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).
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 that brought us on Saturday to Prague. We headed into Old Town again to visit the Dresden Castle and “The Green Vault”; treasures of old Europe. Once again, it is place that prohibits you from photographing anything; but they will sell reproductions in the gift shop. The Palace was open and free. We were early enough that there were no tour groups. With a little patience I was able to shoot a number of images to make a panorama from the garden.
Dresden was having a bike “race” day. The local newspaper sponsored the annual (17th) event. There were many different length race events. Families, singles, race wheel chair-bikes; all ages wore their green race shirts.
We photographed the event for an hour and then headed back to the hotel for our kit. We arrived at the train station in time to be told that the train had its usual 30 minute delay and they moved it to another track. Not to worry, we had our reserved window seats awaiting for our trip to Prague.
The Elbe became the Vitava and we arrived in Prague after a three hour scenic ride. Our shuttle driver met us and took us to our hotel on the edge of the Old Town. The hotel is a small family run place with a restaurant/bar. It turns out that it is one of the recommended Rick Steeves hotels so there were many English speaking guests and front staff.
“travel light and wear a smile”