I have been a bad blogger recently. Sorry about that! I don’t feel like I have been that busy, but I guess I have. My last update was about Erfurt and then my train troubles on Friday getting to Dresden. I forgot to mention in that blog that there was also another incident on the bus on my way to my first couch surfing host. I was standing because I had my large pack on and to sit usually requires two seats or at least more space in general. Anyway, I stood so that I would not take up extra space due to my large pack. Well, I was looking at my map to make sure I knew where to get off when the bus lurched to a halt and I lost my balance. I was holding on to the rail with one hand, but because I had a map in the other it took me a minute to be able to grab something with it. I ended up falling backwards into a woman who was sitting behind me. I didn’t fall into her hard, and everyone on the bus was caught off guard by the bus’ abrupt stop so I wasn’t the only one falling over. Oh well, what can you do? I apologized of course but she moved seats at the next stop none the less.
Friday night I enjoyed my time at the couch surfing home I was at. My hosts’ name was Anna and she did not know the password to get my computer online but was kind enough to allow me to use her computer. I spent the evening researching and making my plan for my time in Dresden. It was a good night to just rest a bit and gather my thoughts together for the coming days.
On Saturday I brought my bag to the hostel I was to stay at for the evening and then boarded a train for Leipzig. Saturday was a beautiful day and there was a festival of some kind taking place so everywhere I the main platz’s there were food booths and souvenir stands set-up. There were quite a few fun things to take pictures of. Bach conducted a boys choir in this town and is actually buried in one of the churches. The choir he led is still to this day one of the premier choirs in the world. I did not make it inside the church since the choir was rehearsing or performing each time I tried, but I did hear their singing from outside. In Leipzig I also visited the Stasi museum and learned about “Big Brother” and the peaceful revolution in the DDR.
Saturday evening I checked into my hostel, The Kangaroo-Stop and was able to get online a bit. I visited a grocery store and bought some bell peppers, a treat from my usual bread and cheese. :) Bell peppers and brie is quite tasty by the way. I also bought a Dresden beer to try. It was a Pills, which I don’t always like, but this one I did. The nice thing about Germany is that when you return your plastic or glass bottles you get money back to spend at the store. So, my 0.65 Euro bottle of beer cost me 0.25 Euro less because I got 25 cents back when I returned the bottle. I am a fan.
Sunday I was able to leave my bag at the hostel even though I had checked out already, and spent the day in Dresden. I walked around to the major sites, taking pictures, etc. The one museum I visited was in the wall of the old Dresden Fortress which still surrounds the city a bit. It was cool to be near the original stones and see how the fortress wall would have been occupied by guards, etc. Even though much of Dresden was destroyed in the war and rebuilt after, this wall was preserved because the majority of it was underground, so it is original and intact. Very cool in my opinion.
Sunday evening I met with my second couch surfing host in Dresden, Ana. We met up with two of her other friends, Cornelius and Nadiia and went to a pub nearby that was Russian themed. I had a Russian drink, Kwas Lemonade. I decided that even though I was in Germany that I could have something Russian because I was not going to be able to make it to Russia. The lemonade was alright, not my most favorite thing – I think it tasted a bit too much like tea to me and I am not really a fan of tea. Sunday night she left me alone at her flat as she had to get up early in the morning and went to stay with a friend who would also be getting up early.
Monday I made my way to Gohrisch. I barely caught the S-Bahn (as I ran up the stairs to the station the train was arriving) to Koningstein and then took a local bus to Gohrisch. It is a tiny little town that has three bus stops – but each stop is maybe two or three blocks apart. I arrived into town around 12:45 and hand walked the span of the town, wandered down a few side streets, stopped at the little tourist office and asked if there was any way to look up information (to which I received a blank stare from the woman who did not speak English), and taken several pictures by the time the bus returned at 1:15 to go back to Koningstein. I did not catch that bus back however as I had discovered on a map of town where a graveyard was located. So, I walked to the graveyard and looked around a bit. I did not find anyone with a familiar name but it was interesting none the less. I was back in town at the bus stop at about 1:45. I had my lunch and wrote a few post cards and took some more pictures until the bus came by again at 2:30. There wasn’t a whole lot to see, but I am glad that I went.
Back in Dresden I had time to kill since Ana was not due to be back at her flat until 4, so I meandered around a garden near her house and took some pictures. I also found a grocery store and bought 1.5 liters or orange-nectarine juice for 0.52 Euro among a few other things. When I arrived back at Ana’s flat she made me a snack that is native to the area of Germany she comes from. It was basically a substance that is similar to sour cream (but not sour cream as it was lower in fat, slightly different texture, and a type of cheese) mixed with some herbs and milk (or yogurt if you have it) and some grain oil drizzled on top. She said it is often eaten with potatoes, but we had it with cucumbers. It was pretty good, but it made me want a baked potato with sour cream and bacon bits. Yum.
After we had our snack we went off to meet her friend in the old part of Dresden for a coffee. Well, they had coffee, I had a chai latte, which was delicious. I am a fan for sure. We then helped another friend of hers move some things into storage. I have moved many times and helped many people move, but this was my first international move. Hehe … I guess my “skills” translate well. After the move (which didn’t take long) we went for a Donor – which is a Turkish meal that is very popular. I have seen quite a few stands for them all over Germany and saw a number in Denmark as well. I don’t know if it’s a European thing or what. It’s kind of like a gyro, but not quite the same. I had mine made with fried goat cheese. It was quite tasty. It also was not a “German” meal but it is a common thing for Germans to eat I guess, so I am ok with it.
I am now on the train my way to Prague – after only a 40 minute delay. Auf wiedersehen Deutschland!