We’re finding the four-day Berlin Welcome train tickets to be quite handy.  Public transportation in Berlin is convenient, easy (when you have Tif and Michael navigating), and enjoyable.  This day, we hopped the train to Potsdam.

After a walk through the quaint, older section of town and a couple of stops to ask about food, we heeded the advice of the townspeople and headed for the town square.  We stopped in at Weiner Restaurant for our first taste of curry brats.  We were not disappointed.

The atmosphere was very festive with most enjoying a hearty brunch on this cold Saturday morning.  

My fourth meal of sausages.  How long can I keep this up?  Delicious! 

Most Germans speak very good English and are delighted to have the opportunity talk with English-speaking tourists.  We are getting better at deciphering all-German menus, but Eric’s Goggle translate print app comes in super handy when we’re completely stumped.  

Now warm and well-fortified, we head out through the Potsdam Christmas Market on our way to sein Sanssouci. 

At this market we had our first taste of Frittierte Krapfen (fried doughnuts).  Eric got the mini doughnuts smothered in Nutella.  That was life changing.

We entered Sanssouci Park at its southern-most point and walked the very, very, very long drive all the way to the new palace.  While beautiful in early winter, we could only imagine the gardens in their full vigor in springtime or summer.  We must come back.  We entertained ourselves by asking various people to take our group picture with the palace in the background.  Fail.

Finger over lens.  Out of focus.

Not bad, but we lost the top of the palace.

Thanks, Herr German Man.  He was not amused.

Here’s the palace’s full glory…

We purchased tickets for the palace tour and after my first experience using a pay toilet (it cost .70 Euros to use the bathroom) we walked to the palace of King Frederick the Great.

The palace is currently undergoing extensive renovation of its exterior but is still quite beautiful from the outside.  Unbelievable splendor on the inside.  

We tried to behave but irritated our prickly German guide when we lingered to take a group photo in front of one of the gilded mirrors.  Oops.

It’s now dark and very cold.  While waiting for the train back to Berlin, we chatted with a couple of lovely German students who were very interested in American politics.  We are quite intrigued and surprised with the perspective from this side of the ocean.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Next stop, dinner at Haufbrauhaus in Berlin.  Being the naive tourists that we are, we expected to walk in to Haufbrau on a Saturday night, no problem.  Almost turned away at the door, Tif used the Walz charm to at least get us past the doorman to “make a reservation ” for Monday evening.  I guess that our sad American faces sparked compassion in the hostess who, after a bit of rangling, found us a table among the masses.  She was a bit overwhelmed when we each decided to hug and kiss her before sitting down.  Hallelujah.

Our table was soon laden with beer, crispy pork knuckles, roast pork loin, spatzle, sauerkraut, and potato dumplings

And the atmosphere? For my Evansville friends, think Germania on steroids. Times a million.

Just happy, happy people enjoying delicious food and drink while singing, dancing, and toasting the night away.  We let our waiter choose our after-dinner libation, and we invited an American Naval sailor stationed in Bahrain to join us in a toast to the day.  Everyone is so friendly here.  

We walked through the Christmas market at Alexanderplatz to end day two.  Today promises sunshine and warmer temperatures.  It’s the first morning that we can see the Berlin TV Tower from our apartment window!

If you aren’t already following my kids’ Instagram feeds, find them and look at their wonderful photos of our trip @camhalcomb, @tifthegirl, @clayhassler

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