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Published: February 26th 2017
Winter travels in Eastern Europe – Dresden, Germany – The New Year in the Historic Green Vault
We drove our car 3,300 km from Minsk, Belarus where we are teaching to see the cities, Christmas markets and quiet snow covered countryside of Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic and eastern Germany.
We finally made it to eastern Germany. It felt like a different world; we were in a howling Czech snowstorm as we entered a tunnel on the border and emerged into a sunny and warmer (10 degrees warmer) Germany. The storm caught up to us as we entered Dresden though and we were hurrying from place to place to escape the cold wind. We strolled (quickly) across the bridge to the castle. It was New Year’s Eve and everything was closed so we ducked into a wine bar to warm up. We stayed in the smart Hotel Martha Dresden in the new town. New Year’s Eve was a bit of a bust. Everything was booked, but we were able to snag a table at a nearby sushi place. It turned out to be a not-so-special buffet. The whole night was filled with the sound of fireworks. The left over debris
from fireworks and parties left the riverfront park looking like a garbage dump the next day.
Thankfully the museums were open on New Year’s Day, so we lined up early for a ticket to the Historic Green Vault. Only a limited number of people are allowed in each day. We were in awe of the Baroque style display of the treasures collected by Augustus the Strong starting in the 1700s. Each room was designed to enhance the individual collections – the amber cabinet, ivory room, silver gilt room, and hall of precious objects to name some of rooms. These rooms have been restored after being destroyed during World War II. There were so many beautiful objects on display just as they were in Augustus’ time when he used them to impress others of his wealth and power. Our eyes soon grew tired of this immense display of elaborately decorated items. So we went to the New Green Vault on the next floor. Yikes. More treasures this time in modern displays so we quickly walked through taking in as much as we could. We spent the afternoon walking the new town and stopping at the beer hall Watzke
Rebuilding still continues following the destruction of WWII.
Brauereiausschank am Goldenen Reiter. Thankfully they didn’t make us say the name of the place in order to get good food and beer.
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