We had fantastically chilled day wandering around the Park Sans Souci in Potsdam, just outside Berlin. The city didn't look like much when we arrived - most of the area is built up, and the few beautiful buildings around the Bahnhof were swathed in scaffolding. But as we wandered (ignoring most of the signposts, as is customary) we struck gold. Spring seems to be the perfect time to visit Potsdam. The pastel-hued cobbled streets were dusted with cherry blossom, and the weather was just right to enjoy a falafel feta kebab and a fag in the sun.
Sans Souci is even more idyllic. We dangled our feet off one of the Orangerie tiers and heard only the shuffling footsteps of tourists and birdsong. It's hard to believe that this oasis of tranquility is a mere 30 minute ride on the S-Bahn from the heaving, honking metropolis of Berlin. Unfortunately our quiet time came to an abrupt halt when a couple of fellow Brits plonked themselves beside us and started banging on about how they simply couldn't bear the thought of being in a relationship with someone who doesn't appreciate the theatre. I reined in my desire to passive-aggressively chuck my cigarette butt in their direction and beat a hasty retreat.
At 7pm it was time to switch on our brains again, as we hopped over to Cafe Buchhandlung in Mitte for our first Language Exchange Evening. Cafe Buchhandlung has taken shabby chic to a whole new (and very colourful) stratosphere and is well worth a visit - the hand painted signs, wobbly spiral staircase and reasonably priced vino earns the proprietor a massive mental high five in my book. About 60 people turned up, but sadly very little German was spoken as the mix of nationalities pretty much ensured that everyone switched to 'mediocre English' (ourselves included). This worked out well for us, because right now our German conversation is limited to basic descriptions of our home town and requests for more beer. Aye well, slow and steady wins the race.
Betti Baudelaire xxx