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Published: September 5th 2017
Geo: 51.051, 13.7337
We start out our morning with a breakfast brunch compliments of the hotel. It has everything and, typical of our experience in Europe, fresh and delicious. Eggs, cereal, fruit and rolls with the best jams are my favorites but I always try something new. Mom, being more adventurous in this area, goes for stuff I have no idea what it is. Lots of cheeses, lunch meats and sausages are there too. It's a good place to try weird stuff.
At 8:36, we rolled out of Hannover on the train for our trip to Dresden. Everything goes smooth. The first class car was only a half a car so we sat at a table across from two German businessmen who didn't speak English. No conversation happening here so I worked on the blog, we talked, ordered some coffee and I ate the rest of my apple strudel. I found upon opening the bag that Mom had got to it already. So it's a 4 hour uneventful ride into Dresden, Germany.
A bit about Dresden. Dresden's Christmas Market is traditionally called Striezelmarkt, it is Germany's oldest Christmas Market with a very long history dating back to 1434. Its name derives from Hefestriezel,
a sweet delicacy which centuries later has become know as "Dresden Christstollen" (German Christmas Cake). Of course, we had to try some and it resembles our fruit cake, only a bit drier. They say the traditional Dresden Christmas Market with its romantic and festive charm is an inspiration in itself, a real treasure trove for real traditional hand made crafts and everyone here will find a “little something”: Christmas pyramids, smoking figures and candleholders from Erzgebirge Mountains, indigo-dyed printed textile products and pottery from Lusatia, gingerbread from Pulsnitz, filigree lace products from Plauen, Herrenhut Advent stars, blown glass tree decorations from Lauscha, and of course specialities from Dresden itself, such as the traditional 'Pflaumentoffel', a chimney-sweep figure made of dried prunes. Visitors can also watch the carvers, glass-blowers and bakers in action at the crafts market. We saw the blown glass from Lauscha and it's beautiful but almost impossible to transport ourselves.
Even though our hotel is right on the tram line, we opt for the cab because of the luggage. €10 including tip gets us to the door in less than 10 minutes. Our hotel is right in front of the market at the Frauenkirche and a block away from
Mom in her Seat to Dresden.
Note grounding jumper on scaffolding railings.
the Altmarkt. We settle in and head out for a glass of gluhwein and market survey. It's not yet dark but already busy and it's cold. I don't like cold weather or snow. It makes my dry skin itch. So what am I doing in Germany in winter? It's because Mom likes Christmas. We stop for some potato soup, roll and a baked apple for dessert. Mom picks up some Mandeln baked nuts to munch on while we stroll through the huts at both markets.
The focal point of the Dresden Christmas Market is the world's tallest Christmas pyramid, with a height of 45' and the world's biggest nut cracker. The culinary attraction of the market, however, is the Dresden Christstollen, originally known as ‘Striezel', which accounts for the market's name. It was OK but we didn't buy any, just samples the different types. We found it to be like dried up bread with little taste but it seems to be quite popular here. The ones with fruit were best. Karen seems to be doing well with getting around. While high speed walking long distances is not her thing, strolling through the markets, stopping to look and examine the goods, works
out well for her. No issues so far.
To see everything you would need two days in each city we visit since there is more here than just Christmas Markets, however, that's what were here for so we concentrate on the markets. By 7:30pm, we're pooped out and cold so we go back to the apartment, take warm showers and in bed by nine. We leave for Erfurt tomorrow morning at 10:19am.
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