Train journey from Berlin to Prague along river Elbe

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Prague was always on my wishlist. I had heard a lot about the beauty of Prague from many of my friends. Of all the journeys which I took around Europe, the train journey from Berlin to Prague would be the most memorable one because of many reasons:

  • That was the first time, I boarded A Euro Night train between two European countries

My initial memories about the Euro nights train date back to “DDLJ” and then comes the world of “YouTube” which runs your imagination live on the computer screen.

Cozy seats, snow-clad peaks, vast meadows, and large glass windows were the prime elements of my imagination which defined the essentiality of a European train journey.

When I and Vinit arrived at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, we were really excited to see the train. For those who do not know, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the main railway station, is a UNESCO world heritage site. This railway station has many floors and platforms at different levels.

Also Read: A day at Hamburg Harbour: Visit to the Port of Hamburg

Our Euro Night train was almost the bottom-most platform. The same solid rectangular engine with long trains. So, we entered inside. The same cozy and wide seats with large glass windows welcomed us.

euro-nights-train inside-the-euro-nights-train

  • The journey was more than I had expected for

When the train crawled out of the station, there were not so many things on my mind. If I could recall, it was mostly meadows and snow-clad peaks which I was expecting to see on the journey but the journey turned out to be much more than I had expected for.

  • The agricultural fields, countryside, and lonely houses

In India, I had never seen such large agricultural fields like an unending green carpet. And suddenly, out of nowhere, there would be a countryside road running through in the middle of the field. There would a hamlet of countryside houses in the middle of the fields as well just like a perfect picture painted by Nature.

The streets of those villages will be lonely yet so peaceful to watch as if life has stopped there for a while in the moving train and you have a lot of time for yourself.

The lazy sun, bathing the entire entities with its warmth. The stealthiness in the fast-paced train, the silence, the life beyond those large windows glasses would pull you away out of you. Even if you would not want to, but you would just want to give time to yourself.

You would wonder at the beauty of Nature, the vibes trying to speak to your mind, the spirit which is trying to connect with your soul. The child inside you would want to break free out of you and run bare feet in those vast fields. Touch the fluffy neck of Llama.

Also Read: Places to See in Potsdam: Potsdam in a day on Bicycle

Thousands of railway sleepers pass before your eyes while the eyelids do not even move or get distracted. What do you wonder? Where the life has taken you to? If Berlin was where you started then Prague is where you see the future.

Every moment that pass by has another thousand of sub-moments engulfed within it. The bare feet run in the fields, the innocence behind touching the golden barleys shining under the sun, the echo of the laughter and much more….

llama-in-a-house vast-agricutural-fields-on-the-way-from-berlin-to-prague sleepy-streets

  • Along the river Elbe

I was not expecting that the train would be running along the river Elbe. That was more like a game. The question was “Is the river Elbe going to leave the journey first or the train before reaching Prague?”

Trust me, the view along the journey from Berlin to Prague was not just about the river Elbe view but the there was much more than just the river view.

There were mountains, A city located beside the river, the forts on top of the hill along the river, the yacht, the boating, the modern bridges that were built over the river and there was much more.

dresden-railway-station river-elbe-on-the-way-from-berlin-to-prague

  • Saxon Switzerland national park, Germany

There was something on the journey which caught my attention and that was Saxon swiss national park. Though I came to know about it much later during my stay in Germany but for sure, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the Saxon Swiss – Saxon Switzerland national park’ mundane term.

I showed Vinit that I wanted to go to the top of the hill and watch everything from the top. Little did I know that one day I would hike there and watch everything in reality from the top.

The beauty, the Saxon Swiss top, that I was from the moving the train would soon be calling me. And after a few months, I was watching the same railway track and the river from the top of the Saxon Swiss. Does that sound nice?

a-fort-on-the-way-from-berlin-to-prague-by-train saxon-swiss-national-park-as-seen-from-the-train-from-berlin-to-prague

  • Entering Prague

When the train entered the Czech republic, I could feel the difference. Beautiful girls, a nice city, the medieval European feel and much more.

This story would be continued…. in the next blog….

Also Read: History & fall of Berlin wall: World war facts & Division of Germany

Places to See in Potsdam: Potsdam in a day on Bicycle

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Little did I know about Potsdam in three months while staying in Berlin. Situated just 25 mins away from Berlin, Potsdam boasts its architectural beauty. Below is the list of places that I covered in a single day on a bicycle in Potsdam.

I and Shayan took an S-Bahn from Charlottenburg to Potsdam and Got down there. Then, we decided that we would rent a bike (Europeans often call the bicycle a ‘bike’) and explore the whole of the Potsdam in it.  Once, we got down at the railway station or Hauptbahnhof, we rented a bike for 10 Euro per day to explore the city of Potsdam on a bicycle.

I don’t remember it clearly but I think we were asked to submit our passport as a security deposit. The Bike guy also gave a cycling tour map of Potsdam which we were supposed to follow. Below is the list of places to see in Potsdam which we covered in a single day on a bicycle.

Sanssouci palace:

Sanssouci palace is a world heritage site because of its marvelous structure. Sanssouci was the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in Potsdam, near Berlin. Sanssouci palace has a very interesting architecture and structure. More about Sanssouci palace can be read here.

There are around ten rooms in the Sanssouci palace which include bedroom, entrance hall, marble room, dining room, study room, library, gallery, guest room etc.

Also read: Berlin Attractions: What to see in Berlin? Top 25 Must See Places

sanssouci-palace-2

sanssouci-palace

Sanssouci-palace

Sanssouci park and Vineyard:

Sanssouci park is actually a very large park within many other places to see in Potsdam are located like the New palace, Sanssouci Palace,  Sanssouci vineyard, Chinese house, dragon house, Roman baths, marble palace etc.

One of the most amazing places to see in Potsdam is the Sanssouci vineyard. There is a big garden type vineyard just in front of the Sanssouci palace on the terraces.

There are water pools, flower lawns, flower beds, hedges, and trees. It is said that in the hedge quarter, 3,000 fruit trees were planted. There was also a greenhouse which had numerous nurseries contained oranges, melons, peaches, and bananas. The goddesses Flora and Pomona, who decorate the entrance obelisk at the eastern park exit, were placed there to highlight the connection of a flower, fruit and vegetable garden.

flower-beds-sonssouci-park

flower-beds-sans Souci-park

goddess-of-flora-sanssouci

goddess-of-flora-Sanssouci

sanssouci-vineyard

Sanssouci-vineyard

sanssouci-park-green-house

Sanssouci-park-greenhouse

New Palace, Potsdam:

The list of places to see in Potsdam is incomplete without the New Palace, Potsdam. Situated on the western side of the Sanssouci park, the New palace boasts its beautiful architecture. It was badly destroyed during the second world war, you can still see the remains outside in the palace premises.

in-front-of-the-new-castle-potsdam

in-front-of-the-new-castle-Potsdam

new-palace-potsdam

new-palace-Potsdam

Charlottenhof Palace, Potsdam:

Charlottenhof Palace is situated deep inside the park.  Not so much magnificent but this is known for the place it was built on. Charlottenhof Palace was built on marshy land and lies deep inside the park.

Also Read: History & fall of Berlin wall: World war facts & Division of Germany

Orangery Palace, Potsdam:

Orangery palace is situated at the peripheral of the Sanssouci park. There is a lift using which you can go up. From the top, there is a very nice view of the entire Sanssouci park. It is another a must places to see in Potsdam.

sonssouci-park-view-from-orangery-palace

Sanssouci-park-view-from-orangery-palace

Chinese House, Potsdam:

Chinese House, Potsdam is small yet one of the most beautiful places to see in Potsdam. It is located deep inside but it has one of the most beautiful architectures. The Chinese house was made to adorn the beauty of the flowers and vegetables grown in the Sanssouci park.

chinese-house-sonssouci-park

chinese-house-sonssouci-park

Historic Mill of Sanssouci:

I still remember this mill when I was cycling on the roads of Potsdam. I was touched and fascinated by this windmill. Though I could not go inside the windmill, but all the time, while riding my bike, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this place.

wind-mill-potsdam

wind-mill-Potsdam

Babelsberg park:

If you think that the Sanssouci park houses most of the places to see in Potsdam then that was only half of the story! If you enjoyed the medieval architecture and royal stories of the king then Babelsberg park would take you away from the history towards deep into Nature.

Babelsberg park is a really big park. Such big park that often while cycling, we felt lost in this park, can you imagine? Sometimes, we felt lonely seeing no other people around. Many local people come here to spend a leisure time in this park. Babelsberg park, just like, Sanssouci park, houses other places to see in Potsdam.

Also Read: Berlin Ringbahn metro train: See the city on ride

It borders Tiefer See or Tiefer lake and River Havel while covering an area of 114 hectares. Now you can imagine why we felt lost.

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1-babelsberg-park-cycling-road

babelsberg-park-lake

Babelsberg-park-lake

Steam-powered pump house, Babelsberg:

This pump is situated in one of the corners of the Babelsberg park. A very few tourist reach to this corner of the park. Because of less people, it is not so crowded and you can spend a lot of time sitting beside the pump house there.

steamhouse-babelsberg-park

steamhouse-babelsberg-park

Potsdam place to see: More pictures:

 Cycling in Potsdam video:

Places to See in Poznan: Poznan in 24 Hours

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Poznan, an important polish cultural & business hub is situated at a distance of around 275 Km from Berlin. There is a lot of historical & culturally rich places to see in Poznan. Here are the places to see in Poznan in one day and my traveling experience to Poznan from Berlin.

Why Poznan?

Why I chose Poznan as my next tourist destination from Berlin? First thing, I was very much excited in the history of the second world war. Secondly, I also wanted to experience the Eastern European culture. Although I had decided to go to Warsaw first then, I changed my plan and thought of going to Poznan instead.

How to reach Poznan from Berlin?

I would not suggest going by train from Berlin to Poznan instead you should take a bus. They are faster to the train and you reach early as well. There are a lot of buses available from Berlin to Poznan. Forget not to take the student discount, if you are eligible.
Now here are the places that were on my list to see in Poznan.

