Wednesday, October 27, 2010

day 4- we saw the sun!

On the 4th day we rode on a three hour bus ride to visit Dresden, Germany. When we passed the border our guide told us how nice it was that we didn't have to stop and show our passports anywhere (even though we had to take them just in case we were stopped)- all thanks to the European Union I guess. I had never heard of Dresden, but it was great to visit and learn about and wow, it was beautiful! And the sun came out! We hadn't seen it for a while and it was a great relief. Ahhh.
See how nice this building is? (Adam caught me on the lowest low of a jump shot...)
You would never know that Dresden looked like this in 1945 (photo below):
It was bombed to pieces (15 square miles or 90% of the city center to be exact) by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as part of the allied forces in Feb 1945 in the 2nd World War. I couldn't believe it. And I felt really sad that it had happened. The guide kept telling us to not focus on that part of it. That it was a really beautiful, cultural city and that they were rebuilding it (still!) It was interesting feeling the awkwardness of the situation, I'm sure he felt a little sheepish too. Funny that we feel ownership of something that happened before we were even born...because it's our country. It belongs to us and we to it.

(above photo from

This is the Semperoper, the Dresden state opera house which was rebuilt in 1985 and was reopened exactly 40 years after the bombing with the same opera that was last performed before its destruction. If I wouldn't have known, I would have thought everything was so old.

We walked around the courtyard admiring the buildings, I think they used what they could of the destroyed buildings and statues.

Someday I'll have a bridge like this connecting my house... to my other house. Ha!
And a roof like this to boot.
This was not destroyed in the war. It was really cool to see. So very old.

fall colors

This is the Lutheran Frauenkirche or Church of Our Lady which was originally completed in 1743 and had at first seemed to have survived the air raids, but collapsed a few days later. And there the ruins sat in place by Communist governments as a symbol of British aggression. It was finally reopened in 2005 (yes- only 5 years ago!) after a seven year rebuild where they used the pieces of the old church where they could. (See the dark bricks? All original.)
This part of the church was still standing, but looks like it's been reinforced of course.
And here is another fancy lunch. This sure beats a hotdog or something similar on the street, which is what we probably would have done every day if we were by ourselves.

It was a delicious German meal! It started with this tasty soup.
Then beef, cabbage and dumplings. I cleaned my plate- it was so good. I did notice that not everyone thought so. I like to think it's the European in me?
The dessert was beautiful and I need to remember to use fancy cream and sugar sprinkling techniques like this when I'm serving dessert at my house. (Just check out that berry placement!)
I loved the look of this little thing. It was sweet like a fruit even though I was expecting a tomato taste, but I have no idea what it was.
After lunch we toured an art museum because Dresden is and always has been known as a cultural icon. Our guide had his degree in art history and had very detailed descriptions of everthing. I'll never forget when we stopped in front of the life size nude painting and he said, "Everyone gather in and get really close to examine the quality." Just picture a big group of conservative people trying to look into the eyes of the girl in the painting rather than let their eyes wander. It made me laugh then and it still does! Hee!
Afterwards, they took us back on the bus to look around the city. It was so charming, right next to the river. I think I could live there.
As we were driving back, we could see the bus heading for fog and clouds and we drove right into it, away from the setting sun. Pretty strange that we got the sun while Prague had another gray day. We made it back to the hotel around 8:30 or 9:00 PM and headed out to walk the Prague streets again. Another day of learning and "eye opening." This is one of the many reasons I love to travel!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

That is so cool that you got to see all this, and learn all this info. I am so jealous. Maybe one day I will travel.

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