(Follow Tales Told From The Road on a month-long virtual European journey.)
After spending three nights and two full days in Prague, it’s time to leave the Czech Republic’s capital city behind and head north to Germany’s capital, Berlin.
Since the two cities are less than five hours from each other by rail, catching a late morning train after breakfasting in Prague and having lunch as you roll down the tracks will put you in Berlin by mid-afternoon.
But rather than high-balling it to the next major stop on our month-long journey, we’re going to make a two-night layover about half-way along the way at Dresden, the capital of German’s Saxony region.
We departed the U.S. on Monday, arrived in London on Tuesday morning, and after two-days and two nights there, flew to Prague for a three-night stay before setting out for Dresden on Sunday morning.
While our Rick Steves’ Germany guidebook suggests that we could just hop off the Prague-Berlin train at Dresden, spend a couple hours or so seeing all that is worth seeing, and then re-board a Berlin train, we’re going to travel at a less frenetic pace and give Dresden a more in-depth look during two-nights, two half-days, and one full-day.
After arriving at a new destination and checking into your lodgings (in this case, an apartment in the Old Town section of Dresden), take a couple of hours to stroll around the part of town near you digs and you’re likely to serendipitously stumble upon something unexpected and delightful.
After a quick beer and wurst-on-a-roll lunch at on outdoor table along the busy Münzgasse pedestrian-lonely street, during our meanderings through Old Town we’ll stumble upon a “locals only” event not mentioned in any of our three guidebooks: Sunday at the Altmarkt, a “flea market” of sorts.
Little “log cabins” house vendors of food and beer, wafflen (tasty waffles filled with whipped cream or fruit condiments), clothing, purses, and a variety of craft items. A couple of musicians picking guitars sing American Country and Western or other “pop” music standards, like “Sitzen on Zee Dock of Zee Bay.”
“Max Und Mortiz” are characters in a classic illustrated German language story for kids. They inspired the “Katzenjammer Kids” American comic strip. I learned about these two imps while taking a “German for Travelers” class prior to an earlier trip to Europe where I visited German-speaking stops in Austria and Switzerland.
These two young women, faces decorated with clown makeup, mug for the camera. They run the “Max Und Mortiz Anglen (for) Bretzels” stand where kids drop a line from a fishing pole down the chimney of a little house to “catch” a pretzel. Instead of pretzels, I catch their smiles on “film” as they take a break from their “piscatorial” duties.
One of the “problems” with traveling is deciding where to eat. A shopping galleria a short walk from our Dresden apartment provides the answer for breakfast: A small bakery in the lower level with delicate pastries made by a not-so-delicate looking patissier.
Dresden is famed for porcelain, so if you’re looking for fine china on which to serve tea and treats, you can find it, including hand-painted pieces, in the nearby Meissen Outlet store.
Tomorrow: “Guidebook” Dresden.