Friday, 31st May – Dresden

With our hotel being close to a mall, we awoke to the remnants of Vatertag sleeping off a big night. We set out for breakfast and found a great little cafe not far from the train station. Today was going to be another 36 degree scorcher.

The old town of any German city is always the interesting bit and Dresden is no exception. We made our way through the Altmarkt (Old Market Square) passing the Kreuzkirche (Holy Cross Church) and an interesting mural.

We continued on to Neumarkt (Town Square) stopping to marvel at the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).

Surrounded by beauty, we even saw splendour looking up. There is a beautiful glass walk way that is part of the Royal Palace (Residenzschloss) now known as Dresden Castle.

Dresden Castle is now an extensive museum complex that is also home to an art library (Kunstbibliothek) with approximately 260,000 volumes of special literature on art history.

Directly across from the Dresden Castle is the Semper Gallery and the Zwinger, a palatial complex with a glorious garden courtyard.

We decided to head towards the river that snakes through Dresden. It’s called the Elbe and on the bank is the Theaterplatz housing the grand Semperoper (Opera House).

As we walked past the Augustusbrücke (Augustus Bridge) we saw the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Cathedral) and the Oberlandesgerict (Courthouse).

A lovely surprise was Fürstenzug (Procession of Princes) a large mural depicting a mounted procession of historic rulers of Saxony. Originally painted on the walls of the Dresden Castle stable walls, it was replaced with approximately 23,000 porcelain tiles during 1904 -1907. With a length of 102 metres it is the largest porcelain artwork in the world.

We continued our walking tour via Brühls Terrace on the banks of the Elbe, past the Academy of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Bildende Künste).

After completing our own personal self paced walking tour, we decided it was time for an early dinner. We headed back through the city to hit the hotel, put our tired feet up and then prepared for the next day.

2019 European Adventure Germany

Thursday, 30th May – Leipzig to Dresden

Today we slept in and took advantage of the large, delicious breakfast and late check out. It was a long weekend so we expected to relax.

In Germany, we have observed that on Sundays nothing is open. Nothing. So you need to make sure that you have all the supplies you need just in case. We had expected nothing to be open.

However once we left Leipzig on our way to Dresden, we saw something we didn’t expect. A group of drunken young men who were riding their bicycles and towing a modified trailer full of alcohol. It was a lark. They were friendly and yelled out to us as we drove by. But, hey. It’s Germany.

Then we saw another group, then another. Then a whole lot of them. All heading to the closest city. When we got there we found out why.

It’s called Vatertag. In Germany, this is Fathers Day.

Father’s day in Germany is a huge tradition, it involves drinking lots of beer, riding bikes of some sort and is generally a huge boys day out! The holiday actually has noble beginnings in the Middle Ages as a religious ceremony honouring Gott, den Vater (God, the father). Towards the 1700s, the day transformed into Vatertag, a family day honouring the father of the household. Men would be carted into the village centre and the father with the most children would earn a reward, often a large ham.

Once we got to Dresden we checked into our hotel. Then we decided to enjoy the rest of the afternoon with a few drinks, fine food and some relaxing.

Tomorrow we explore Dresden.

2019 European Adventure Germany