If you just reached here and wanted to read the start of our journey, let’s go to Part 1!
A City with Historical Sites
I have never heard of Potsdam until I watched the Bridge of Spies. The movie had sparked my curiosity and finally, when I decided to backpack to Europe, Potsdam is included in the list. There are many historical sites in the city and some of them are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. When Amira and I arrived in the city, we walked towards the bridge and was mesmerized by it. The New Garden was within sight too.
Glinicker Brücke is the native name for the massive bridge spanning accross the Havel River. It looks like any other old bridge, having built in 1907. However, it is very significant because it is the site of spies exchange during the Cold War. The most famous exchange was the first exchange which occurred on the 10th February 1962, an event portrayed in the movie the Bridge of Spies.
It felt like déjà vu when I walked up to the bridge from where the bus stopped. It all looked so familiar and I could see the event in 1962 unfold as I got closer to the bridge. As I walked along the bridge, I could see two different sets of colours and there is a mark showing the border between West Berlin and Eastern Germany. Apparently, the journey started at the West Berlin’s site and halfway through, we actually passed the East Germany site.
It was sunny that day but the temperature did not change. It was still below freezing level and the water in the Hazel River and the lakes nearby had started to freeze. Gladly, it was not windy. We continued walking across the bridge towards our next destination, Neuer Garten or the New Garden.
We walked until the end of the bridge and we saw a sign stating “Potsdam”. Yes, officially we were in Potsdam! We took some photos and we turned right and followed the Havel River down the gravel path. Near the gravel path, there was a very beautiful area with trees lining up along the walking area. We realized that we have entered the New Garden.
Despite its name, the Garden is not new. The Garden was started in 1787 by Frederick William II of Prussia. It was built with an intention to have an English style garden and many palaces were also built on its ground. New Garden is one of the sites in Potsdam which has been awarded with the UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Walking at the New Garden
We were so happy as we walked along the Garden. As compared to Malaysia, we did not break a sweat walking at this park, especially when it was winter. We walked leisurely on the left path and just continued walking until we met a small bridge and we crossed the bridge. The view from the bridge was splendid. To the right, we could see the wide Havel River and to the left, the branch of Havel River, partly frozen with trees shading the stream.
After the bridge, we met a huge open area where there are several routes to choose from. The New Garden is totally huge! We took the left path, as we followed the printed guide we obtained from Free Tours by Foot before reaching a frozen lake area. There were a lot of kids skating on the frozen lake. I intended to take a closer look or maybe try to walk on the frozen lake but decided not to as I started to imagine things that could happened if the ice started to break once I stepped on it.
My wife and I decided to continue walking until we reached the Green House, the summer home for the King. Oddly enough, I found the Green House is actually yellow in colour.
Next: Part 25
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