Reflection From A Wittenberg Coffee House-Strolling Through The Gardens

I love gardens.  I used to love taking care of gardens but I absolutely burned out on the activity (at least for now).  Now, I like to walk through gardens.  I like to look at gardens.  I like to hear people talk about gardens.  I just don’t want to have my own garden at this point in time.

The palace of Sansoucci, Potsdam, Germany

The palace of Sansoucci, Potsdam, Germany

So, while in Germany I have been able to experience two very famous gardens.  While at the Diakonia World Wide Conference I went on one of the tours to Sanssouci (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanssouci) which was the summer palace for Frederick the Great.  The grounds are absolutely beautiful.  It was wonderful to see the gardens done in French style with many fountains and statues.  The lush green and the beautiful flowers made for a cooling effect on a hot day.

So in Wittenberg I went by bike to the Wittenberg Train Station to meet Thomas S. who was going to guide me on our trip to a place called Worlitz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dessau-W%C3%B6rlitz_Garden_Realm).  We took the train to Coswig (not too far) and then biked to the park.  This biking stint included crossing the Elbe on a ferry because there were no bridges in this area.  Riding into the gardens was a magnificent experience.  The pictures are posted on my Facebook page so one can get a sense of what it is like.  The interesting thing about these gardens is that the space was set aside in the late 18th century as a summer residence for the prince, but, the grounds were open for the people to enjoy.  Everyone has had access to this park from the very beginning.

We did a three mile walk on the trails through Worlitz (not seeing it all) and the day included a bit of lunch before the hike and some coffee and kuchen (cake) after the hike.  After our snack it was a 20 kilometer bike ride on the Elba Trail back to Wittenberg for a total of 30 kilometers of biking for the day.  We had beautiful weather and just enough breeze to keep at a comfortable temperature.

Now some thoughts about the gardens.  Sansoucci, the gardens of Frederick the Great, were closed to the public and one could go

Lake, vineyards and a beautiful view at Worlitz.

Lake, vineyards and a beautiful view at Worlitz.

there by invitation only.  The gardens of Worlitz constructed by Duke Leopold III were designed for complete and total public access.  Worlitz was a forerunner of the movement in the United States to have green spaces in our cities and to establish the national forests and parks.  Living in Minneapolis which has one of the largest park systems in the United States gives me a sense of pride to know that I live where people had forethought and were ready and willing to invest money into what they believed to be true and valuable.

More to come….

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