Exploring Dresden

Yesterday we started off doing some washing. We have a good drying area (our host’s) of washing lines under cover with a privacy curtain. The privacy curtain reminded me of Eversley who has a line on her balcony which she screens off. A very good idea. There is a heater in the area which would be needed in winter time.

The featured image is a section of a mural called the Procession of Princes. Furstenzug in German. Almost 100 larger than life figures feature on the 102 metre long mural. Kings and soldiers and representatives of Dresden’s bourgeoisie.

We caught the tram a couple of stops further on and did some shopping at the local Lidl. Coming back, there was enough time to go to our cottage, put food away in the fridge and be back out to catch the next train into the city centre. It was then about lunch time, so after walking to the old town and wandering around admiring the buildings we had lunch at a restaurant. There were no seats outside when we arrived and we found the interior was air conditioned, so we stayed there. The maximum temperature yesterday must have been about 29 degrees. It felt warm and humid, but there was a breeze and it wasn’t actually uncomfortable.

Alcohol free beer at lunchtime, of course. This had lemonade in it, so technically a shandy. We are drinking more beer than usual as it suits the weather and are glad of the tradition of serving alcohol free versions.

We booked a tour of the Semperoper, the combined concert hall and opera house for 3.00 p.m. (English version). Usually I don’t do tours, but for some reason decided to do it, and found it very interesting. The information about this city often talks about the effects of the bombing of Dresden, a really dreadful act of war on innocent people. The buildings were blackened by the smoke from incendiary bombs which were dropped alongside the normal bombs. During the communist time some restoration work took place, but there was a lot more to be done and the city is gradually being restored and the smoke cleaned up.

The Semperoper was severely damaged and the restoration is now complete, I think. The guide said that it had burned down in the past, due to the use of candlepower for lighting such venues often burned down. Within weeks a new temporary building had gone up, such was the local devotion to music and the arts. It was also a priority after the bombing, whereas a nearby Lutheran church was not restored until the 21st Century.

It was a very interesting tour and we found a link to Glyndbourne in England as one of the conductors went to England at the beginning of the Nazi era and help to found it.

Our guide made the whole tour very interesting and I was glad to take the chance on it. I paid 3 euros extra to have a photo licence to take photos inside the building.

After walking further into the old town we had a drink and ice cream, sitting with a view of beautiful old buildings.

Sorry about the tilt! I was so excited by the ice cream with fruit.

There is a lot of scaffolding around, due to maintenance and restoration of the buildings.

This low, modern looking bridge caused the city much grief as it resulted in UNESCO removing it’s World Heritage status. A pity as it could have been made to look more in keeping with the old bridges. But also feels a bit petty of UNESCO as it doesn’t detract that much from the feel of the city.

We wanted to visit the Frauenkirche, the church rebuilt this century. There was an evening service with music at 6.00 p.m., so we went and sat in the church, hoping for good music. The service was in German, but because the words are familiar it was easy to follow. We slipped out at the end when there was a talk about the building as we couldn’t understand it. The church looks lovely on the outside, but is rather like being in an ice cream cake inside. Photos were forbidden so I didn’t take any, but other people did. The interior has seating for 1800 people.

Then home on the tram where we had food we had bought on our shopping expedition in the morning – nice salads with cheese, plus apples and chocolate. There is a coffee maker here and I have used it twice, for some reason the coffee doesn’t pour out well and as we don’t have a sink for washing up I resort to pouring my cup outside.

We are having a quiet morning, doing washing and having an egg on toast for breakfast. It was great to be able to have a couple of cups of coffee in the morning, I haven’t had that since we were in Lucerne.

This man was outside the church. I only had a very small amount of change left, so was apologising as I took the photo.

The Festspielhous which gives it’s name to our tram stop. We are located in Hellerau which is Germany’s first garden city. It was developed in 1908.