Art, Atmosphere & Culture: “Digging Dresden” in Eastern Germany.

“Digging Dresden”?! If you are in for exploring a new city with a jolly happy English girl (“BackPackerBecki“) as well as a cool Canadian lady, Leigh McAdams who “HikeBikeTravels”, talking Saxon German, English as well as Canadian, then you may well mix everything up a little. Like, for example, the story of our darling city guide Christoph Münch about “Saxon Wine”, becoming something like “Sex’n’Wine” in American English. Yes! “You have told us a lot about wine tonight,” Christoph laughs quoting his last American tour group to Dresden. “So what about … ?” 😀

Christoph, however, is all cool about it and prefers to laugh a lot – just as much as we do representing “the new species of happy, ‘tweeting’ travel bloggers” that have come to town. Three days in a row, we are in for a visit of the city at the Elbe river, a city that draws us in immediately owing to its eventful history, its warm-hearted people as well as its pretty and rather picturesque scenery. After only three hours, I hear myself talking: “I want to come back already. I know that I will be coming back one day!”


Happiness spreads all over my face, Becki & Leigh too are sparkling with joy. “On yer bikes”: First and foremost, we start exploring Dresden by bike!

“Planning your stay, I looked upon your blogs to find a common theme running through all of them. That is when I realised that you all love biking, and have even tried E-Bikes before. And Dresden just lends itself to a beautiful cycling tour across its old town and the Elbe river!”

True that, dear Christoph. I simply love bike tours, especially for exploring large cities such as Buenos Aires, Lima or Paris. You get the feeling that you already know a good deal more about size and characteristics of a city by actually cycling across it. In the case of Dresden, this includes a magnificent trail right by the Elbe river, a trail that due to its wine terraced-hills does remind me a lot of my own beautiful home zone, the World Heritage Cultural Landscape Krems an der Donau. Gorgeous! Go check this out.

Auf geht's bei der Erkundung Dresdens: Über diesen traumhaften Renaissance-Hof mit italienischem Flair ...

Off we go exploring Dresden, passing this magnificent historic Renaissance palace …


... passieren wir auf unseren Rädern die historische Innenstadt Dresdens mit einzigartigen Bauwerken wie diesen.

… travelling across the inner city of Dresden featuring magnificent building works of art, such as this one.


Christoph Münch ist wahrlich bemüht, uns dabei alles Wissenswerte zu erklären ...

Christoph Münch is such a great guide, we simply loved having him next to us explaining all there is to know about Dresden (thank you, Christoph!) …


... doch mancher Momente bedarf es keiner weiteren Erklärung: Stille & Romantik am Elbfluss in Dresden.

… some moments, however, need no further explanation, such as this one I believe: Peace & romance by the Elbe river in Dresden.


Becki genießt die Stimmung sichtlich ...

Becki, too, appears won over by the charm of Dresden …


... und richtet ihren Blick wie auch wir fasziniert und verträumt auf diese malerischen Landschaften, die sich an der Kreuzung südländischer Weinterrassen und englisch-anmutender Königsschlösser aufladen.

… and loves to check out those magnificent cultural landscapes by the Elbe river, which thanks to a cross-breed between southern wine terraces and English-style castles give off a very particular and special charm.


Gleich im Anschluss an eine sportlich-aktive Radfahrt empfehlen wir, was Christoph für uns parat hält:

Right after an extensive bike tour, we recommend you do exactly what Christian points to:


Den Besuch des einzigartigen "Pulverturm"-Restaurants direkt im historischen Stadtzentrum von Dresden.

Having beautiful “Saxon Sauerbraten” in one of the city’s most iconic restaurants, the “Pulverturm” right in the heart of the old town.


Hier wird "Goldriesling" aus der Region ...

Here, we also try “Goldriesling” white wine from some of the vineyards we passed on the way before …


auf mittelalterlichen Streckbänken (!) kredenzt. Kein Witz: Das "Pulverturm"-Restaurant ist in der Tat historisch und als solches völlig einzigartig in seinem Konzept, inmitten ehemaliger Gefängnisse und Folterkammern zu speisen ...!

… served to us on medieval torture instruments! No joke: The “Pulverturm” restaurant is in fact historical and does combine an excellent local cuisine with rather dark, authentic memories from the Middle Ages in Germany. I am glad we picked a “normal” table after all, though!


Das Essen, hier unser sächsischer Sauerbraten - ein Klassiker der lokalen Küche - schmeckt uns hervorragend gut. Wirklich empfehlenswert!

The food – this is the famous Saxon Sauerbraten we went for – is amazingly good, especially if you’ve done some good cycling just before. Go enjoy, is what we recommend!


