The only train trip available from Wroclaw to Dresden was on a Regional train and being on a Sunday, it was quite crowded + no air con so at times quite warm and a bit uncomfortable. Not awful but not fantastic like other train journeys. Two things made up for the lack of comfort – one was the hotel upgrade at our destination in Dresden (see first 2 photos) and the other was striking up a conversation on the train with a delightful young Danish woman on her gap year. We learned a lot about Denmark and she was interested in hearing about our travels + Australian life and politics – she was planning on studying Politics when she went to Uni. While we usually find that the upgrade to first class train travel is worth it as the luggage space, service etc. is so much better for not a lot more (nothing like the increase in prices with plane travel) – on this occasional it was lovely to chat with the friendly people around us – something that doesn’t seem to happen as often on First Class travel. There is something refreshing about the enthusiasm of youth as well and when you combine that with a sharp intelligence, like the young woman we met had, it’s often a pleasant time for all.
So we arrived in Dresden a bit hot and tired but in fairly good spirits and our spirits were lifted even more when we realised that the “upgrade for a small increase in room rate” was really worth it. One of the advantages of independent travel..they were expecting a large tour group and the hotel required extra standard rooms (what we had originally booked). So The Swissotel turned out to be one of the best hotels on our 2 month trip – our other favourite places to stay were apartments & B&Bs. We didn’t include breakfast at Swissotel as there are plenty of little places nearby…one even right next to the hotel where we often had a v simple continental breakfast – a nice change to the larger breakfasts we had in Warsaw and Krakow the week before.
Dresden is a small, beautiful city and easy to walk around – particularly in the warm, Spring weather of mid September as can be seen from the photos. We also took a long stroll at night to see the beautiful “old” buildings lit up…of course Dresden was devastated in WWII but it has been painstakingly reconstructed, often using materials salvaged from the rubble. On warm evenings it’s vibrant in the Old Town with many different buskers…we came across a small group playing Classical music and a 10 min walk away another group playing/singing their own Reggae as well as many covers + songs of peace. We stayed for an hr & the audience kept growing as can be seen in photo – photo is a little dark but the backdrop of glowing buildings added to the general ambience. More to come…
Military Museum; Palace; a few good restaurants including our favourite, Restaurant Daniel – a 15 min tram trip from our hotel. The tram trip took us along an interesting route…still inner city but it gave a view of the housing, shops and villages along the tram line.