The train from Wroclaw to Dresden was a well appointment, clean electric train with individual seating and large panoramic windows, not unlike the modern metro trains in Australia. Again it was relatively empty on departure but progressively filled, especially once we crossed into Germany. At the border station, the driver and conductors all changed from Poles to Germans. Smart-arse comments will be ignored , you know what I mean.
At The Dresden Station, I turned left at the tunnel and ventured forth into sunlight, but was momentarily confused as the ‘Vienna Plaza’ , was obviously not before me, which the Apple maps app claimed it should be. I showed the map to a passing pedestrian. She looked a little bemused then suggested in perfect English that instead of turning left, I should have turned right. People who know me well recognise that by nature, I have always instinctively turned to the left.
How correct she was. Back into the tunnel and there in brilliant sunshine was a huge Plaza with the multi-storey Intercity Hotel just to the left of the square, 100m away. It was not in anyway the Dresden Intercontinental , but a large clean and basic hotel that serves as a transit hotel I suspect for local and international travellers. For me it served that purpose well. I meandered into the city along the pedestrian mall and shopping centres. I had been there is August 2013 as the setting off point for my months cycle trip along the Elbe and Moldau rivers into Czech Republic. These two photos are from that time and show that I travelled lightly! A new bike which I had pre ordered from Australia and collected from a bike shop in Dresden.
Again and possible even more so, I was absolutely overwhelmed with the awareness that this city more than any in Europe was obliterated by total and unnecessary bombing in the last months of the war by the British. So I stumbled again on the Dresden Opera House, at which La Boheme was about to start. I seriously thought about buying a ticket, but was definitely under-dressed when compared to the average Dresden opera going member of the public, and secondly Puccini in not my favourite opera composer.
I think I can safely say that in ALL of the cities and towns that I visited on this trip, in the town square there were 3 people (always 3) , members of the Jehovah Witness congregation with a stand and their literature in several languages. What reminded me about this was that in the Dresden shopping mall, there they were, but were forced to move along when a morbidly obese man sat himself down on one of the adjacent plaza seats and produced a guitar and amplifier and proceeded to sing, loudly and off key.
During my final packing today, and having as is my custom, discarded several items of worn and bleached spotted clothing as well as a pair of shoes, I found secreted amongst the various pockets and crevices of my luggage, the items of clothing that I confessed I had lost. Thus it is that I leave Europe, minus 5 shirts, 3 pairs of underpants and I pair of worn shoes, but with 4 woollen hats ( 3 more than I packed) and 3 neck bandanas ( 2 more than I packed).
The Wroclaw Railway Station – which is in a case you are wondering is No 5 on things to do according to TripAdvisor.
The Wroclaw Drama Theatre and Gardens.
A 2018 view of Dresden cathedral
Finally this is what an 8.7Kg back pack looks like minus 5 shirts, 3 pr underpants and a pair of shoes but with 3 additional woollen caps and 2 neck bandana, prior to being booked all the way from Dresden to Adelaide. I trust the Germans to get it right.