Aug 2, 2014
|Up about 8:15 and breakfast. Some final packing then down to the lobby and check out. Local city tax not included in tour so an extra 12 euros. Taxi to the train station was not a problem, then down to platform one to wait for the train. We were about 45 minutes early so the platform was pretty empty but filled up quickly.
On platform two a train came and everybody ran after it – but it was the wrong train so a few minutes later they were all running back the other way! We tried to figure things out – we were in car 258 seats 31 and 32. There was a picture of a train with first class, restaurant, and cattle cars (our section), so we moved down the track to be ready. In the rush we found our car and lined up… and we were at the wrong end! We got on the train in the high numbers.
Then an adventure carrying luggage through a passageway about two feet wide against a crowd carrying luggage in the other direction – in a moving train. It only took about fifteen minutes, mostly standing still. But we finally reached our cabin and go to our seats. My suitcase was too big to go on the luggage rack above the seats so I left it in the passageway – many others did the same thing.
The ride itself was smooth but with six in the cabin it was a bit cramped, but not much of an issue. Conductor came around to get our tickets, and that was it. About 1:00 PM (two hours after we left) we arrived at Dresden. Alice wanted to go to the bathroom but came back – you needed a euro and she had no change. We go a cab and showed the address and got there in about five minutes. We checked in with no problems (but again no internet!) and got to a room with a less than spectacular view. At least no screaming outside the window. Small room though. And we could see the train station…
We dropped our stuff and decided to go for a walk to find some lunch and about 100 yards down the walking street – the train station. No wonder the cab driver smiled when he saw the address. We’ll walk to get the train on Monday. Tourist tax.
We stopped at a local German “fast food” place – Korch – with every German meat you could think of. I had chicken, potatoes, and vegetables and a beer. Alice had spaghetti with meat sauce and a coke. Not bad. Then back to the hotel to rest up a little.
Alice was feeling a bit off again so I left her in the room and went off to find some information about tours. The whole street (Prager) is a walking street and it was filled with people – and it was very warm – upper 80s and partly cloudy. Many modern buildings and malls – I went in three malls and skipped a couple. Some local stores but mostly large chain stores – “TK Max” with US advertising, Subway, McDonalds, Burger King, plus clothing and shoe and… Oh well. I did find the tour starting position. Also found a local festival – beach volleyball!
Back to the room and got Alice and we were going to get more information (very little tourist information available in English) so we walked to the train station and got an English map. Then we decided to walk to the Elbe River so down the same street. Alice stopped at about four shoe stores on the way. We had a little spat and Alice headed off by herself. We met up about 20 minutes later and sorted things out. Visited the river but just missed the last boat tour for the evening.
Walking back we passed the procession of princes – a mosaic of all Prussian kings and emperors from first to last – huge thing that you can’t get a picture of the whole thing. Then we stopped in an ice cream parlor and Alice got a strawberry milkshake and I had a hot fudge sundae. Quite nice. We also saw many wedding parties – or actually bachelor and bachelorette parties. The intended pulls a wagon down the street dressed in costume – one groom to be was in a tutu and prison shirt. The attendants all wore uniform clothing – usually t-shirts. There must have been six or seven different groups wandering down the street. We finally got an ice tea and came back to the room to rest up before dinner.
I took Alice to Subway where she got a six inch tuna (yes, six inch). Back to the room then I went out to look for a laundry, bandages, and dinner. In three stores I found no bandages… Nor a laundry. Back to the room and told Alice then out for dinner again. The street Chinese was gone and the Asian with sushi that Alice wanted was closed. I wandered around looking at all things beef and pork and ended up at a Box Noodle shop and had some with a Dresden Pilsner. Back to the room and Alice is switching between watching BBC News in English or Lady and the Tramp II in German.
Went to the front desk to see about laundry – four euros for one pair of underwear… Maybe wash some in the sink! Anyway, out for a second beer and up to the room to connect to the internet.
Tomorrow we will get up early for the Dresden tour and perhaps a cruise in the evening. We need to get laundry done – perhaps Prague?