Dresden

Trip Start May 31, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Heyas,

Liam here. (Eb promises she´ll write the next one). It´s been a while since we updated this, but we´ve done quite a bit of moving around. We´ve covered Nuremburg, Leipzig, Berlin, and Erfurt. Feel free to skip ahead.


Nuremburg:

After Füssen, we spent a couple of nights in Nuremburg in a nice B&B and did a pretty comprehensive walking tour of the town. Nuremburg is an older, more paved city than Munich, and it was nice, though extremely muggy. Saw the Toy Museum (creepy) and the National Museum (great). Some of the parks and architecture there were the best we´ve seen so far on the trip (Dresden aside), and the people seemed friendly.

Fun Germany Fact!  Public toilets here cost 50c to use. After running around trying to get correct change, we finally located one attached to a seafood restaurant. Unfortuantely, an old guy was shuffling ahead of me, and got there first. He deposited his 50c, noticed me, then shuffled inside and slammed the door in my face (just in case I should score some free relief, I guess). "Fair enough." I thought, and waited.

After maybe 20 seconds, I put my hard-earned 50c in the door slot, only to find the old guy still on the other side of the door. To say that I was "fairly annoyed"  when he attempted to slam the door in my face again is putting it mildly. To his considerable surprise, I shouldered the door open with a heated explanation of my cash deposit. I don´t think he understood a word I said. Good times.

After Nuremburg, we decided to head to Leipzig.


Leipzig:

The train journey took us past many abandoned and graffiti´d buildings & factories, which made us wonder what we were getting ourselves in for. It was around 11pm when we pulled into the main station, which was massive and filled with McDonalds, Burger King, etc. A gleaming modern shopping centre more than a train station.

Once we got outside, however, the neighborhood looked like a de-militarized zone - all East German 60´s communist architecture. We got a room in a 3 star hotel, as it was getting too late to find a hostel. It was expensive, and had decor straight out of ´The Fresh Prince of Belair´ - all hot pink squiggles and green arrows (not to mention casino carpet).

The next day we had a look around and found the city pretty depressing. Perhaps making the former headquarters of the East German secret police (now a museum) the first port of call was a mistake. Either way, the city reminded us of ´1984´, so we jumped on the first train to Berlin.


Berlin:

We pulled into Berlin´s massive central station just as the sky opened up. It was raining so hard outside that you couldn´t see more that 20 feet in any direction. We managed to get a room in a neighborhood that looked like it was out of ´The Warriors´- abandoned and broken buildings, weeds growing out of everywhere. Luckily we managed to get a private room, so we were able to get settled and rested in preparation for checking out the city.

First stop the next day was the Reichstag - the imposing and impressive capitol building that was thoroughly trashed near the end of WW2. The cue to get in was a mile long, but it looked to be worth it, so we waited about and hour. That was the easy part. We got in and were put though a metal detector, then we were frisked, then we got the pat-down from a severe-looking and burly guard. I was fully expecting the guy to snap on a latex glove. As I was trying to work out the German for "turn your head and cough", we were mercifully let through into the main building.

We climbed to the top of the glass dome, and looked at the Berlin skyline (pretty flat, but nice), then climbed down again and left. Worth it? It was free. Also took in the gallery which was very worthwhile and enjoyable. After a couple more nights, we were about ready to get the hell out of Berlin, though that was probably due more to where we were staying than anything. We got a tip that a town called Érfurt was worth visiting, so we headed there.


Erfurt:

Erfurt turned out to be a very nice, medium sized city. Houses and buildings regularly dated back to the 1400´s and most of the city was paved and lined with pubs, beer houses and restaurants. We also noticed a massive proportion of hairdressers and ´kebap´places. Apparently a lot of hair needs cutting there. Speaking of haircuts, I managed to get my head shaved embarressingly close. My German sucks, so when I said "a little shorter" she took this to mean "give me the Bruce Willis look".

That aside, our time in Erfurt was fantastic, and we would probably go there again tomorrow if we didn´t have to push on. Very pretty, and very friendly people. We checked out a couple of other small towns (Saalfeld and Rudolfstadt) and have ended up in Dresden, which is huge and architecturally impressive, though still a little scorched from the bombings.


Enough Already:

Well, sorry this has been so long. We´ll attempt to keep ém a bit less windy from now on. After Dresden we´ll probably move on to Zittau, then the Czech Republic. Hope to hear from you guys soon, and thanks to those who´ve sent messages and emails.

Cheers,
Liam & Eb
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Comments

ant76
ant76 on

Das Germany
If I didn't know better, I'd say you were doing the 'Call of Duty' tour of Germany - I was waiting for the comment 'Dresden : Level 4'.

That, and 50's concrete architecture aside, it sounds like you guys are having an awesome time. Hope the weather holds up for you. All the best,

Ant

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