This must be discussed: What is the deal with the public restrooms here? Today I stopped in at the restroom at the subway station and the same scary attendants were there, just like at the Berliner Dom. Same uniform, only this time no sign was posted about how much it was to pee. They just had the little dish out (for money, you pee in the toilets, just to clarify). At least I had Euros this time. Is it a union? Is it an outsourced service? A government job? I keep thinking about it. Probably, somewhere past page twenty-three in my guide book, it explains all of that. And if I’d bothered to learn Germish, I would know.
I woke late to the phone ringing, my traveling companions graciously allowing me some extra time because I overslept. Three of us went to Potsdam and toured the Palace Sanssouci (means Without Worries).
It was the summer place of Frederick the Great.
I know nothing about German history but learned a little today about the very interesting Frederick the Great (aka Frederick II). Namely that his dad was a dick and abused him horribly-including forcing him to watch his best friend executed (decapitation-style) when they tried to run away together; that he never wanted to marry his wife and they never had children; that he hung out with Volatire and wrote a shitload of flute music; and that he was a Badass Military Dude, the real man behind German independence. Consensus from the three of us? Gay. Though that part wasn’t mentioned in the tour.
I’m not a tour person, but this was pretty cool. You got a little audio device and though you stayed with the group, you didn’t actually have to interact with anyone or suffer thorough any stupid questions from people who didn’t read their guide books or bother to learn the language.
What The Palace Did Best: Floors and Ceilings. Who knew?
This is the Library. It was awesome. You could only peek in through the window “for reasons of conservation”. I took sort of a long turn at peeking through the window because not only did I love the floor, but I wanted to move in there. So quiet! All those books!
This is the ceiling in the. . . Some Other room. It’s my favorite. That’s a gold spider web in the upper right hand corner. Here’s a closer view:
Frederick the Great also had a fondness and a talent for cultivating fruits and flowers. If I ever get the chance, I will come back to Berlin in the summer, because the grounds are vast and I can only imagine how beautiful they must be in bloom. Meanwhile, there was this room:
Please remember that the queen did not reside in Sanssouci. He gave her a whole other palace in a whole other part of Berlin and only saw her once a year.
This squirrel looks very surprised.
And no palace tour would be complete without a creepy naked baby wrestling with a snake:
One thought on “Pay Toilets and Snake-Wrestling Babies”
While Frederick II. was at Sans Souci, he one day went into his ante-room, as usual, to drink a cup of chocolate, but set his cup down to fetch his handkerchief from his bedroom. On his return he found a great spider had fallen from the ceiling into his cup. He called for fresh chocolate, and next moment heard the report of a pistol. The cook had been suborned to poison the chocolate, and, supposing his treachery had been found out, shot himself. On the ceiling of the room in Sans Souci a spider has been painted (according to tradition) in remembrance of this story.