We only meant to stay in Dresden for a few days before driving onto a campsite at Wrocław in Poland, which according to the CamperContact app is open all year round. However, when we checked with the campsite we discovered that it doesn’t open until 1st April, so as we really like it here in Dresden, we’ve decided to stay here until then.
The stellplatz we’re on is great. It’s literally 10 minutes walk from the Altstadt, but it’s nice and quiet. The staff at the hotel reception which manages the stellplatz are friendly and very helpful. We have electricity, and there’s a service point as well. There are quite a few vans here – there must have been over 30 last night – as the schools seem to have broken up for Easter.
Most people will know that Dresden was heavily bombed at the end of WWII. In February 1945, 85% of the city was destroyed. The Altstadt on the south side of the River Elbe (where the 16th and 17th century buildings were situated) suffered the most. As there was no money to rebuild this during the communist era, the area remained a bomb site (though the Catholic Church did fund the rebuilding of the cathedral). The Neustadt to the north of the river wasn’t as badly damaged, and this area was rebuilt. After the Berlin Wall came down, money started to become available, and most of the Altstadt has now been rebuilt to look just as it did pre-WWII. This work will be completed in a couple of years time, when the last couple of buildings are finished in Neumarkt.
So what have we been up to? The first thing we did was to go on a walking tour around the Altstadt to get our bearings. Our guide was really good, and it was interesting to hear all about the history of the city.
We bought a one day pass for the trams and went all around the Neustadt, taking 14 trams over the course of the day. It reminded me of when I was a kid and would go all over London on a Red Bus Rover ticket, jumping on buses not knowing/caring where they were going.
There’s an opera house here which looked great from the photos. They do guided tours for €11, but for the same price you can go to see an opera. As neither of us had ever been to an opera before, we booked tickets to see the Barber Of Seville. We enjoyed the experience, but it’s not going to become a regular thing!
There are lots of stolpersteine here, and there’s a supporting website telling where they all are, and the stories about the people they’re commemorating. We’ve spotted some whilst just walking out and about, but we’ve also gone looking for them in residential areas away from the main streets – it’s a great way to see the real city.
Today’s been a nice day, so the van’s had a big spring clean inside. It needs a bloody good wash outside as it’s filthy, but most of the taps we’ve seen recently have been switched off/frozen, prohibit the washing of vehicles or charge €1 for a few litres. Hopefully we’ll find a tap when we get to Poland.
After having eaten out so much in Budapest, we’ve mainly been having ‘van food’ in the evenings, though we have eaten out a couple of times – at a traditional German Bierhaus, and at a Turkish restaurant recommended by the Turkish lady at the reception (it’s the best way to find a decent restaurant where the locals go!).
Over the next few days we’ll be getting another one day pass for the trams, and going to visit the Stasi prison museum. Dynamo Dresden will be playing at home against Nürnburg next Saturday, but it’s a sell out so I’ll have to give that a miss.