Just before the Czech border along the Elbe River lies Dresden, a culture hub at the far reaches of former East Germany. We got our first overview of it last weekend shrouded in a thick haze and blazing sunlight, an unusual weekend that hovered around a consistent 100 degrees or so. The old town area of Dresden overflows with museums, theaters, concert halls and international restaurants. Classical-style sandstone buildings remain charred from the Second World War, standing in stark contrast to the cloudless blue skies.
Music poured from every corner of the city – a concert rehearsal occupied the Frauenkirche church, a small Czech choir practiced their repertoire as we visited the cathedral, rock concert-goers lined up for over a mile to get into an open air concert along the riverbank, and classical musicians played their violins in a shaded alcove of an old building.
We plan to return in December (maybe on the coldest day of the year?) to experience Dresden’s renowned museums and Christmas market.
Before visiting the city itself, we had spent the earlier part of the day somewhat shaded by forest at the nearby Bastei (bastion). Unique rock formations jutted up among the trees and a few weather-/gradient-fearless climbers scaled their sheer surfaces. From every angle we had beautiful views of the Elbe and the surrounding sandstone mountains and forested countryside known as the Sӓchsische Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland).