There really isn’t that much to say – one day, we decided to go to Dresden. This part of Germany is surprisingly close to Prague – a 2.5 hour train ride – so we decided to make a day trip and see what Dresden was all about.To give you a little history, Dresden was pretty much destroyed during World War II. Sorry, guys. To visit today, though, you would have no idea, as those old buildings have been reconstructed to look the way they did pre-war. The most fascinating part of our visit was thinking about how new these seemingly ancient buildings really were.
Other than that, we made two big mistakes – we went when it was raining, and we went on a Sunday. What I wish I’d researched earlier is the fact that pretty much everything in Germany closes on Sundays. This meant that the rows of nice shops we walked by were inaccessible, and the only places we could really enter were churches or restaurants.
Our first port of call, after visiting the reconstructed Frauenkirche, was to grab lunch. In the square that surrounds the church, you can choose from a variety of nice restaurants, but the one we chose was the Augustiner an der Frauenkirche, as I’d heard that they brewed their own delicious beer. My sources were not wrong, and it was there that we enjoyed amazing beer (they have many varieties) and a Bavarian-style lunch of white sausages, pretzels and sweet mustard.
We walked around, saw Zwinger Palace, the Opera House, a few other nice buildings, but it was raining too much to really stay interested. A clarinet player lured us into a dry underpass and kept us entranced for a while with an amazing version of Nessun Dorma, although we politely declined his C.D. We crossed the river from “Old Town” to “New Town” (Neustadt) and grabbed a beer at what Google Maps tells me is Watzke Brauereiausschank (sounds right), which also has some nice beers for 2.50EUR – not bad.A few hours had passed, and we were soggy, but nicely tipsy. Jeff turned to me and ventured; “Should we just go home?” Relieved, I admitted that I felt the same, but there were two more places that we wanted to visit, both on the same road and just East from where we were.
The first was Pfunds Molkerei, a milk store that is in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s most beautiful milk store (according to Wikitravel). I suppose that you can be in there for anything if you invent a category. After a ten minute traipse through the rain, we found it, only to realise – of course – that it was closed. We peered in through the window, but it seemed to be gold rimmed skirting boards and pretty wallpaper – nothing spectacular. What is a milk shop anyway?The second stop was even further along the road; another pub. Brauhaus am Waldschlösschen had originally made it onto my must-see list because of its “wonderful view”, so, considering that we could currently see about 10 feet in front of our faces, I’m not sure why we ploughed through the rain for a further 15 minutes (after missing the tram by a second or two).
We eventually reached the Brauhaus, our feet wet and our faces frozen. As soon as the door swung open and we were greeted with warmth, colour and live folk music, I knew we’d made the right choice. We were able to drink a little more home-brewed beer (again, very nice) before deciding that we could eat again. The food was good, too, although I’m hard-pressed to remember what I actually had. Something involving chicken and potatoes, anyway.
After that, we decided that it was time to finally get back to warm, cheap Prague, so we bought a tram ticket (you validate it on the tram, like most places in Europe) and made our way back to the train station. It took surprisingly long to get there, and we were so early on the return train that we were able to secure good seats for the entire journey. I imagine that Dresden is a lovely place on any other day of the week, when the weather is good, so hopefully I can give it a second chance one day – but for now, I will remember rain.