Stary Rynek, Old town square – Poznan

1-sunset-lights-on-in-poznan-old-town-square

1-sunset-lights-on-in-poznan-old-town-square

Stary Rynek should be on the first position on the list of places to see in Poznan. I must admit that this is a marvelously built place where you can still feel the existence of medieval Europe, second world war and the modern Europe at the same time.

Cafes and bars lined up in the old town square, the second world war museum, the town hall & the church together resemble the history from the medieval time to the modern time.

Stary Rynek is said to have one of the largest old town squares in Europe. It is almost square in shape surrounded by hotels and lined up with cafes and bars. If you are planning to visit Poznan then you must stay near this place so that you can enjoy the nightlife. Just after the sunset, check in any of the cafes, sit and watch the world go by.

a-couple-strolling-in-old-town-square-of-poznan

a-couple-strolling-in-old-town-square-of-poznan

Beautiful Polish ladies, Sun setting over the church, Polish police, nice vodka, tourists flocking in, fire glasses and sitting wrapped in a blanket in open cafes under the temporary roof of the cafes will just make your day. Also, forget not to try different types of cocktails made with Vodka there.

I had visited all the places to see in Poznan during the day and evening, I just loved relaxing in the old town square with a glass of beer in my hand and watching football being played on the TV in cafes. On both of the days of my visit to Poznan, I had just made sure I had my evening saved for the old town square and then the party.

Within a walking distance, there are many places to see in Poznan old town square.

Poznan Townhall:

Built in the 13-14th century, Poznan town hall reflects the grandeur of the medieval Europe located perfectly in the center of the old town square in the 21st century. There is an entry fee there and more than that, it has a lot to offer to see.

It’s beautiful ceiling, royal hall, court room, entrance hall all tells the tales of how magnificent this building must have been in the medieval times.

The Second world war Museum: The Rising Museum

To me, one of the most interesting parts was the visit to the second world war museum or the Rising Museum in Poznan. It is an underground Museum which looks more like an arsenal.

http://trekkerpedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/A-Second-world-war-Motorbike-in-rising-museum-Poznan.jpg

http://trekkerpedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/A-Second-world-war-Motorbike-in-rising-museum-Poznan.jpg

It has weaponry from the second world war like old motorcycle, machine gun, radio & transmitter, type writer, canon balls, gas mask, fuel cans etc. Moreover, they also keep on playing a war music in the background which would almost make you feel like you were transported back into the second world war.

Just before entering, you will also be greeted by the guards who would be dressed in the second world war outfits which you give you the feel and set your mood right for the things coming ahead.

bombs-from-second-world-war-in-poznan-museum-near-old-town-square

bombs-from-second-world-war-in-Poznan-museum-near-old-town-square

Short Scary yet Interesting Video of Inside the Rising Museum in Poznan simulating the second world war:

Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island)

Ostrów Tumski is also called as the Cathedral  island because of the cathedral of St. John the Baptist, a church.  This place is in fact almost like an island as its name suggests because unlike most of the places to see in Poznan, this is located on the corner of the city.

Ostrow Tumski is located on the other side of river Oder. This island was supposed to be inhabited by the people who were somehow related to the church. So it housed priests, monks, bishops etc.

on-the-way-to-ostrow-tumsky-in-poznan

on-the-way-to-ostrow-tumsky-in-poznan

The church of cathedral of St. John the Baptist was destroyed in the second world war and when I visited this place, it was still being erected. You can spend some time there.

However, I would also suggest you spend some time by the river Oder there. It would not be so crowded. It’s a soothing and relaxing place to visit.

Stary Browar – The Old Brewery, Poznan

Once used to be a brewery, the Stary Browar is now a Shopping, Arts and Business Center. It is a shopping mall with many shops and restaurants. To preserve its architecture, it has been converted into a shopping complex now. It is another one of the places to see in Poznan.

stary-browar-poznan

stary-browar-poznan

Adam Mickiewicz University

This was the first place we saw when we reached Poznan. I would consider myself lucky because I guess convocation of the students was going on and that was a fun to watch. Students were lined up in black gowns and the University was decorated nicely.

It was nice to interact with the students although English was a small barrier in our conversation but overall, it was really a fun.

adam-mickiewicz-universityadam-mickiewicz-university

adam-mickiewicz-university

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a-white-car-center-of-attraction-in-old-town-square-of-poznan

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cafes-lined-up-in-old-town-square-of-poznan

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guards-dressed-as-second-world-war-soldiers-in-rising-museum-poznan

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heater-in-one-of-the-cafes-in-old-town-square-of-poznan

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old-town-square-of-poznan

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poznan-empty-streets

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poznan-town-roads

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river-oder-in-poznan

second-world-war-artifacts-in-rising-museum-in-poznan

second-world-war-artifacts-in-rising-museum-in-poznan

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sunset-in-old-town-square-of-poznan

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A walk in Nuremberg Market Streets, Germany

Nuremberg had always been a source of fascination for me because of two reasons. One, it was the hometown of one of my closest German friends, Sam and second, being Continue Reading →