“Kunsthof” art residences & amazing musical performances at the Church of our Lady in Dresden: A once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Now here is the thing, dear readers. As travellers, we do tend to get around a lot. We hear much, we see much, we like to make up our own minds about people and places. But to witness a performance of the famous musical piece by Bach, the “Johannespassion” on Good Friday in the equally famous Church of our Lady in Dresden? Amazing. Absolutely amazing! And Christoph, “our” Christoph as we have taken to calling him, he was there too, singing in the choir! Besides his passion for Dresden tourism & marketing, he actually turned out to be a really good singer. I can only recommend taking chances and go the extra mile while travelling: It is so refreshing, and eye-opening, to see and experience things you have never heard of or experienced before. Even, or especially, when you don’t know what to expect.

Auch so etwas, das "Ereignishorizonte" verschieben lässt: Eine Riesen-Seifenblasen-Darbietung mitten am Hauptplatz der Dresdner Frauenkirche begeistert Kinder & Erwachsene gleichermaßen.

Another performance that captures our minds and hearts: Mesmerized, we stand in front of the Church of our Lady in Dresden watching dozens of bubbles spread all over the place. Pure magic, not only for children!


Kulturgenuss pur: Dresden's berühmte Frauenkirche, welche 2005 nach Original-Bauplänen und ihrer Zerstörung während des Zweiten Weltkrieges wieder errichtet und eröffnet wurde.

Pure Pleasure here: Inside the Church of our Lady in Dresden, getting ready for the big evening concert on Good Friday just before Easter.


Hier treten wahrliche Talente zusammen: Vierstimmig singt dieser Chor während Bach's berühmter Johannespassion, darunter Christoph Münch in der zweiten Reihe von oben links.

Christoph Münch is part of this very talented choir, who continue to impress us during their one and a half hour performance. You can see him on the far left in the second row from the top.


Klangerlebnis pur in der Frauenkirche von Dresden!

This lady gives everything singing and has the most beautiful and clear voice ringing through the Church of our Lady in Dresden!


Art & culture can come in many different ways, after all. One of the must-do experiences Dresden offers in that sense is visiting the Neustadt district featuring lots of different street art graffiti, cool atmosphere and the famous “Kunsthof” art residence buildings. The latter ones do remind me a lot of the “Hackesche Höfe” in Berlin as well as the famous Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Among others, he designed the “Hundertwasser-Haus” residential building areas in Vienna: Colourful, different, and simply worth seeing. This is exactly what applies equally to the “Kunsthofpassage” art residence in Dresden. Only three stops away from the city centre on either tram line number 3 or 7, it is absolutely worth coming out here. Being the creative traveller I am and having a great sense for colour & artwork, I do feel very much at home out here.

Ankommen in der Kunsthofpassage (ein Schild weist an der Hauptstraße auf die hier in den Innenhöfen der Wohnhäuser verborgenen "Kunstschätze" hin.

Arriving at the “Kunsthofpassage” of Dresden, this is one of the first sights to great you upon entering the residential area of this part of town.


Solche Hausfassaden ...

Walls decorated like these ones …


... und solche! (diese mag ich besonders und finde sie echt gelungen.!) ...

… or these ones, I really appreciate a lot (look at how small Leigh appears next to this amazing giraffe!) …


... lohnen den Besuch: Leider war zu unserem Zeitpunkt aufgrund des Karfreitag alles geschlossen, in den netten Cafés und Läden hätten wir gerne noch mehr gestöbert. Beim nächsten Mal - "gib mir five"!

… all of it was worth coming out here: “Give me five”, girls – Leigh (top hand), Becki (on the left) and myself hugging the wall in Dresden together.


The entire district around the “Kunsthofpassage” has inspired us in a photographic way. We pretty much felt like real artists when we roamed the streets, celebrated the moody springtime sun and wished for more of its light to make our photos shine. We let ourselves be carried, enjoy a late-time brunch at “Day & Night” Café, discuss all matters life with new friends, go back to roaming the streets, take a polaroid shot at a local photo booth, … All of this is Dresden & Becki & Leigh & Elena. I recommend you to come back with your friends and family, too. This city just has a lot to offer for everyone.

Auf Streifzug durch das künstlerische Dresden.

Exploring Dresden’s famous art district.


Ein Straßenschild lenkt meinen Blick in diesen Innenhof: Planwirtschaftsgarten?

Looking around the corner from the main road: “Planwirtschaft” economy?


Wir haben nichts. Oder doch?

Streetart graffiti in Dresden.


Die wohl coolste Tür Dresdens. Auf Instagram erhielt dieses Foto so viele "Likes" wie sonst kaum eines meiner Bilder!

Really love that door: On Instagram, publishing this photo got me as many “Likes” as never before. Would you want to live here and walk in and out of that door every day?


Ein Blick auf den Boden verrät: Dresden hat viel Geschichte, darunter auch Menschen die es wert sind erinnert zu werden. "Gedenksteine" mit dem Schicksal vertriebener oder ermordeter Dresdner finden sich überall in der (Alt)Stadt.

