Saturday, May 03, 2008

Dresden


I arrived in Dresden after a speedy trip on the German autobahn. Definately the most efficient roads I have ever seen! The main purpose of my visit was, of course, to see my 2 1/2 year old niece, Miriam and her family.

Wednesday was Zoo day, a favourite of Miriam and Marens, and on Thursday we had a picnic in Dresdens park. It is truly massive and even has a castle and train track in it. Thursday also happened to be Mens Day in Germany, a public holiday in which men take backpacks full of beer and walk around town drinking all day. All in all it was suprisingly civil. On Womens day all the ladies are given flowers by the men, which doesnt sound nearly as fun.

Yesterday Marens father, Andre, took me on a tour of the outskirts of Dresden. We visited a beautiful old village called Meißen, and walked around the castle and its chapel which overlooks the town and the river Elbe.

I got an insight into the eccentric king August, who was a rather large bulimic who would eat huge amounts of food to look richer to his people, and then throw it up out of neccessity and keep on eating. He also heard that Venice was a great city that had a lighthouse so he decided that he needed one too, to show how great he was. So he had a working lighthouse built on his private lake, on which his was the only boat that travelled there.

We took a tour through the old army barracks and offices of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Nazis. Most of the old, grey buildings have been deserted now, and its a rather spooky sight, especially as a storm was brewing as we drove past. I also caught a glimpse of Vladimir Putins old house, where he lived as a Secret Service agent during GDR times. Its mind-boggling to think about how closed off East Germany was from the West- even bananas were considered a luxury during GDR times.

Tonight I will go to a festival in Neustadt, the old part of Dresden, with Maren and her sister Mareike.

More photos here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/organize/?start_tab=sets

Tschüs!

1 comment:

Sam said...

Digging the new blog, it looks far better.

Sounds like you are doing well