Friday, August 14

We woke up before the alarm this morning. I don’t sleep well knowing a train depends on me walking up to my little watch alarm! Oh well, it gave us more time to get organized. It is kind of a weird feeling getting up watching 68 other people sleeping in their beds! And it is even weirder because most of them appear in the night after we have gone to bed!!
No problems with the tram or the train to Dresden, where we arrived just before 11am. I have been told by EVERYONE that Dresden is a place to visit – however it wasn’t evident getting off the train! However, as we walked closer to the centre and the river, I saw what people meant. Within a very small area there are three churches, one synagogue, and various art galleries and government buildings. All of which were beautiful.
Dresden has nothing remaining from its Eastern Germany days – it looks just like any other German/Austrian city in respects to what you’d expect to find. That was a little disappointing, but I’d been told that you’d never know what it had endured. And, although I know absolutely nothing about the history of Dresden, from looking at the post cards and putting it together with what I saw, I think one of the reasons it is so well known is that it was completely demolished during the war – and today it has all been rebuilt and is beautiful.
One of the three Churches, Kreuzkirche, was interesting to see because the original stone foundation was used as the foundation for rebuilding the church and the sculptures and various elements in the rock were preserved to be seen within the new church.
The main church in the city, Frauenkirche, was beautiful from the inside and out. It was huge and was entirely shaped in a dome shape. It looked kind of like a theatre on the inside because there was seating up high for several levels. The colours were fantastic – pastels of blue, pink, and yellow. It was really spectacular.
The other church was more cathedral-like and had the typical cross-like structure on the outside. There were many statues standing on the roofline, which was pretty unique. It was huge. Much bigger than the other two churches, actually. It was the Hofkirche and is located right near the river, which made for great pictures!!
There was an impressive mural along the wall of one of the government buildings. It went on and on forever. The bridge was also nice – but we didn’t end up exploring anything on the other side of the river at all.
We had an ice cream (my last one) sitting in a little cafe in the central square looking at Frauenkirche. The service was not great but the ice cream sure was. The best bang for our buck thus far on the trip, I’d say! Don’t think I’ll be eating ice cream for a while now!
We then walked back around the same church and there was a guy playing a grand piano in the street. All songs that are well known, like unchained melody, Elton John, Beetles…we listened for a good half hour or so – and then I had to buy a CD! It was just too perfect. How does it get any better than sunny church steps, in Europe, listening to live piano music?! I’m a suck.
It was really a great day – much better than another one in Frankfurt, I dare say! And this way we broke up the train trips as well. Currently, we are on the ICE (German high speed train) heading towards Frankfurt where Sophie will catch another train home and where I will hang out in the airport until my flight leaves tomorrow!!
Bye!
-Allison

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