I started writing this post while I was on my way to Copenhagen. But then I don’t know where the time went and here I am, trying to finish it 11 days later.
By the way, I woke up that morning and checked my Instagram. To my surprise, they suspended my account. No idea why. No explanation. Just like that 💁♀️
After some hoops I had to jump through, including sending a selfie holding a code they sent to my email written on a piece of paper like I was a hostage in the movies proving to the police I was alive, I was able to get back into my account. Go figure.
But let’s get to what matters, Dresden. It was the first city I visited in Germany. Why you ask? Because it is close to Prague and that’s how I roll. I pick random cities on Google maps to try to add some breaks between my real destinations. Sometimes I hit the jackpot visiting some random cities just because they were in the middle of the way to someplace else.
In this case, Dresden is not some random city. It’s the capital of the state of Saxony and it’s one of the most visited cities in Germany. It is absolutely beautiful and it has a lot of recent (Century XX) history.
The day was pretty cloudy and rainy, as it has been around here to my annoyance. But I was able to walk around and see a bunch of things.
Although, this trip has made me rethink the way I travel. It’s awesome, I see a bunch of places, but it’s also pretty exhausting. And on top of that, I don’t get to know the city in detail. So I am considering staying longer somewhere central and exploring the surroundings.
Getting to Dresden
That part was easy. I took a Flix bus from Prague (ÚAN Florenc bus station) to Dresden Central Station. I usually use this site to figure out the best way, time and prices when travelling basically anywhere: Rome2Rio
You don’t buy the ticket through them, they just list all the options and when you pick one you are redirected to the proper site to buy the ticket. I have been using them since 2016. Works like a charm.
For this trip, I decided to stay in Hostels but in private rooms. It was not always a good decision, but the experience is what matters if you learn from it. The hostel in Dresden was fairly good. I was able to work from the pub they have downstairs. The room was comfy and clean. The only two issues were the fact that there is no elevator and that people usually staying in hostels are noisy and don’t give a crap about others. You might say that’s because I’m old. But nope. I was always like that. I don’t sleep well, and I don’t sleep much, so when I go to bed I need peace, darkness and quiet to have the bare minimum to be able to function the next day.
It gets a tiny bit easier when I’m travelling because I’m usually working and walking SO MUCH around the city that I am exhausted by the end of the day. It’s really hard for me to get super tired to the point it’s easy to fall asleep. But even so, if it’s noisy… I’m also a big fan of using the stairs but not when you are carrying several extra kilos of luggage. But I survived.
Working from the pub was fun. The music was great and I had a lot of fun watching people who were apparently from a Meetup.com group that was there for game night.
The next day I had planned to work from a Cafe near the Hostel, but when I got there it was closed (Google you liar), so I ended up at Starbucks, which I tend to avoid, giving preference to local cafes and restaurants, but it’s a good backup plan when you have to work. Internet, power outlets and coffee. I had a call that day, so I really needed decent internet.
By the way, some off topic info, I installed a plugin to help me with my post titles and it's depressing. The score of the titles I choose go from 23 (out of 100) to 37 HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm the queen of post titles.
Dresden, just like Vienna, Salzburg and Hüttau, felt not very Gluten-free friendly and Germany in general felt way less English-friendly than I expected. But everything worked out. Did I mention I had a whole conversation with the B&B lady without speaking a word of German?
The city is beautiful and it was known as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and kings of Saxony. It’s also known as the Jewel Box because of its baroque and rococo style all over the city centre.
The Elector and ruler of Saxony Frederick Augustus I became King Augustus II the Strong of Poland in 1697. He gathered many of the best musicians, architects and painters from all over Europe in Dresden. His reign marked the beginning of Dresden’s emergence as a leading European city for technology and art.
The Frauenkirche has one of Europe’s largest domes. They finished it in 1743 following designs by the architect George Bähr.
It was completely destroyed during the bombing in 1945 (more about that later). The ruins of the Baroque church stood there for decades as a war memorial. But that changed in 1994 when a group of people began gathering funds to rebuild it. Roughly 10 years after, the work was completed.
Well, I have been pretty lucky regarding touristy things and renovation. I went to London for the first time just before they started renovating the Big Ben so my pictures were all nice and pretty. But I guess that travelling this much, it had to happen one day. So Germany was under renovation. Almost everywhere I went, there was construction going on at some pretty important landmarks. And the first one was the Zwinger Palace.
The Zwinger is one of the most famous baroque buildings in Germany.
It has a beautiful garden in the middle that I could not see in person (I’ve seen the pics) because it was under renovation.
The Rome-born architect Gaetano Chiaveri was responsible for designing the Cathedral in an Italian Baroque style.
The church only gained cathedral status in the 1960s and was another of Dresden’s monuments to be resurrected after the war.
The cathedral holds the last survivor of four organs designed by the master Gottfried Silbermann in the early 1750s.
The Semperoper is the opera house of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden and the concert hall of the Staatskapelle Dresden. It is also home to the Semperoper Ballett.
Kunsthofpassage (Art Courtyard Passage)
In the Neustadt, kind of hidden, you can find a passage through a chain of courtyards, all with playful designs.
From musical instruments on the facade of one building that creates their own music when it rains to mythical creatures or pieces of paper that seem to go through a metamorphosis. You can find it all there. It’s a site of creative, colourful and diverse activity.
All along the Kunsthofpassage are cafes, art galleries and cute little shops.
Was it worth it?
Definitively. I would 100% go back to Dresden with more time to visit the museums and enter all the historical buildings.
Can’t say the same about Hamburg, tho. Still debating if I am going to write about it or not.