I played “lemon water” by professor caveman to remind myself of the local music scene back home in New Brunswick, and made myself another cup of tea.
It is week 2 of study abroad, and the last week of being in Berlin (sad face). The weekend has given me time to reflect on the incredible places I have been this past week. Here are some highlights:
Last weekend, on the “off” day, I visited the Weißer See Lake with some friends from the LA study abroad program. We found a cozy spot under a tree near the lake, and I played my guitar for people passing by.
Then class began again on Monday, filled with additional travels throughout Berlin and surrounding cities.
The “central park” of Berlin, Tiergarten Park featured many meandering pathways with several gardens, viewpoints, and water bodies. We walked around to several sites, stopping at the rose garden to sketch. We climbed up a spiral staircase in the tower until we reached the top and viewed the city from above. My favorite part of this park was the rose garden.
Tuesday: Potsdam Day 1
Potsdam is a smaller city outside of Berlin with many castles and interesting history of kings and queens.
This palace was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, a famous architect. We walked around the inside of the palace and got to see the beautiful rooms that were once lived in by a king! The gardens of this palace were incredible. We learned about creating viewpoints in the landscape through elevation changes. To explain: if you are walking on a path that is lowered, as you ascend up a mild slope, the landscape will be revealed to you slowly. The landscape architect, Peter Joseph Lenee designed it in such a way that you ascend to view the river
We climbed way up high to overlook Berlin and Potsdam. The central cistern of this castle was apparently quite deep! Up another spiral staircase we went to achieve a spectacular view.
Wednesday: Potsdam Day 2
Sans Souci Castle
A daunting set of steps lead up to this castle. The central axis with fountains and gardens draws you toward the castle. Its exterior is exceptionally decorated, and its interior is just as extravagant. Fit for a king!
Although we didn’t get to go into the castle, we were able to walk around the gardens that surround it, which were quite beautiful!
Berlin Oranienburg Botanischer Garten Berlin
We began the day visiting the botanical gardens of Berlin. Having worked at the New York Botanical Garden, I was excited to see the comparisons between the two. We had a guided tour through different parts of the garden that were themed with plants from specific locations. The greenhouses were filled with hundreds of plants, my favorite part contained the “sensitive plant,” a plant that has leaves that curl up if touched.
It’s hard to believe that two weeks have already passed. From Berlin, we will be traveling to Essen where we will spend the last three weeks of study abroad. I have already made so many memories here in Berlin, and even though I am sad to leave, I am excited for what is to come in Essen!