Monday, January 4, 2010

Dresden, Germany as a four-pack

Our goal was to leave Prague with enough time to pass through Dresden and visit for a few hours before dark and eat a late lunch there. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic had a different plan for us. The main Autobahn that connects Germany to the eastern portion near Dresden was incomplete. It's like re-routing everyone off of the 405 freeway in LA and having them take side roads for about 10 miles. On top of that, we were following detour signs in their language that resembles nothing close to English, Spanish, or German... the three languages we may manage to understand if they were available at the time. Oh, and GPS doesn't work in the Czech Republic at all... so we relied entirely on one map we had and street signs (in Czech).

All complaints aside however... and we did arrive-- within the 4 o'clock hour and it was this dark already! We visited the Christmas market and ended up eating dinner from the stands there. We consider it a late lunch, early dinner. My poor parents were sleep-deprived and starving because we didn't stop for lunch along the way. The whole detour thing threw us off... regardless... we did get to walk around a bit and had dinner.

Here's the Dresden Christmas market in action with one of our favorite German traditions... the pyramid in the background.

Mom & Dad in front of the Dresden Weihnachtsmarkt (weih = holy, nach = night, markt = market).
I love that Christmas really does translate to "holy night" in German. They're so traditional.
Here are Dad & Ray eating some brats. It was my Dad's first German sausage experience. He had plenty more to come at this point. This wasn't his favorite... though it's the most famous of all in Germany; the Thuringer.

Then they decided... hey... let's get some more food. While Mom & I were eating our pasta and German potatoes (which she loved) the guys came back with these mammoths: schnitzel sandwiches. They seem very excited right now... but those puppies ended up in the garbage quickly. As my dad puts it, he "had the worst and best meals in Germany." This very sandwich happened to be the "worst" he was talking about. I love how happy they look here, though. It cracks me up!

Beautiful wall near the Danube River.

The Danube River bridge by night...hence the low quality photo...

This is the Frauenkirche (frauen = women, kirche = church) and it translates indirectly as "The Church of Our Lady"-- it's obviously Catholic. During the summer we went inside... but unfortunately it was closed when we arrived. They were having a beautiful musical ensemble outside the church, however. We appreciated the music. It was very Christmas-y with the snow dusted everywhere and the cool air paired with the market, fun Germany festivities, and music.

I included some photos from our trip during the late summer. This was our second driving trip here in Germany and this was in September. I mainly included them to show photos of daylight since our photos turned out very poorly when taken in the pitch black. Here is Dresden by day (any taken by day were of our previous trip... to differentiate).

Views of Dresden by night during our recent trip. This photo was taken as we stood on the Danube River bridge.

Random building?

Though very dark... here is the entrance to the Zwinger. The word "zwinger" literally means in German, "the outer wall to the castle"... and it's a courtyard that has since been restored to its original beauty after the bombing raids of World War II. You can see a faint dusting of snow on the ground. This place is PACKED in the summer with tour groups. There was almost no one there during the dark wintery time we visited...

Here's that bustling place in the late summer. We had to fight to get a photo without a huge tour group in our way. Of course I realize none of our photos included many photos... we're just that good! :)

Next stop, Berlin!


Ulrike said... [Reply to comment]


found your blog while surfing through the WWW!

Some quick notes: not Danube - always Elbe! :o)
And the Frauenkirche isn´t catholic - it´s protestant!

Greetings from Dresden!