August 2014 : Markus' Birthday Party

1
**Journey to Cottbus and "Schloßpark Branitz"**

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Because last year was a big success, I decided to make another birthday party. (Even without the number of years being PRIME, what seldomly is true for two adjacent numbers !-)

Regrettably some jumped off in last minute, so we were only seven. (So it was cheaper for me this year !-)

We went to Cottbus by train (RE1), with an overall delay of forty minutes. (Meanwhile this is typical for public transport in Germany, they simply don't care but for "share holder value".) But luckily we arrived:

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Cottbus has one of the most ugly train stations in Western Europe: There is no barrier free access, and you have to work twice through ugly tunnels. But they look quite futuristic on photographs:

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We took the Bus 16 to the town hall, which is better than the Tram because
you get a free tour around the whole city (twelve minutes !-), including the
university campus.

The town hall is typical DDR/GDR architecture and as such very ugly and
interesing:

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But the old town is really amazing! There are some baroque remainder, much "Gründerzeit", and on the "Old Market", even the new buildings ("Platte") fit very well. On a nice day (and it WAS a nice day) its really wonderful sitting there and having a coffee; it should be comparable to "Quedlinburg-Feeling", et.sim.

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We walked down to the small "Mühleninsel" / "Mill Island" in the Spree, where former industrial buildigs now host a museum for arts:

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Here we entered FIRST of a whole CHAIN OF PARKS, namely the "Goethe Park" (because Goehte walked here frequently !-) It is a typical architecture from the Fifties/Sixties, and it is very intersting that in these times there is NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE between the aesthetics in East and West!

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Over the Spree barrage reach the "Carl-Blechen-Park".

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Please note: This peaceful creek is indeed the Spree (and it can run really wild when flooding!)

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This is a "Planet Walk": models of the planets are placed in a distance to the central planetarium which proportional to their real distance to the sun. I think this is Jupiter:

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This interesting bridge crosses railway tracks:

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This is the famous "Stadion der Freundschaft" / "Stadium of Friendship". We assume this is a programmatic title, meant towards Poland. The name is written in Sorbian, German and Polish language:

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O, I think its time for a first BREAK on some slightly smoother ground !?!?!

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So we hurried to enter the next park (you really have to buy a ticket for a symbolic price!), the "Spreeauenpark", which has been built for a "Landesgartenschau" / "State Garden Exhibition" in 1995.

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This was Mathis' FIRST CHOCO COOKIE IN HIS LIFE!

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Please note that the small boy of my friend normally DOES HAVE a much more intelligent look. So this picture clearly shows that chocolate is a HARD DRUG, esp. when you taste it the first time in your life:

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Then there is a small "Tertiary Forest", demonstrating the vegetation from sixty to two million years ago. It really looks spooky (as long as you ignore the info plates on nearly every trunk!-)

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This is a Redwood Tree stump found in a coal mine:

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(Testing some "Spots of Power":)

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Finally we reached the "Branitz Park" of Fürst Pückler, through the back door. Please note that EVERYTHING here is composed, is arranged by intention, after thorough planning: The small hills, for instance, are for hiding things, to make the turnings of the paths even more surprising. Every view, every axis, every curve of ways and water are thoroughly planned, for looking naturally:

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The steps into the water are a landing, where the ferry into the realm of death departs:

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Indeed. the water pyramid is a GRAVE:

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Next the land pyramid, not quite as sinister as his sibling:

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A birthday flower ...

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and a birthday beetle ...

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Approaching the castle:

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The castle itself is rather small and modest, but even the stables have funny golden balls on top:

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Finally we had some coffee and VERY GOOD plum cake:

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The way back was very complicated! There is only ONE BUS every hour, which misses our train by five minutes!?!?! (T'was MY MISTAKE, I didn't look it up in advance, because I never thought of THIS !?!?!)

So we tried to walk back to the train, which was rather tedious, but also interesting, because we saw what tourists normally skip, the back-yards of the castle, where Fürst Pückler grew his vegetables!!

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HE at least seems to have liked it :

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