This morning we packed up after our one night at Villa Sophie (Booking.com) in Stadt Wehlen. We enjoyed a nice breakfast (complete with champagne to make mimosas, lots of tea choices, yoghurt, granola, meat, cheese, bread, ect) and went on a walk along the Elbe River before taking a local train up to Dresden.
Once in Dresden, we stuffed our hiking backpacks in one small locker and then we walked down Prager Strasse (a pedestrian mall developed in the Communist era) to get to the historic center. Once there, we followed a Rick Steves self-guided walking tour to see the opera house (Semperoper), the palace complex (Zwinger), the Palace of Culture (including a mural depicting communist themes), the Parade of the Nobles mural, the Katholiche Hofkirche (a large but beautifully simple Catholic church), the Neumarkt (new market square), the Frauenkitche (although unfortunately we didn’t have time to go inside), and the Bruhische Terrasse overlooking the Elbe River. The tour seemed to hit all the big highlights in Dresden.
We then had lunch at the Augustus Garden in New Town (just across the bridge from Old Town). We both had some sort of leg (probably pork) with cabbage, potatoes, and beer. We then went to see the ministry of finance building (a TAR22 stop) before hurrying back to the train station to catch our train to Berlin. We may have missed the train, had it not ended up being 30 minutes late.
The train ride took about 2.5 hours to go from Dresden to Berlin on a City Express (meaning there were no stops between Dresden and Berlin). The train itself had come from Budapest and was going to Hamburg. It had cars full of 6-person sitting cabins. We had no reservation, so we sat in the first cabin with two empty, non-reserved seats. We ended up in a cabin with a Czech family (I think?), and didn’t converse with them. The cabin itself was loud with raddleing noises and was warm/stuffy even with the air conditioning on. JT was sad that we went on this train instead of a nicer ICE train.
Once in Berlin, we took our luggage to the Berlin Windsor Excelsior (Booking.com), and then took the S-bahn to Victoriapark. We climbed the 60 meter hill in the park to reach the highest natural point in Berlin. We then climbed the victory monument, and enjoyed the view back down towards the city. There were many locals relaxing in the park – both on the lawns and at the monument. We saw the waterfall, and then went to visit the beer garden that is actually in the park. This beergarden seemed very popular with the locals considering the crowded nature on a Monday night. We both had bratwursts, while JT had potato salad and Katie had a pretzel (in addition to a glass of beer each, of course).
We both enjoyed our time at the victory garden today, as it felt like we were doing something normal Berliners do. 🙂