Central Europe for Sexagenarians – Day 6

Posted by admin on July 4th, 2013 filed in batman, food, photography, travel

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
Dienstag, 2. Juli 2013

We snacked in-room for breakfast then packed and checked out of the hotel, returning to a street near the Herbage to park for the morning. We trekked downtown one last time to see inside Frauenkirch and one other church and to see if we could get into the Fortress near the Albertinium (it was closed for some unspecified reason – flooding maybe?). Then we grabbed coffee and walked to the Volkswagon transparent factory or Die Gläsernen Manufaktur where they show the final assembly that goes into several of their models. The grounds, building and interior and impressive, but no pictures are allowed above the first floor (where the lobby, restrooms and restaurant are). We arrived too late and had to leave after a short while, but if you have the time it’s seems worthwhile to take the tour – the only English ones are at 10am daily though.

Since our meter was due to run out, we hurried back to the car and headed out of Dresden. Some construction got us sidetracked, but shortly, Laura was able to get us out of the mess and as a bonus, we learned what the sign with a partially red “T” means!

On the way out of Dresden, we passed several beautiful homes along the bank of the Elbe and stopped to tour the Pillnitz Castle (the royal consort’s quarters for some amount of time). After a makeshift picnic lunch in the car, involving stuffed grape leaves, apples, honey and Nutella, we continued to the castle (which was included in the Saxony castle pass).

The architecture – or at least that of the exteriors – is Chinese influenced, and like many of the other local landmarks, the castle has burnt down and been rebuilt many many times. We toured the buildings then strolled the grounds and ended up doing a faux creepy photoshoot with Laura the Strange and the garden’s large hedges.

The self-guided walking tour ends by the bank of the Elbe where stairs descend from a main building into the river. Batman stopped here for a moment of contemplation. Leaving the riverside, you can see a wall with markings of the water height from previous flood.

From there, Laura found our way back to the highway and we headed for the Czech Republic, stopping at the border to purchase our vignette.

We arrived in Prague during rush hour, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a city like Prague. …I’m not sure I want to again.

I hadn’t had anything to drink on this trip, but after rush hour in Prague, I wanted a bottle of wine.

We eventually found the apartment/room-with-kitchenette we reserved, but only after some close calls and a foray in a park. We parked as soon as we can, but when the proprietor greeted us at the door, he let us know the spot we were in was meant only for local residents. So he helped Mom and Laura move the bags to the room while I stayed with the car, then he came back to lead me to the parking lot which was a couple of one-way streets away and through a VERY narrow set of double doors (we had to turn the mirrors in). We walked me back to the building and returned me to Mom and Laura, then made sure we knew all we’d need to know about nearby transportation and local food stores.

The building backs up to the road by the big wall for VyÅ¡ehrad park (here’s the English Wiki and the more textually and pictorially extensive German Wiki) – which houses one of the oldest settlements in the area. We ran to the nearby Lidl – which had peanut butter!! Woohoo! – and stocked up on food for dinner and breakfast. We walked back and as mom began cooking dinner, Laura and I went back for wine and ice cream. (It had been a bit of a stressful afternoon).

After a delicious, and much-needed veggie-dense dinner, we filled our water bottle with wine and strolled up to Vyšehrad. Laura lived in Prague for a few months, so she was to be our tour guide for the duration of our stay, and the chapel, graveyard and scenic view from the hill were all an excellent start!

In the gallery below, downtown Dresden is first, followed by the Volkswagon factory, then the Pillnitz castle, some peanut butter (hooray!!!) and the chapel and view from Vyšehrad:



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