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Dresden was once called the “Florence on the Elbe” being one of Europe’s architectural and artistic highlights. However, much of it was bombed during WWII and much of the city was not much more than a rubble heap. On February 13, 1945, 800 British aircraft showered the city with 2,600 tons of bombs. The Americans followed the next morning with 300 Flying Fortress bombers. It is estimated that 25,000 people were killed, while 13 square miles of the historic city center were destroyed. With temperatures rising to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, the burning city was visible to pilots from 100 miles away. Dresden was a central hub for the Nazi’s and the city remained loyal to them, hence its destruction. Being Saturday evening, there was not much open other than restaurants and bars, but it was lovely seeing the city at this time of day. The streets were crowded with tourists and residents strolling and chatting in various languages. What struck us the most was that it was COLD. We both had liners under our coats, but we could have used gloves and scarves too. The outdoor restaurants all had their heatalators on to keep the hungry crowds warm enough to sit through a meal.
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134 Kms from Dresden
The morning at Prague was a pleasant one . The sun was shining and the cold winds were complementing the beauty of the surroundings. Prague involved a lot of walk through cobbled streets so we slipped into comfortable walking shoes . The first place we were taken to was the majestic St Vitus Cathedral which is a striking example of gothic and neo-gothic architecture dating back to the 12th century . For more information https://www.hrad.cz/en/prague-castle-for-visitors/objects-for-visitors/st.-vitus-cathedral-10330.After that we saw the museum of armamentarium adjacent to it and went on a walk towards the highlight of the tour , the famous Charle's Bridge . I wonder how many movies have been shot on this place and I felt blessed walking over it and soaking in the beauty of the place . With local painters lined up to paint the scenery and artists performing around every small corner , the wonderful statues . It was a sight to behold . We went on walking until we reached the town square which houses the famous Astronomical clock.The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating. Every hour the clock displays a beautiful play of puppets and the crowd just join in to watch the show. My passion for collecting wines from all over the world took me to a quaint shop with some excellent collections and amongst one I bought was the green fairy , Absinthe.Read more about it to know . The festivities were still in full flow on the town square but our hearts were getting heavier as the trip was nearing its closure .Finally the younger members of the group clubbed in to enjoy the last bit of the evening with a fantastic diner at a lovely pub plying live music . We called it a day .
169 Kms from Dresden
Started with Berlin with great train ride from Bremen, Germany. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (Oranienburg, Germany) I took a slow walk reading all the brutal history. Prisoners were tortured, gassed, incinerated and hanged to death here was a difficult sight. Hanging out with a bunch of hostel friends and not napping throughout the night was a good time to live in. Thanks Sakshi for being there in the city. Back in Bremen, where I stayed for the most and studied for my Summer School at Hochschule Bremen. Schoonr, A place where I found some narrow streets that are still the same that were way back at the time of World War II. Walking around there with those thoughts and saying no word was a comfortable thing to do.
153 Kms from Dresden
Leipzig had the largest Hauptbahnhof in Europe until Berlin usurped it. This seems to be the trade fair capital of Germany and an important city for such throughout Europe dating back centuries. What we did not know was that Leipzig was having a Goth festival. As we were walking and admiring the beautiful architecture, there were many other sights to see walking along side of us. For music lovers, which I do not count amongst the many, Leipzig is where Johann Sebastian Bach lived for a good part of his life and was the Kantor in the Thomaskirche. He is buried in the choir with the Bach archives across the street. Felix Mendelssohn headed the Gewandhaus Orchestra and founded the first conservatory in Germany. Richard Wagner was born here, receiving his musical training here. This city also boasts Germany’s first stock exchange.
380 Kms from Dresden
People there make it worth a stay.
257 Kms from Dresden
The next day, 1st Jan, 2107, was perfect for lazing around. CK didn't seem to wake up at all from the late night binge. I went out however and got some pictures of the pristine beauty that CK is.