A Travellerspoint blog

October 2019

Old Dresden (1500s) vs New Dresden (1700s)

Cool City

rain 10 °C
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There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning, looked out the window to see everyone with umbrellas up. It looked like it would probably rain all day, so I had to figure out what I wanted to do that might be indoors. After reviewing my game plan, I headed to the Zwinger Palace to where all the Galleries and Museums in Dresden are embedded. This was all fine and good, for a few hours, until I get tired of looking at things under glass or old paintings from various master’s from 1500-1600 hundred. The night before, I was messing around with my portable radio and came upon an English-speaking channel that mentioned how "new" Dresden was the place to go for its fun night life experience. Since it was not raining (all that hard) I decided to go for a nice stroll across the bridge to check out "New Dresden" (Fun Fact: New Dresden was built in the 1700-1800's so it’s not really that "new" but when you compare it to the walled off city, yeah its new!) DSC06327.JPGe1fd18c0-fb65-11e9-bca8-d1f4f9171976.JPGDSC06354.JPGDSC06376.JPGDSC06392.JPGDSC06306.JPGDSC06312.JPGDSC06313.JPGDSC06314.JPGDSC06367.JPGDSC06378.JPGDSC06379.JPGDSC06381.JPG

I was not sure what to expect on the other side of the river or even where I was going. I had my map (that I copied off the internet) and it was getting pretty warn out. So, on this walkabout, I was going to have to use my brain and remember all the streets I go down so that I don't get lost and can’t find my way back to my hotel. The rain sort of kept people indoors and since it was not raining hard it was sort of fun to walk around without a bunch of people bumping into me on the street. What I realized quickly is that "New Dresden" was where the "Party Scene" was. It also had a lot of boutique and funky cool stores to sort of bum around in. As I strolled the street you could tell the town was still "sleeping" because most of the cool bars were closed but the boutique stores were open. So, I just sort of hopped around exploring street by street. I came across one of the "car" tunnels that are built into various buildings and on the other side I was shocked to find these open areas where fancy boutique shops were located, it was like a different world. On the street, every building had a ton of graffiti on the walls and sort looked run down. You go through these tunnels and it was the opposite. It was cool and if I had skipped walking threw one of the tunnels, I would never have found any of these cool shops. DSC06410.JPGDSC06413.JPGDSC06416.JPGDSC06420.JPGDSC06421.JPGDSC06422.JPGDSC06418.JPGDSC06428.JPGDSC06419.JPGDSC06415.JPG

Posted by DC Dave 15:44 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

Zwinger Palace, Dresden Germany

Cool Place

sunny 13 °C
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I've never really had much luck with the trains in Germany, In fact, I have not been on a German train in over two years because the last time was traumatic (a four hour ride that turned into an eleven hour ride). Something always seems to go wrong and this trip was no different. Taking the train to Dresden should not have had much drama since it was a strait shot with no transfers. However, that was not the case, I got my ticket, which told me what cart and what seat to sit in. I figure, well that is easy enough, I should not have any issues with this. The train pulled up and I jump on the train and went to my seat only to find an old lady sitting in my seat ( I was already like "oh jess here we go"). I asked her if she was in the right seat and she showed me her ticket, and sure enough she was. So I just sort of found any empty seat hoping this train would not fill up. Well, the train filled up in a hurry and I was the odd man out! So I had no where to sit so I moved to the next cart which was relegated for people's bikes to take with them to where ever there destination was. So I was going to be standing on a train for two and a half hours being knock around into bikes on a train. This was going to get old fast.
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After about a half an hour the ticket checker lady came by. I explained my situation of the over booking but she did not understand a word I said because she only spoke German. However, another guy in the bike room piped up and said he would translate. After a little back and fourth the ticket lady understood the situation and led me to an empty first class seat. So finally something goes right for me on a German train. ​

Once I got to Dresden I got out my trusty map and head out of the train station. I started walking down a street to which I though would lead me to downtown. I looked at the name of the street and could not find on my map anywhere. Then I though well maybe this street is to small to be on this map. I walk for quite a while and could not find any of the streets I was walking on my map. I came to platz and there was on those street maps that said where you were. I looked that over and realized I got off at a different train station and not the one I thought. I was on other side of town, but at least I knew where I was at. I thought my map was defective (It just ends up I have no idea how to read it or what train station I got off at). Once I got into the Medieval part of Dresden I found my hotel dropped my gear and headed out into the city. ​
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Dresden was prettier and cooler then I had anticipated. Dresden was once a completely walled off city and there are still remanence of its wall all over the place. as I was walking around I came across Zwinger Palace. This palace began contraction in the 1500's (I think it was part of the wall of Dresden but was not seriously constructed till the 1700's) and did not finish until the 1700's I was sort of floored by this place. Its huge and you could walk around in the garden or up on the roof looking down on the garden or the river. The Palace had a maze of complex ornamented pavilions and gardens overlooked by galleries lined with balustrades and statues. ​
Today, the Zwinger is a museum complex that contains the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery), the Dresden Porcelain Collection (Dresdener Porzellansammlung) and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon (Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments). ​
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The location was formerly part of the Dresden fortress of which the outer wall is conserved. The name derives from the German word Zwinger (an enclosed killing ground in front of a castle or city gate); it was for the cannons that were placed between the outer wall and the major wall. The Zwinger was not enclosed until the Neoclassical building by Gottfried Semper called the Semper Gallery was built on its northern side.

