Day Trippin' In Dresden

Dresden Travel Blog

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The next morning we headed back over to the train station to catch our train headed for Dresden, Germany.  Dresden has an extensive and interesting history.  In 1945, when WWII was coming to an end, Dresden was almost completely destroyed by the Allied Forces.  Though, some of the buildings were leveled and lost to Dresden, many of the structures were built back to replicate what was lost.  After hearing about the history and seeing the photos online, I was sold.

Again, it was another early morning for us, but the train ride is over 2 hours and we wanted a full day to take in the sites of Dresden.  Both of us were physically tired from the constant running around during our trip, but the train was on time and things appeared to be running smoothly.

  That is until we heard a familiar sound tear through the early morning air.  It was a sound I would recognize anywhere and it chilled me to the bone.  To our right on the platform were the screeching girls from our Kutna Hora outing.  How was this possible?  What were the odds?  I knew one thing, there was no way I could put up with that again, especially for over two hours.  I grabbed Noah and we headed to the left.  He told me we had to stay in a specific area as the front cars were reserved.  I didn’t care!  We needed to be as far away from them as possible as the sound of their early morning screeching was already burning my brain and making my blood pressure rise.  In the end, we ended far away from them and never heard from then again.
  Though late at night, sometimes I will wake up in a cold sweat with the sound of the banshees invading my dreams.  Horrifying!

The train ride to Dresden wasn’t too exciting.  Though, we did end up in a cart this time rather than the side seats which were nice as the carts were more comfortable.  The views were okay, but nothing to write home about, so Noah and I had a discussion in Spanish about how our cart mate looked exactly like Dominic Monaghan when he got up to use the restroom.  I was pretty convinced that it was him, but Noah didn’t think he would be taking public transportation, especially this specific train with his money.  I felt it was the perfect opportunity to blend in with everybody else for a while.

  In the end, we never did solve the mystery of Dominic Monaghan as I took an hour nap instead.  Though a little FYI, he did get out in Dresden if that matters, which it doesn’t.

After exiting the train, we needed to get some Euros from the ATM and then a map.  The historic area is about 10 minutes away from the train station, but it was about 75 degrees and beautiful so we didn’t mind the walk. 

After walking across a large concrete courtyard, we came upon the structure Frauenkirche and all I have to say is, wow!  Frauenkirche was completely destroyed during WWII and finally rebuilt sometime in the 1990’s.  One of the original walls can still be seen in the structure. Frauenkirche serves as a Lutheran Church which is accessible to the public, but pictures are not allowed to be taken.

  It is defiantly worth going inside as it is extremely beautiful and serene.  But after about 10 minutes, we headed back onto the street to see what else Dresden had to offer.

It didn’t take long to hit the main tourist area which consisted of a lot of booths with a lot of people selling various goods and different types of food.  It also didn’t take long to find most of the tourists.  I guess I was a little naïve in that I didn’t think there wouldn’t be that many people interested in Dresden, especially with Prague so close during the Easter Season.  It wasn’t a big hindrance, it was just crowded.  So we did what any good tourist would do, we grabbed a hulking ice cream cone and moved down a side street cut off from traffic to see the sites.

  There we came upon The Fürstenzug which is a Mural of the various Sachsen Rulers.  Apparently, it is the largest ceramic frieze in the world.  It is definitely worth looking at close up as the art work is interesting.

After passing The Fürstenzug, we came upon the Sashen Palace and Katholische Hofkirche.  Zwinger Palace which use to be part of a Fortress is also close by and a must if in Dresden.  Zwinger Palace is a very popular place for tourists and locals alike and really is amazing.  When you walk into its main garden, you almost feel as if you are walking into a small city.  The gardens are well groomed and gorgeous, but make sure to take the stairs up to the walkways above to get a great aerial view of them.

  There are plenty of things to see around Zwinger including many art museums, but Noah and I enjoyed just sitting in the gardens people watching.  We had done a lot of running around in the past few days and Zwinger was a nice way to bring it down a notch.

After Zwinger, we decided to cross the Elbe River and catch the views from the opposite banks.  They definitely did not disappoint.  The area on the other side of the river is less touristy and reminded me a lot of Central Park with people chilling with friends and playing various sports.  Though I have to say, the view is a hell of a lot better than Central Park’s. 

For the rest of the day we walked the streets way from the craziness until dinnertime rolled around.

  We headed away from the more touristy area to find a place to grab food, though, the further away the less likely someone is to speak English. Up until Prague, I had only been to countries where I knew the language well enough to get by, so this trip had been a new experience, but with a little patience from both sides it always works out.  Though, Noah does speak broken German which helps in Dresden, but not well enough to have a full on conversation.  We did end up with a waitress who spoke English quite well, and they even had a practice session in German to test Noah’s skills.  I speak about 10 words in German, so I basically sat there clueless smiling a lot.

Again, I had a problem with dinner as the food is similar to the Czech Republic; meat and more meat.

  I settled on fish and beets with a dill potato.  Almost every dish at this restaurant came with beets, which I am not a huge fan of, but I will eat them.  Noah basically broke it down for me explaining that beets and potatoes were what came with a standard German meal.  He should know, he was raised on them.  I also expected the potato to be a massive spud smothered in butter and dill.  Nope, it was a small baked potato with one sprig of dill lying on it.  I found that in Europe when you order something there are no surprises or frills.  It is exactly what it says it is, unlike the US where it comes with sauces and garnishes galore.  It isn’t a bad thing at all, just different than what I am used to.

The other difference is that beer is cheap and huge!  Noah ordered on the conservative side and still, the beer was almost as big as his freaking head!  In most cases, beer is cheaper than buying fruit juice or water.

  As I don’t drink beer, I was pretty dehydrated during the week as the water prices were killing me.  Noah was dehydrated as he had beer all day long. After dinner, we headed back to the train station to grab our 8:30 train back to Prague.  But not before grabbing some amazing pastries for the ride back with a few of the Euros we needed to spend before leaving Dresden as the Czech Republic was still on the Czech Crown (Koruna).

The trip to Dresden had been a success and one I would like to make again in the future.  It really is worth visiting as the architecture is pretty spectacular and the history amazing.  Both of us were a little disappointed that we didn’t spend a night in Dresden as seeing the sunset on the city has to be quite a sight.

  The trip to Dresden solidified the fact that I needed to come back to Germany and spend a solid 7 – 14 days checking out the country. 

 

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Dresden
photo by: aloneinthecrowd