As my stay in Berlin, and my student teaching placement at BBS, comes to an end I have made it my goal to see as much of the culture of Berlin as possible. It is not always easy, but being organized and planning really makes it possible! I get my work done and have time to travel as well- with no worries about what I should be doing if I hadn’t finished my work already!
With only 20 days left, and counting, of my stay in Berlin I had to find out places I should visit before I leave! I asked around and one place kept being suggested, Potsdam. Potsdam is just outside of Berlin… It takes about an hour to get there- including switching trains at stations! I set out earlier this morning, knowing that I am unfamiliar with the area (and anticipating that I would end up lost). As I was on the train, I noticed that the buildings were disappearing, the areas were unfamiliar, and I was getting farther and farther away from the areas I have become comfortable with! I was beginning to get nervous, very nervous. I even took a second to think about how I could get off the train and headed back toward Charlottenburg!
I had to pinch myself, and take a second to breath. I always think of the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I always thought these words were inspirational, and easy to incorporate into everyday life… but now I am truly living outside my comfort zone! I am seeing new places, teaching in new ways, and experiencing a whole new culture! It is fantastic!
After a minute, I thought to myself I am ready for this day! I packed my backpack with a lunch, a book, my camera was charged, and I bought the train tickets! I WAS READY!
I arrived in Potsdam and realized I am truly not good at planning, especially when dealing with maps! I had printed a map of places to see in Potsdam, but never took into consideration that I needed to include where the S Bahn station was… to know how to get out and which direction to walk! (Lesson learned… Always plan ahead, thoroughly.) I must say, I am pretty sure I have the “confused and lost” look down to a science! There was a nice man who was trying to “sell” tours, but kindly offered me a map and pointed me in the right direction! Thank goodness for kind strangers.
So! There I was, walking outside of the S Bahn station, into the beautiful area of Potsdam on this gloomy, cold, rainy Saturday! I walked around, following the map, and saw many different places! I saw several beautiful palaces, walked through the park, bumped into a Christmas market, and even walked almost 2 and half miles out of my way (Again, my map skills are not my strong suite!).
City Palace, Potsdam
St. Nicholas’ Church
Potsdam Film Museum (Closed due to construction)
Brandenburg Gate at Potsdam
The Church of Peace (Friedenskirche)
The Church of Peace (Friedenskirche)
Sanssouci Picture Gallery
Belvedere on the Klausberg
I have had a fantastic Saturday! I am so glad I decided to keep going with my plans to travel and explore today!
How many people can say they ate their lunch sitting on a bench in front of Schloss Sanssouci, walked the garden of the Orangery Palace, and trekked through the woods to see Ruinenberg? Even though I did get lost at some points… I am proud that I am no longer scared of being lost. I can honestly say this experience has changed my perception of “being lost.” Being lost is not a bad thing, it is a good challenge, an obstacle that I can conquer when I take a minute to be self-reliant, read the signs, and have confidence! I am learning so much about myself not just in the classroom, but outside of it as well… it truly is a wonderful experience!