Even walking across the pavement, you cannot help but notice those “stepping stones” reminding of Dresden’s darker chapters in history, when people got deported or murdered in or around the Second World War.


Als Bücherwurm, die schon Kinderbücher en masse verschlang, sind mir die Titel Erich Kästner's natürlich gut bekannt: "Pünktchen & Anton". "Das Doppelte Lottchen". Und viele mehr! Ein Denkmal dem schönen Geschichtenschreiber aus Dresden.

Erich Kästner, a famous German author and novelist, is originally from Dresden. As a girl, I would have read many of his children’s books and so fall in love with words, writing and stories from an early age on.


Und schließlich: Seht Euch das an. In einem Haus mit solch einer kreativen Hausfassade hätte ich auch gerne eine Wohnung!

Last but not least, have a look at this! Wouldn’t you, too, love to live in a flat with such a beautiful and colourful house to it?


About visiting Dresden, I recommend you take a tour with one of its “most famous sons”: Albrecht Hoch.

The Hoch family, according to our second charming city guide Albrecht Hoch, has proven its worth as “Germany’s Next Topmodel” even back in the days. We are marvelling at a piece of art outside Dresden’s famous Renaissance palace, staring at a figure in the middle. “My great-great-great-great-great-grandfather!” (Even Albrecht might have forgotten about the actual times of “great”-ness there were, but proud he is to this day!). Naturally charming and a great storyteller at that, Albrecht leads us from the main square and the Church of our Lady to the Luther memorial across the Renaissance palast all the way to Dresden’s famous Semperoper opera building. Thanks to showing us lots of historic photographs and documents, we step right back in time with him – until we realise that one of the photos even shows young Albrecht himself (“just after the Wall came down, in 1990”)! And so, all of sudden, we are reminded that it “all happened not so long ago, lest we forget”.

Correspondingly, #Germany25Reunified is one of Germany’s Social Media buzz-words, the country celebrating 25 years of being reunited in 2014. “My father got to take one of the last photographs of the actual Church of our Lady during the Second World War”, Albrecht tells us, moved by the memory. “Two hours after he took this photo”, he says pointing to a blurry image that nevertheless revealed the silhouette of a church tower, “two hours and the church simply disappeard. That was a serious blow to my father’s world view at the time, that such an iconic sight as the Church of our Lady should simply have disappeared, gone and been destroyed forever.” Nevertheless, Dresden’s famous Church of our Lady got rebuilt and was finally revealed again in 2005 according to original plans. This trend is apparent in many other historic buildings of the inner city of Dresden, which after the war have been rebuilt in historic fashion but with brand-new technology inside, such as proper heating, air conditioning and insulation. Personally, I think this is a great achievement. Like combining the best things of two worlds.

Ein Blick auf die Innenstadt Dresdens mit der berühmten Frauenkirche im Hintergrund. Wir nächtigen direkt im edlen QF Hotel direkt hier am Platz - ein Vorteil für zentrale Stadtbesichtigungen.

Having a look upon the Church of our Lady right here in Dresden. We stay right inside the QF Hotel to the left here – a centrally located hotel great for exploring the city.


Albrecht Hoch nimmt es bei seinen Stadtführungen sehr genau und ist somit eine Empfehlung für sämtliche Besucher, die es wirklich "ganz genau wissen wollen".

Albrecht Hoch is really keen on telling all the details and stories to Dresden life “as it is”. Thank you for a great tour, dear Albrecht!


Hier blicken wir übrigens auf das berühmte Relief, welches einen Vorfahr Albrecht Hochs zeigt - der Jüngling mit dem lockigen Haar in der Mitte dieses Bildes ist Deutschland's damaliges "Top-Model", wie Albrecht schmunzelnd erzählt.

This is the famous historic drawing that features one of Albrecht’s direct descendants right in the middle, the young man with the blonde curly hair. Albrecht is quite openly proud about his lineage there!


Vor einigen Jahren durfte ein Nachkomme der Familie bei einem Fest diesen sogar repräsentieren!

And here, only a couple of years back, one of his brothers was “honored” to portray their predecessor once more during a historic festival, the similarity being undeniable I would say. 😉


Ein schöner Ausklang meines Besuches in Dresden: Die Stadtführung mit Albrecht Hoch und dieser netten Reisegruppe, einer Familie aus München. Die Mutter (ganz links außen) stammt übrigens aus Kärnten. Ihr seht: Österreich ist eben doch überall. ;)

What a nice way to end my time Dresden: The city tour with Albrecht Hoch and this charming family from Munich. Mum (on the very left) is originally from Austria, though. You see: Austria IS everywhere, as we recently found out during the Social Travel Summit in Leipzig, too. 😉


Disclaimer: We have been invited by the city of Dresden on this visit. All opinions are my own.

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