Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Old and new – a walk in Dresden’s old town

Before our this year’s trip I was planning a lot. A lot, a lot. I’m a planner, I have to be prepared. I was finding new places I wanted to see, changing destinations many, many times, trying way too hard. At some point, short before the departure, I threw all that away. I didn’t even want to think about where we’re going. And people kept asking that same question where are you going? Most of them couldn’t believe that simple I don’t know answer I was giving them was actually true. So, somehow, don’t know when and how, an answer Dresden for a start started coming out of my mouth. So that was settled – first night after leaving Poland was to be spent somewhere in or near Dresden. And then we were supposed to decide what to do next.

Looking at this year’s summer I was really scared about the weather conditions we were to encounter. It was raining on the way from Polish border to Dresden and it was really cold at night (it wasn’t until then that I realised I had a hole in my sleeping bag, near my feet-area… My feet were getting more and more cold at night, but at the same time I didn’t feel like leaving my warm sleeping bag to look for socks. So I was getting more and more cold because I didn’t want to get cold! Talk about weird logic…). I was a bit scared about the weather in Dresden, yet believing that the forecasts I had seen were going to come true. And guess what? Much to my happiness, they did!

Dresden seriously amazed me! I know that sunny and warm weather (especially after rainy and cold night) usually plays a huge role in the perception of a given place, but I strongly believe that even without that, it would have done it as well. It was colourful and greyish, old and new, wide and narrow, spacious and tight, crowded and deserted, loud and quiet, and so much more and so much less than the above mentioned. It was great.

We had no plan of what to do, apart from skipping the museums as such. What might get us interested, might not work for a three-year-old who doesn’t even speak the language. We packed our tents and drove as close to the old town as we could. And we could drive really close. There are a few car parks around the old town perfectly shown on the roads signs that gave the number of available parking slots. So we knew in advance which car park to choose in order to find a free parking space.

We left the cars and decided to have a walk breathing in the old town’s atmosphere. It’s convenient for tourists that all the main old monuments are located within a walking distance from each other. First place to see – Residenzschloß (the residential castle). It was the residence of electors and kings of Saxony (1547-1918). Now it contains the Green Vault, the Coin Cabinet, the Collection of Prints, Drawings and Photographs and the Turkish Chamber. We’ve seen only the coin Cabinet. Plus we climbed the tower (Hausmannsturm) to have a good look at Dresden (orange roofs, Elbe River, Zwinger, Semperoper, Frauenkirche, Hofkirche, and more).

We also went to Augustusstraße to see the Fürstenzug – 102 meter long frieze made from Meissen porcelain depicting Saxon sovereigns from the years 1123-1904. Fabulous! And soooo loooong ;)

The frieze
 I'm really sorry for the picture quality...

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