Posted by DC Dave 15:53 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Exstinction Rebillion Hits Berlin

In Tiergarten

sunny 12 °C
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So while the plane was in the process of landing at Tiegel Airport Berlin I was jostled awake and as I was getting my baring's I ended up listening to these guys, sitting next to me, trading business cards and talking about an oil convention that they were attending in Berlin. They also mentioned that there was going to be a "Big" protest by the Extinction Rebellion protesters. This peaked my interest since Washington DC was invaded by these people (or a group loosely affiliated with this group) literally two weeks ago prior to my trip to Berlin. So in the back of my head I thought this has the potential of being something interesting to see. As I was walking around the city on day two of my Germany adventure I came across the Extinction Rebellion in Tiergarten (which is a huge park in the center of Berlin) near the Reichstag. These protesters are basically people who are protesting Climate Change and will interrupt traffic and close down subway stations to "Get there point across". Which I am sure helps and hurts there cause all at the same time.
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As I moved within the massive staging area I noticed they created a camp ground in which they created rows and rows of tents. They more or less created a little city where everyone seems to be living communally. They had huge tents where they were having "workshops" and other tents where people appeared to be "praying" in circles. The deeper I got into this tent city the weirder it got, you started to see the anti capitalist posters and banners deep with in the tent city. That is sort of when I realized this was more then just a Climate Change protests. This is the same protest I have been witnessing for the past twenty years but in a different name. I always sort of wondered what happened to the IMF Protesters of the late 1990's and early 2000's who thought the IMF was the worst thing on the planet. These guys then morphed into the Occupy Wall Street protesters of the late 2009 to 2012 period. Now they have embedded themselves into the climate change protesters. I guess Extinction Rebellion needs anyone who is disgruntled to be apart of there cause. A sorts of, "Hey its 2019. We will take who we can get" mentality. I mean you had all the typical players. You had devil stick guy, you had hula hoop people in all different types of colored hair. The only thing I did not see was the hacky sack circle (to which I was disappointed because I totally would have joined in on that). It was a mish mash of old and young within this crowd of people. But a lot of these protesters seemed sort of lost to me. People who are lost who are looking for the "great movement" to be apart of and to help them find meaning to there lives. Those were the majority of what I saw but obviously not all.

I ran into these protesters later in the week when they closed down a street and took over a subway station. They handed me some leaflets but they were all in German so I had no idea what it might have said.

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Posted by DC Dave 16:01 Archived in Germany Tagged protest Comments (0)

The Berlin Wall

Near the Hotel

sunny 11 °C
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I came across the Berlin Wall almost by complete accident. I had not really given the Berlin Wall much thought since to my limited knowledge the wall had been mostly torn down accept for a few lengths here and there in the city. When I dropped my bags off at the hotel, I had some time to kill before it got dark, so I started roaming around the city in no real direction. Instead of turning left (the direction I had just came from) I went right to "see" what the hell could be down the road. I walked about a block and came across "Check Point Charlie" which was one of the main intersections DSC06456.JPGDSC06473.JPGor "crossing" points from West Berlin to the East Berlin. There was a lot to see on this corner of FriedrichStrabe and Zimmerstrabe. There was a museum and a huge outdoor area that gave you the history of the Berlin Wall. Walking down ZimmerStrabe I came across the actual Berlin Wall with a huge walking museum of the wall and (for reasons unknown) a history of the "fall of Warsaw" in WWII. (Spoiler Alert Warsaw got Malachied by the Russians and the Germans. The Polish did not have a chance). I also figured out what these bricks I would see in the street were. I thought maybe some civil servant dug up the street to lay some fiber optics or something. But it was actually a marking of where the wall once stood ( I actually though this was sort of cool). DSC06467.JPGDSC06469.JPG
I remember when the Wall fell in 1989 and not really giving it much thought. I remember thinking, "huh that's interesting, hey look at that David Hasselhoff is there. Wonder why he's there?" But after reading up on this you realize how the West was surrounded by a Wall and even though they were on the "Free" side, they really were not. Its like being stuck on a small island with no real easy was to get out (You had to get your "Papers" in order, then hope for the best). No wonder people went nuts when the wall fell. Over the years when the wall was up (1961-1989) a lot of people died trying to cross to the West side of the Wall. Once the berlin Wall fell in 1989 Berliners finally had real freedom to go where they wanted to go, when they wanted to go with out having to have a bunch of papers signed by some government stooge.DSC06269.JPGDSC06470.JPGDSC06463.JPGDSC06472.JPG

Posted by DC Dave 17:06 Archived in Germany Tagged wall Comments (0)

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