Irregular Posts; Dresden

Sunday, July 1, 2012, Dresden The train ride along the river from Berlin to Dresden was quite scenic.  Our reserved seats beside the window in the six person compartment allowed for a nice relaxing ride through the German countryside.  Then the route went along the banks of the Elbe River with the high cliffs with “castles” and large houses overlooking the valley and river into Dresden. Meg had hiked in northern Spain in September 0f 2011.  Two of her acquaintances from that trip met us at the train station in Dresden.   After leaving our kit at a hotel near Old Town, we all went to look at the sights and have some lunch.  The Frauenkirche (Lutheran church) that had been bombed in WW II had been recreated with original stone (dark grey) and new stone from the same quarry (beige). Frauenkirche and Martin Luther by Jack Holmes There is an open view from the top of the cupola.  It looks out over the town and the Elbe River below. Being 95F, we sat in a beer garden along the river and had a “radler”.  This beverage is favored by bicyclists and runners. It is about equal beer and citrus soda making it lighter and colder and sparkling.  The bitterness and lower sweetness of their soda matched the beer’s flavors well. While watching the Elbe flow by, a large bike group arrived and promptly went for the radlers.  After supper, Meg’s friends said their farewells and headed for their separate homes. Sunday morning we checked out and left baggage at the hotel.  We had to take the “same” train...

Irregular Posts; Berlin 2

Saturday, June 29, 2012 Guten Tag, Thursday started sunny but promised to turn to rain again by 6PM.  We packed rain kit for that eventuality.  Meg had decided to do a walking tour of East Berlin.  These free tours pay the guide in tips at the end of the three hours of walking and touring.  Two blocks south of the Brandenburg Gate, we came to the Holocaust Memorial. It is a sloping city block, 4.7 acres, containing 2711 irregular height stelae in a grid. Each block is about 8 feet x 3 feet and separated by narrow cobbled paths.  Other memorials to those murdered by the Nazis are nearby, but separate from this Memorial. A couple of blocks away is the parking lot that sits over Hitler’s Bunker.  An apartment building that housed favored Soviet dignitaries runs along the side of the lot.  Katarina Witt, the East German skater, lived here for some time. We could not find a German eatery for supper in Potsdamer Platz!  We walked about and about but could not find one.  Hungry, we settled into a Matador, just off the Platz.  This Spanish/Argentinian inspired chain had a decent menu.  I DID order a schnitzel and a pint of Berliner Kindl.  A good buffet salad bar was sampled as well.  Meg had an Argentinian steak.  Crowds of young Germans were walking by.  Germany was to play Italy In the last of the semis of Euro 2012.  It was obvious as the clock advanced and the rain sprinkles began, that we were not going to watch the game at Brandenburg Gate.  We located a bar nearby...

Irregular Posts; Berlin 1

Berlin; Thursday, June 28, 2012 Guten Tag, Why was this such a difficult place for me write about?  I never actually wrote to anyone during the three days that Meg and I were in Berlin.  I felt weighted and grey.  Was it the rainy and humid weather?  Or the color and shape of the Soviet styled buildings?  Or the quiet at WW II memorials and places? Wednesday, we had a typical kind of transatlantic flight to Berlin through Amsterdam with the usual jet lag symptoms.  Our hotel was a few blocks into what was West Berlin near Potsdamer Platz.  Our first German meal was at a Turkish kebab place just off the Plazt.  (I know East and West no longer exist.)  We walked to the nearby the memorial section of the Wall.  It is in front of the Museum of Terror. A couple of hundred people read and moved through the outdoor exhibit of The Third Reich buildings that were originally located in what became the Soviet sector.  The Wall was built over the Nazi building’s basements and foundation. A former German resident told me these displays are essential as “those who lived then are getting old and dying, and today there are many who deny it ever happened.”  There were may teenage group tours from USA, and many people speaking English and German and Italian and French and Russian.   The exposed section of the basement of the Third Reich and the exhibits are open for public viewing.  The rain started and people crowded under the shelter of the protecting overhang and their talk was even more hushed....