Dresden: A City ReBorn
Saturday, July 24th, 2004: Dresden, Germany
Berlin to Dresden: 193 kilometres
We pack up after our week in Berlin, and start our drive to Dresden. The road we follow goes through the old East Berlin, and while there is a motorway under construction to get us out of the city, it is not finished yet. The road is fairly well-marked, but there are a few corners where we are forced to make a turn without any signs to guide us. Whether we made the right decision or whether all roads lead to Dresden we aren’t sure, but soon enough we are on the right Autobahn – and feeling right at home as we drive along at 150 kilometres/hour, the slowest car on the road.
A Beautiful City
Dresden is amazing! Virtually completely destroyed at the end of WWII, most of the important buildings in the centrum have been rebuilt. The Frauenkirche, the architectural masterpiece of Dresden, is almost completed – we are surprised to see that it had been left as rubble until well after the reunification of Germany in 1991. A beautiful city – we walk happily through the streets. There is a street festival happening around the Frauenkirche, and late in the afternoon we join the happy throngs for a cheap beer. After that, we walk slowly back to our B&B, exploring some of the side streets.
We come up to the Dreikönigskirche and find in front of it a beautiful square surrounded by restaurants. We study menus, and choose 1, Gambotti for dinner. The food is fantastic and the prices even better. We fall into conversation with Alex, our waiter and we discover that he is one of the owners. Alex happens to come originally from Buenos Aires, so we compare notes about one of my favourite cities. About 11, there is wonderful display of fireworks – nobody knows why – and we sit on the square and watch. Thomas, the chef and other owner of the restaurant, has joined us. After the fireworks, we elect to continue the conversation, and wander off to the newer area of town, where Thomas and Alex choose a bar and we get a fuller understanding of this beautiful city from a local’s viewpoint.