Sun and Rain and sore feet
Aug 3, 2014
|We got up about 8:15 and went to breakfast provided by the hotel. Not the best selection or the best tastes. But it was OK. The usual scrambled eggs and ten kinds of bread, plus cereal and lots of cheese. I had a good meal – Alice not so much. Then back to the room to gather our supplies and off to “Hop on - Hop off” tour bus.
We bought the ticket then walked down to the Elbe to board the bus. The first tour was about two hours – we first went along the Elbe and the opera house, the water gate palace, and the Eissporthalle – a tobacco factory in the shape of a huge mosque. Then past the place where carbonated water was first formulated, the Hygiene Museum (originally started in 1910 to educate people about health, now a history of medicine), then by a glass sided Volkswagen factory.
We then travelled along the Elbe and saw palaces and mansions as well as vineyards on the North side (the “New City” side). We eventually crossed the Blue Bridge – the only bridge across the Elbe not destroyed in WW2. On the north side – untouched by the war, there were many old buildings and taverns – some dating to the 1400s.
As we got closer to the city center Alice and I got off at “The Most Beautiful Dairy in the World.” Not sure about beautiful, but ornate hands down. It was built by the man who developed condensed milk. All tiles and cherubs and colors. From the floor to the ceiling it was covered with tiles. We bought some chocolates then walked back toward town.
We came across some nice pieces in the New City (built after Dresden, but now much older stuff as the Old City was almost completely destroyed in the war). Very nice parks and details. We found a nice clock and had a bit of fun with it. We ate lunch in a place we found out later was Putin’s favorite restaurant in the New City…
Back across the river and Alice decided to go back to the hotel to rest up. I decided to go to the top of the Frauenkirche to get a view of the city. The church had been destroyed in the WW2 bombing and left in ruins as a monument to the war. It was reconstructed in the 1990s – 2000s. It is interesting in that the original stones are dark (charred) and the new stones light. It looks like less than 10% could be salvaged.
In any event, up an elevator, then around a ramp, then a spiral staircase, then a stairs, then a very steep metal set of step to the dome. Spectacular view of the city and the surrounding areas. Inside of the dome it was quite clear that it was quite new. One fascinating view was a Soviet apartment block and a Western (1990s) block side by side. Hard to tell them apart. Anyway, made my way down and through Neu Market – restaurants and shops – quite lively.
Then I decided to head off to see the Hygiene museum – after a few false starts and head scratches I thought I was on the way. But the beer I had at lunch had other plans. There was a public toilet that you had to pay 50 cents to use – and it was very clean – even an automatic had washer – soap, water, drying air. Fifteen minute limit though.
I finally found the museum and got a audio guide (no English literature) and could take no pictures. It was actually quite interesting – chronicling the development of medical models – from papier-mâché to plastic. They needed models as corpses tended to go bad rather quickly. Anyway, then into a section on the development of life, the cell, DNA, and so on. Then the brain. The part I wanted to see – the one on food and digestion – was closed for repairs… So I wandered through the sections on hearing, vision, and human sexuality. They had a display that did a thermal image of you – and suggested that you look then kiss someone and see the difference. Since there were no volunteers around I just did one of myself. The real disappointment was the gift shop had little on the museum itself – all Dresden stuff.
Anyway, back to the hotel and got Alice. After a few minute rest we headed off to look for a place for dinner and to take a look at the opera house, and do the evening tour on the Hop bus. We wandered around through New Market and there were plenty of places, but nothing appealed. We went to the opera house and it was closed.
Then we saw it – the storm coming. It had sprinkled on and off all day but this looked like a big one. We went and got an ice cream, then looked for shelter. The wind picked up but no rain. A pre-wedding party came by on some specially constructed bikes – all ready for the storm (almost). So we headed off to the bus for the tour and they let us on – and the heavens opened up with a huge downpour – we watched as people scattered and took shelter in any place possible – or just ignored the rain.
Then we saw a sign that they sold beer on the bus (and apple juice). I got a beer and Alice an juice – she hated it. I had her hold my beer while I took a picture… The tour went on in the rain and it was hard to get any good pictures. Some of the stuff was a repeat from earlier in the day but there was one new thing was we drove by the new Jewish temple in Dresden. The original was burned to the ground in the 1930s during “The Night of Shattered Glass.” I had forgotten.
The tour ended in about an hour – and the rain stopped as well. We wandered up the walking street and stopped in a nice Bristo. Alice had snitzel and French fries and I had a potato omelet with vegetables. Then back to the hotel. By then my feet were really sore and Alice was complaining a bit as well. A full day to say the least – and still laundry to do!
Tomorrow we get the train to Prague at 11:00. Much excitement awaits as well as new sights, sounds, tastes, and, we hope, laundry!