301 Kms from Potsdam
5. For us the heart touching encounter with the Church of our Lady Victorious, which is the seat of 'Infant Jesus' was the brief meeting with the Reverend Archbishop Father Dominik Duka who was personally meeting all the people, irrespective of the religious affiliations, present at the Church for the Holy Thursday prayer.When he came to meet us, he was more than amused to know we are from India. He told us that he spent two years in Kerala and excitedly recited the few Malayalam words that he had picked up. He told us that he loved India for being a melting pot of various religions, castes, creeds and beliefs. While we were in disagreement on India's reputation as the melting pot of various beliefs, the Reverend Father quickly retorted, 'Even the people who crucified Christ didn't love Him less, they just didn't love themselves much. Once we start respecting and loving ourselves truly, we will not be disillusioned by the blindfold of wrong. So don't doubt the Power of India and it's soul. It will outshine the rest. God bless you'.When we exited the Church, we were three ladies with the brightest eyes and the widest smiles.
366 Kms from Potsdam
Germany's second largest city has a sophisticated demeanour, behind which lurks mischief and abandon. Hamburg is considerably smaller than Berlin, more tight-night and connected, and yet thoroughly eclectic when it comes to art and music.Getting around in HamburgThe U-Bahn is the best way to explore most of Hamburg's sights. A lot of walking will inevitably be involved. A single day pass for unlimited use of all public transport costs €6.20 a day for adults, €2.30 for children aged 6 to 14. Bike rentals are available, but not as accessible or widely advertised as in Berlin
169 Kms from Potsdam
All buses drop you off at the Dresden hauptbahnhof (main station). A short tram ride took us to the old town center.
140 Kms from Potsdam
Leipzig had the largest Hauptbahnhof in Europe until Berlin usurped it. This seems to be the trade fair capital of Germany and an important city for such throughout Europe dating back centuries. What we did not know was that Leipzig was having a Goth festival. As we were walking and admiring the beautiful architecture, there were many other sights to see walking along side of us. For music lovers, which I do not count amongst the many, Leipzig is where Johann Sebastian Bach lived for a good part of his life and was the Kantor in the Thomaskirche. He is buried in the choir with the Bach archives across the street. Felix Mendelssohn headed the Gewandhaus Orchestra and founded the first conservatory in Germany. Richard Wagner was born here, receiving his musical training here. This city also boasts Germany’s first stock exchange.
482 Kms from Potsdam
I felt that the possibilities were endless. If I could see a brightly lit world at midnight, the world surely had to be a magical place.__I came to Bremen in August 2014 as an exchange student from India, with little money and too much hope. And I left 5 months later feeling like a burned out matchstick - dazed over the loss of fire and hugging the leftover heat. It changed my life. Traveling is supposed to do that. But perhaps this trip broke something that defined me. Crushed my soul. Let me take this blogpost to explain why.__I grew up loving maps and atlases. I never felt at home amongst the coconut trees and sunny skies of Kerala. I fantasized of running away. Spent hours every night at my window wishing I could fly out through the gap in the bars. I read and reread all my Enid Blyton novels, imagining myself shuffling through the snow, sipping ginger beer and fitting in. You might have felt this too. This yearning to escape. It is beyond curiosity, it becomes the reason to live. And as I grew older and the fantasies became marred by the logic of physics, I went into claustrophobic panic attacks looking at the iron bars on that window. I had to escape.I found my way soon enough and my dream came true. Perhaps too soon.__As I boarded the flight to Bremen, my heart pounded and I wept. And as I was shown my quaint hostel room with it’s white walls and gigantic window, I couldn’t contain myself.We (my co-exchange students) soon set out to explore. From long supermarket aisles to the dew-grazed flowers on the roadsides to the ancient streets of Schnoor (more on Schnoor later). The air smelt like buns, not smoke. The buses came sharp on time and my co-passengers were all excitingly unique. I bought ginger beer and relished the wait for the first snow. And as summer wound to a slow close, we got bicycles, frequented a lonely park and enjoyed the bright nights from my window sill. Bremen, you see, was perfect. It was small, exciting and full of ancient wonders in it’s city centre.