On a whim we decided to check out Dresden on our way to the Bastei Bridge.
Getting off the train at the Dresden Bahnhof (we discovered it was more common to say Zug in this area) we came across a tourist information office where we found someone who spoke English. I asked about the city deals and given our time what would work best for us. We settled on a Dresden City Card Plus because it included the cost of traveling on the tram between points of interest.
Monday and Tuesdays turned out to be a tricky day to navigate, partly because the exhibits were alternatively open on the weekend.
For example the Royal Palace closed on Tuesday but the Hygiene Museum and the connected Children’s Museum were closed on Monday.
We worked it out so that we visited our farthest point of interest in the city that we wanted to travel and worked our way back.
The first day we visited the museum of Technology and Industry (Technische Sammlungen Dresden). Nowhere in the attractions guide did it mention how many floors this museum had. Although I should have guessed at least 7 floors of attraction based on the description of activities.
- History of Photographic and Cinematic technology and techniques.
- Computer technology
- Writing techniques and audiovisual media technology
- The Adventure Land Mathematics and Children’s Adventure Land
At that point we said what the heck and climbed the Ernemann Tower for the other 4 floors. Which looked like they were used as classrooms or conference rooms.
We were rewarded with a great view and a brief respite at the cafe!
Once we made it back to the ground we took a little hop to the Deutsches Hygiene Museum. A place that allowed to experiment and explore the human body with every aspect of the human body. From sexuality to living and dying.
This was the same museum that played an important part in supporting the Nazi racial hygiene propaganda in 1933. It was interesting to see the history of the museum pointed out. Nothing hidden. Nothing glossed over.
The special exhibit on display explored the relationship of humans through social media. In particular it showcased what happened when the artist reached out to every person on her Facebook friend list.
On the other end of the museum was the Children’s Museum where we released the children until closing time.
At this point I was simply happy to get off my feet! We looked at our step count and it was something over 12,000 steps. Crap. We still had to make our way home and find dinner so we decided to skip the Grand Garden of Dresden with it’s cool train ride across the way.
The next day our focus was the Dresden Royal Palace (Museums located at the Residenzschloss). It became apparent that we were not going to be able to see all of the museums here. So we decided to visit the treasure rooms known as the Green Vault (Historisches Grunes Gewolbe) and the New Green Vault.
No cameras or bags were allowed so we dropped off our belongings in the cloak room. It was an impressive collections to view. I have to admit I was worried that this might not be as engaging for the minions. Those concerns were pushed aside as they were each given their own audio tour device and off they went.
Sadly the shop filled with trinkets had such a poor quality of photos to buy we left here without any mementos of this portion of our visit. There was a better selection through the Dresden Online Shop.
We walked across the street to the Zwinger where more of the state’s art collection was stored. Some of the collections were closed to us but at this point Honey Bear reminded us to take it easy. We still had a hike tomorrow! So I relented and we rested in the center area between the beautiful buildings before heading home.
I’m really proud of my family for putting up with my over eagerness to keep exploring… but I needed them to save their energy for the hike. So for Day Three we headed to the Bastei Bridge.
Day Four & Five
What happened to us on Day Four & Five? We needed recovery time and took it easy resting at our vacation home.
Dresden is definitely a place I would like to return and explore further. I’m always looking for suggestions…
Here are a few reasons we discovered we should do if we go back;
- Dresden’s famous Weihnachtsmärkte!
- Veronika’s Adventure gives her Top Ten things to do in Dresden. The one that stands out to me is the Panorama experience!
- GoBackPacking.com has a few suggestions for the Zwinger area. The one I think we missed, and would like to try and find next time, was the Nymph Fountains!
but… Here are a few reasons to be cautious;
- Recounting our adventures with our friends we discovered that Dresden is known for it’s Neo-Nazi gatherings and heavy racism. There is an effort by Dresden without Nazis to counter this.
- On a separate trip without my family. My traveling partner and I had a late night 5 hour layover in Dresden on the way to Prague, when we were accosted by two men. They were preying on women and it was obvious they knew how much time they had before security arrived. There is a button in front of the station by the taxis to alert security for help. Unfortunately at night it is cold and there was no safe place nearby to wait. Basically be aware of the situation. Know what you’re going to do if something like this happens and be prepared to defend yourself.
What was your experience in Dresden like?