From Berlin: Potsdam Half-Day Tour
- Duration: 6 hours
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Over the past couple of weeks, my wife and I have done a number of guided walks in several European capitals. Holger Raschke, founder of Berlins Taiga, was easily the best of the bunch. We picked him to talk to us about life in the former E. Germany and guide us through East Berlin - the Red Metropolis, as he calls it. Holger's knowledge is encyclopaedic and personal: he grew up in Potsdam and can talk from memory about things like receiving gift parcels from relatives in the West. Where was he on the night the Wall came down? What were his parents doing? It's a very different perspective from the run-of-the-mill young tour guides used by the big companies. Along the way we also visited several places that ordinary tours don't bother with but which are spectacular, culminating in the Russian War Memorial at Treptower Park. Truly remarkable and I was humbled to have visited. Holger is personable and attentive, making sure that my 70-year old wife was comfortable at all times.
We spent a very enjoyable day, in glorious sunshine cycling from castle to castle and round the lake. It is very easy to be focussed on the second WW/Hitler and the Holocaust and the Cold War/Wall and Cecilienhof does deliver a special experience to enhance that knowledge, but the Prussian History and the family dynamics was a refreshing insight and new dimension to our knowledge of Germany. Our guide was very knowledgeable. The scenery was stunning. Lunch was good with different menu options to suit different budgets and tastes. Bikes were comfy albeit clearly a bit tired and not as new as some others we had hired elsewhere. I wouldn't have wanted to cycle any faster or much further.. it was over 20km and any faster would have made it more of an endurance event for me!
Alex took our small group on a lovely tour of the gardens and palaces of Potsdam. We learned so much history while enjoying the scenery of this important place in history. It was a nice change from the crowds and cars of Berlin. We had an excellent lunch break at a wonderful German restaurant in the center of this cute city. The train ride to and fro was an added benefit!!
Zoe, our guide did a wonderful job bringing alive all the history of Potsdam. It was really fun learning about the history of this area and she was a wealth of information about past and current Germany. The biking was great fun too, very flat and not too congested.
This was an excellent tour using well maintained bikes. The guide was knowledgeable and informative. The tour could be improved by providing more photo stops. We passed lots of interesting sights without having the opportunity to stop.