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Adorable Chick

Highlights of Europe diary : Day 6 : 20th April 2016

Lying on the banks of the river ELBE is this beautiful city of DRESDEN which, according to me, is a completely underrated tourist city with umpteen monuments, pleasing atmosphere, a blend of modern and ancient with landmarks that is sure to blow your mind. It is highly unfortunate that these masterpieces and works of art are hardly discussed and the city is seldom chosen as a part of one’s itinerary on a vacation. Set foot on this land yourself and you will known what I mean. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would easily rate it at a 4.7.

The city is definitely a laid back place with plenty of hotels and food options apart from being strategically placed and equidistant from the great cities of Berlin and Prague. Comparatively a more cheaper destination and therefore it is a perfect choice for stay if you are considering easy access and shuttle between the other cities which I mentioned above.

A train at 10:30 am from Brussels Nord got us to Frankfurt by 1:30 pm . We boarded another train in Frankfurt at 2:30 to get to this traditional capital of Saxony, eastern Germany, by evening. Twinkling lights welcomed us at the DRESDEN HAUPTBAHNOF - the central railway station of the city.

The station is huge and built and decorated tastefully. We waited at the central hall of the station for a while, appreciating the architecture. As we stepped out, we were in complete awe ! What a beautiful city. Such peace and calm. We had booked ourselves in the IBIS DRESDEN BASTEI, lying at a 4 min walking distance from the station. Dragging our luggage to the hotel was not so tedious. A great square welcomed us on which stood the tall IBIS building. Checking in was easy. Our rooms did not have a kitchenette but we had our electric rice cooker handy. This ensured we had a perfect home made meal for dinner. We decided to take a short walk around the square. The street was lively and filled with good shops making it look like a great shopping arcade. However, the last of the shops closed sharp by 8 pm and that didn’t give us much time. Nevertheless, we got a great feel of the immediate neighbourhood and made a list of things which could be purchased for a great price the next day.

We returned tired and called it a day.

Day 7 : 21st April 2016 :

The Dresden city is divided into ALSTADT (old town) and NEUSTADT (new town) that lie separated by a bridge arching over the river ELBE. Our accommodation was centrally located in the old town. The day began with some fantastic breakfast in IBIS which was a part of our package. We left at 9 am for some DIY city tour. Landmarks around the old town are easily reachable by foot. All you need is a map. We managed to get a hold of one and it helped us get around easily.

Tidy Desk

The old town is full of historic monuments that are very tastefully built. Can you believe that there are about 78 monuments listed on the map and they all lie close to each other. We had just half a day to see as much as possible , as we had a pre-booked ticket to get to PRAGUE in the second half of the day. The PRAGER STRASSE (street) on which IBIS stood, runs to great length with luxury and affordable shops ,restaurants , building complexes and offices running on either side and a Cineplex on one end of it. The central rectangular portion consists of few fountains and steps mostly built for decorative purposes. It felt like walking inside a big, open to sky room.

A Modern sculpture called VOLKERFREUNDSCHAFT was our first stop. It is a unique metal art piece installed on one end of the square. A few pictures with this ART WORK as the backdrop was mandatory.

RATHAUS DRESDEN : Taking a quick walk around the main road and admiring many uniquely built structures, we noticed that the city was a great fusion of modern and ancient. While it enjoys great infrastructure it also basks in ancient glory of monuments and art covering every nook and corner. Within 5 min of our walk we reached the RATHAUS DRESDEN or the DRESDEN TOWNHALL. The town hall hosts the administrative affairs of this self-governed city. We took a walk on the Rathaus platz. The impressive golden gates with its pair of green lions seated outside it is a must capture. Tram lines criss-crossed the city comfortably and unfortunately we didn’t get to ride any of it here, like we usually do.

Right behind the town hall is the HOLY CROSS CHURCH. This church is one of the 3 important religious structures in Dresden. This church came to being in the 19th century and is said to be one of the tallest in the country. It is said to be famous for its white interiors and glass windows. We walked back to the main street to reach The POLIZIE (police station) that occupies one corner with its rich looks. The building is just remarkable. We got to pose against one of the police bikes. Wow ! That was a really great moment. Not sure if it is a HARLEY DAVIDSON, but it looked sturdy and expensive.

Centrally placed, at many junctions, were various sculptures of historical prominence. It was difficult to grasp the history behind each and everything that our eyes met. The murals on one of the walls in the "Brühlsche Gasse" street was just mind blowing.