings. We walked through the grounds of a church, past two palaces and the Chinese House before reaching the Park's most famous sight, Schloss Sanssouci. Multiple vine-filled terraces covered the slope up to the long, single-storey Palace sitting on top of the hill. It was a beautiful setting, elegantly reflected in a fish pond at the bottom.
After we had finished with Sanssouci Park, we strolled over to the main street in town, through another Brandenburg gate (although nowhere near as impressive as the Berlin version) and past numerous cafes and bakeshops. We stopped at one of the fancier-looking bakeries and selected a wholemeal roll covered in melted cheese and almonds, which tasted remarkably similar to the iconic cheesymite scroll we eat in Australia. A quick peruse through the Dutch quarter, containing a few blocks filled with red brick buildings and more cafes, and we were finished with Potsdam.
As Danny is a fan of everything Bauhaus, our next destination was Dessau, a central location in the height of the Bauhaus movement. We sped through the centre of Dessau without taking much in, as our only aim was to find the Information Centre to locate the Bauhaus Museum. On the way we passed a bakery selling Berliners (German donuts), which Danny felt compelled to buy because he had not stopped saying "Ich bin ein Berliner" since we arrived in Germany.
We learnt that the Bauhaus Museum was two kilometres out of town, so we opted to driving out there to save ourselves the walk. As I don't have the same fascination with Bauhaus as Danny, I left him to browse through the Museum alone. There were a few smaller buildings he also wanted to visit but they were closed on Mondays. That was it for Dessau. It was undoubtedly one of the shorter stops on our travels.
Upon reaching Leipzig we made a beeline straight for a caravan park. It was a massive, neatly organised site, with several kids play areas (a rarity). The park was only about a quarter full though, making for a quiet night. For dinner we made spicy chicken wraps that went down a treat, except that Danny bit his tongue halfway through the meal and wouldn't quit whining about it the entire night (and the next few days). We also sampled some sort of cheap sour apple liqueur we found in a local supermarket. A little bit strong on the alcohol front, but that didn't stop us going back for more.
The following day we drove into Leipzig and parked just outside the centre. Most of the town around this outer region was ugly, with construction work covering the facades, but the middle of Leipzig was beautiful. Leipzig is famous for its shopping arcades, all being slightly different (a little bit like Melbourne's). We strolled through four of them: two were stunning, with high glass ceilings and intricate tiling; the other two were average. There weren't many shops inside the arcades, which meant there weren’t many people either.
Outside on the streets we passed churches, theatres and other grand buildings, plus enough cafes and bakeries for roughly one per resident. We found a market on the centre square, where we bought chillies stuffed with cheese (which were quite spicy, so they were excellent) as well as some mediocre apple strudel. Later on I spotted a sausage roll that looked similar to the Australian version, and I couldn't resist having a taste. A sense of nostalgia immediately overcame me, transporting me back to cold winter days in Melbourne. This was possibly the highlight of Leipzig for me.
Next up was Weimar, again for Bauhaus. While Danny visited the small museum I wandered around town. It wasn’t as large as Leipzig but it was much more picturesque. The streets were tidy, leafy and filled with pastel-coloured houses. On the edge of town was a palace, containing a spacious courtyard in the middle. The only items inside this courtyard were an ugly box-shaped sculpture and bright green beanbags, with young kids lounging around on them. Not something you commonly see in a palace. Once I had completed my quick zip around Weimar, I collected Danny from the museum and we were on the road again.