We set out at 5.20 am, got home near 10pm, and in between we shopped, ate, toured, basked, shopped, ate, walked, and finally plopped onto a train seat.
Going and returning, we had a train berths to ourselves. Asia was so excited that she could barely sit still. We watched the landscape, took photos of the Elbe as it dives between the bluffs at Bad Shandau, and wondered if the sun was going to shine all day.
At 9am we arrived, and headed straight to a coffee shop for strudelicious sustenance. Asia hopped and skipped all the way there. The shops were not yet open, but the sun was rising into a blue sky. We shared two pastries (something German-named).
Near 10am, we found ourselves outside the old castle, now a museum. Asia wanted to shop, and I wanted to museum, so we split up for a couple hours. In the museum, I was first in line for a ticket, and went into empty galleries, taking my time and seeing some great masterworks (but a lot of religious-themed work). Some of the landscapes (c. 1650) of Dresden city and outskirts were very beautiful, and showed a time when life seemed more serene (but was probably quite brutal). I walked through 4 galleries in 90 minutes, and then crossed the square to the armory. Nice guns and swords, with one display showing knights geared up for jousting. I’d never seen how these men were really armored and hooked into (and onto) the horse, simply to carry the jousting pole and stay on the horse. No wonder men died during these tournaments. I can imagine concussions, broken bones, and death just from falling off the horse, much less being skewered by a pole.
Asia and I met up outside the castle, from which we then crossed the river to new town, basically a river-side shopping district with a beer garden. We shopped, then had a bite to eat at a cafe: sausages and beer.
A nice walk along the Elbe brought us into sunshine, and we sat up from the river’s edge to get a good view of the old city across the banks.
When we got back to the shopping district, we walked into the big Dresden mall, and found more people than I’d ever seen in a mall, outside of the Christmas eve rush! Where had all these Germans come from? We’d thought Europe was in an econ crisis, but from the looks of things, Germans aren’t doing so poorly.
Later, more sausages and beer. Then: chocolate shopping. I found dark chocolate spread (bio!!!), choco/milkfilling, marzipan & orange chocolate, etc.
We found a nice stationer’s section of a big department store. I needed some new blank notebooks, and found good deals. Then, along the wall, we discovered a whole section filled with German chocolate. We filled our arms and scampered to the checkout counter.
People lounged in the main square. It was warm at 6pm, and sausage stalls and beer stands were doing good business. Children played, old men & women strolled, and kids smoked cigarettes.
On the train platform before we left for home, we felt the all-day walking in our legs. Ugh! Too many sausages and beers! And we hadn’t dug into the chocolates … yet. Jezus-Maria!!