GERMAN CITIES OF DRESDEN, LEIPZIG AND SAXONY REGION
By Orquidia Valenzuela
November 29, 2014
August 9 – 16, 2014: Twenty five years after West and East Germany reunited into one nation we were finally able to make a trip to Dresden and Leipzig.
The capital of the federal state of Saxony is Dresden. It suffered heavy bombings during World War II. Dresden used to be called Florence of the Elba for its beauty, its artistic architecture and museums. After the fall of Berlin wall, like other places in Germany which were behind the Iron Curtain, it started the restoration of its historical edifices.
Like Dresden, Leipzig was damaged by the last war. It is undergoing constructions of buildings and restorations of historical landmarks. Our guide told us tanks and bombs were found when diggings started.
In Weimar, we saw the houses of the two famous German literary writers, Wolfgang von Goethe and Schiller. Both houses are in Baroque style built in the 18th century. We were reminded of the Goethe Institutes in many countries, among them the Philippines. Weimar Schloss (palace) is in classical style. Franz Lizt with his music also contributed in making Weimar a center of culture.
We stayed in a hotel in Chemnitz.The hotel is located in the suburb of the city in a residential wooded area and nearby is a botanical garden. It is on an elevated area and to reach the town center one has to go down hundreds of steps. Going down was not a problem for us but climbing the steps on our way back was tiring.
Along the path is a cozy café serving a variety of German cakes and pastries, among them, my favourite schwarzwalder kirschtorte (black forest cake). It was coffee time for us. Beside the café is a quaint house converted into a restaurant serving traditional German cuisine.
We took a taxi to see Chemnitz city center. Big and modern department stores and boutiques occupy the vast area. Restaurants are everywhere .The city hall is also modern. In the plaza are tables and stools where people can sit after ordering drinks and sandwiches from cafes and food stalls. The most ordered is rostbratwurst with sauerkraut. With drinks the price is quite reasonable, Euro 2.50. Saxony sausage is grilled and tastes like the first wurst we ate in Nuremberg in 1968.
Every day we looked forward to dinner with Gerrie Fraaije and Ina van der Wielen. Elly was very solicitous, ever ready to serve everyone coffee or drinks and Dick never ran out of “stories” while driving, .maybe to keep us awake.
We first joined a tour with 55-plussers and seniors several years ago. Since then we find pleasure going out with these young- at- heart souls. They are jolly, friendly and considerate of others. They give the assurance that life can still be interesting and enjoyable in the senior years.
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