Posted by: Stevie D | August 31, 2012

Dresden.

Ordinarily, Jayney and I wouldn’t have gone to Dresden. After Luxembourg and Berlin, we didn’t particularly want to hit another concrete jungle. However, Jayney has an old friend that she hadn’t seen for 20years who lives in the city and it was too good an opportunity to miss to renew acquaintances.

So off to Dresden we went and were very glad we did.As well as seeing Jayney’s old buddy and his family, we took in the sights of the old Saxon capital and its surroundings.

The centre of Dresden, as many will know, was almost completely destroyed towards the end of WW2 but the intervening years has seen a painstaking process of reconstruction take place. Many of the cities beautiful old buildings have been completely rebuilt. The pile of rubble that was post-war Dresden was sifted and sorted and put back together like some vast 3D jigsaw puzzle. It really has been a most amazing feat and the only signs one now sees of those terrible events in 1945 are the blackened stones which make up the original buildings. These matters resonate more with me as I have spent much of my life in and around Plymouth, which also suffered much destruction back then but was rebuilt in a completely different way.

Jayney and I took a day to explore the centre, completely unprepared for what we were to find.  We started at the main Railway Station and just strolled up through the centre.

We started off, as do many, at the main railway station(designed by Norman Foster,no less).

Much of the city has been developed with the pedestrian in mind, with open areas and a huge indoor mall, the Altmarkt Galerie.

Soon, the new gives way to the old.

The Zwinger Palace is a sight in itself, but also incorporates several galleries and museums.

From another angle, the Zwinger Palace.

The Hofkirche was one of many of Dresden’s buildings which was seriously damaged in WW2 and patiently rebuilt since.

The Residenzschloss is one of Dresden’s most famous landmarks.

I think The Fürstenzug is one of the most awesome buildings I’ve seen. 23,000 porcelain tiles make up the intricate mural which decorate it’s walls.

Jayney’s friends led us to some of the city’s less famous landmarks.

The ‘Blue Wonder Bridge’ is a notable Dresden Landmark.

The complexity of this piece of 19th Century engineering can only really be seen as you travel across it.

They also joined us on a trip to the nearby countryside. Rauenstein is one of a number of sandstone outcrops between Dresden and the Czech border.

Rauenstein is one of several sandstone outcrops in the area.

Looking across at the ancient hill fort at Lilienstein.

Those that make the trip to the top are rewarded with great views and a welcoming restaurant.

As ever, when I visit another country, I always try to sample the local culture.

Beerdrinking is the national pastime in Germany. And hey…when in Rome….as they say.

Finally, a big thank you to someone who helped us out in our hour of need. You may have noticed I run those fancy whitewall tyres on the Heritage. The rear tyre has, of late, been rapidly approaching the end of it’s natural life. I didn’t rate my chances of finding a replacement very highly but help was at hand. A big thanks to Big Bike Station in Fischhaus Strasse , who got a new tyre in within 24hrs and did a real professional fitting job. Good coffee too. Thanks a lot guys. I’ll wear your shirt with pride.

Also, thanks to Jayney’s friends for showing us around and showing us some home comforts we hadn’t enjoyed for some time.

We have now left  Germany behind and oh! what joy to have decent WiFi once more. More soon.

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Responses

  1. This definitely deserved its own post instead of being smooshed in with the rest of Germany! How fun to meet up with an old friend – and to see parts that aren’t exactly touristy!
    BTW, I lived in Wiesbaden, Germany from the age of 12-14. My dad was stationed at the AFB there. That is how I was able to visit Berlin and many other areas years and years and years ago. 🙂

    • Must have seemed like a different world back then Shadowrun. We’ve enjoyed our time in Germany. The scenery(or weather) isn’t quite like Spain, but the main thing in travelling for me is the changing cultures from country to country, and we are certainly seeing that now.

  2. Interesting bridge….a lot of steelwork there. Amazing how they have rebuilt the city. Off to southern France on Saturday, enjoy the culture…we certainly will and hopefully some sun!!

    • Don’t use up all that sun Ian. Leave some for us… 🙂

  3. Hi to both, Still following your wonderful journey but for some reason my reader hasn’t been picking up your new posts so I’ve got many miles to catch up on 🙂 Fascinating reading as usual! Thanks again 😀 Avis x

    • Technology eh? We’ve had some trouble getting online lately Avis, so I’ve had to ‘minimize’ events in order to keep reasonably up to date.
      However, things going well now and should be able to post a couple of updates in the next few days. Thanks for your continuing interest though Avis, it means a lot.


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