Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hello Dresden!

Every day on this trip has been minute to minute full of experience and excitement, and for that reason, every moment of free time I have is used sleeping or laying face down on my bed and breathing in the fresh linen of my pillow saturated with the sweat and dirt of my city-worn face. And that is my lame way to excuse myself for not yet blogging.
My other lame excuse is that I've had no idea what to write about. Sure, I would perform a racy version of Little Red Riding Hood at a communist book reading, or watch a wonderful and surreal performance of a play where the actors use only one word, or take a tour about Jews that almost brought me to tears lead by a sassy Brit who calls America the colonies, but I'd sit down to write a post and think, there's no way I'll ever be able to convey that experience correctly. I should probably wait until later to blog. 
But today we took our excursion to Dresden, and in spite of all the amazing things we've done so far, I couldn't stop smiling here-perhaps partially due to delusion caused by exhaustion-but mostly because Dresden is just beautiful in every direction you look. 
My only knowledge of Dresden up until today was a blurb in a ninth grade history text book and what I read in Slaughterhouse Five, and for this reason, I guess I subconsciously expected Dresden to still be in ruins, 70 years later.  And that is definitely not the case. 
Dresden is a city that has seen tragedy and learned how to rise up from it. The old city center has been rebuilt and restored, and the closely knit streets and beautiful building fronts remind one of Prague, or more likely the picturesque European city scenes one finds in Jason Bourne movies and on cheap wine labels. 
  Just casually, we'd come across places like this as we continued our tour, lead by the incredibly interesting and hilarious and nice Helmut, our seventy year old (and spryer than me) tour guide and newfound friend. The picture is of one of many beautiful buildings (a church) we had the pleasure of seeing on our tour. 
The day was sunny and easy and breezy and beautiful (covergirl) and we got to walk along the Elbe River, where many Germans were sunbathing and enjoying the view. 
The beauty doesn't really translate well to photograph, and I didn't get the amazing old Dresden skyline in the picture, but hopefully this gives some idea.
We also got to see die Zwinger, the courtyard surrounded by baroque style palaces that shocked me with their elegance and beauty. 
Above is only one section of the whole courtyard-a testament not only to the glory and riches of old Saxon royalty, but to the amazing work done to restore this place. 
Dresden, to me, kind of feels like the first time you walk into a The Cheesecake Factory or every time I enter a 7-11 and see the glow of the slushy machine in the corner--I just feel immediately at home.
Tomorrow we're off to Terizin, where Helmut will enlighten us further with his enchanting stories and expansive knowledge of history. Until then, here's a picture of Kerry's face:
Guten Nacht!

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