Germany was Tyler’s favorite country we’ve visited, and our day in Dresden was a good example of why. It was absolutely gorgeous. Too large to be called quaint, but with all the exquisite architectural charm that we love about old-city Europe.
Our dear friend Claudia took us out for the day, and she was the perfect tour guide as we wandered around the city. She explained the names and significance of different buildings and areas, and it was fun to see everything from a local German’s point of view.
We started our day near the Dresden Frauenkirche and knew immediately that we were off on the right foot. It’s so unique inside, all pastel colors and swirling columns. Unfortunately, photos are not allowed, so we can’t share it with you. Guess you’ll need to make a trip to Dresden! (; From there, we just set out to walk through the old town. It was quiet during this late fall workday, but that’s really how we like it most of the time.
It’s hard to visit Dresden without thinking about the terrible bombings that happened here during WWII. The entire city was leveled by Allied fire-bombings. Nearly the whole city had to be rebuilt. Where they could, the Dresdeners rebuilt the buildings and cathedrals with bricks and rubble leftover from the destruction. You’ll see in the following photos patches of darkened stones in the construction of the buildings. These are the original stones that are permanently scarred from the fires that swept the city during the bombings.
Eventually we came upon the Zwinger palace. You enter under the arches of a huge stone wall, and it’s like walking into another world. The archway is dark and foreboding in its beauty, but then you emerge into the light and suddenly find yourself in a giant courtyard, surrounded by ornate buildings. While the grass was still bright green, we did wonder at how nice it must look in the summer when there are manicured flower beds where all the dirt is in winter. And if you want to dig into your imagination even more… imagine with us what it must have been like for a king to have lived here once upon a time!
There are pockets of history and art all over the city, and a day in Dresden is hardly enough to cover it all. I think we could easily have enjoyed a weekend here, browsing cafes, trying a few more restaurants, and– of course– popping in a museum or two. We mostly couldn’t believe what it would be like to have grown up here and find all the old, beautiful buildings to be completely the norm.
Night fell fast. Our winter days this year have been a bit longer than in Alaska last year, but not by a whole lot! We often found ourselves caught off guard by how early the sun began to set on our sight-seeing days. There was still just enough time in our day in Dresden to head across the river for a nice view of the city.
We walked back into town and went straight for dinner. This was such a huge treat for us, as our friend so generously took us out as a gift. She and her family have set the bar high for hosting! They were so gracious and generous each time we saw them, and this was no exception.
We went to the [m]eatery bar and restaurant just as they were opening for the evening meal, and even though we had called ahead for a reservation, we quickly realized that was unnecessary as our early dining time and midweek timing left us with an empty, quiet restaurant for the first half of the meal.
We took the time to order an appetizer of three different kinds of beef tartare and some cocktails. It was a lovely, slow start to the evening, just talking and trying new foods. Each of the tartars were amazing and I couldn’t really pick a strong favorite.
Tyler had a steak for dinner, and I had a mixed plate. Everything was delicious and was the perfect ending to a wonderful day in Dresden.
If/when we head back to Western Europe, I’m sure we’ll be returning to Germany as well. The quiet, orderly structure of the cities, the old world charm, and the delicious food and drinks are all checks on the list of “things the Murphys love”!