My plan was to go to Dresden on Saturday. Everyone told me how pretty it was, and I had been looking forward to it. But between all of the traveling I had been doing and finding out about Sadie early Friday morning, I really didn’t feel like going. On the other hand, sitting around my apartment moping didn’t sound appealing either, and I hated the idea of wasting a day of my train pass, since last weekend was my last opportunity to use it. So, I went to the train station and got on the train.
Once aboard, I noticed that the next station after Dresden would be Bad Schandau, a tiny spa town in the area they call “Saxon Switzerland.” The town is on the edge of a huge national park that is partly in Germany and partly in the Czech Republic. After reading a little about it in my guidebook, I thought that really sounded more my speed that day. I just didn’t feel like trekking around a city, taking pictures of old buildings. You know, I have nothing against cities. In fact, I might even call taking pictures of old buildings a hobby. But not that day.
So, I stayed on the train an extra 40 minutes, and the ride itself was something special. The area between Dresden and Bad Schandau is really gorgeous, and the train follows right alongside the Elbe River. Upon arrival in Bad Schandau, I caught a little ferry across and down the river to the town.
I wandered up into the town, where I rented a bicycle for the afternoon. I could have taken it up into the mountains, through the national park, but I was looking for something more peaceful, so I stuck to the path along the river. First I biked the 5K or so to the Czech Republic and a bit further in. Then I realized I was hungry, had only Euros, and didn’t feel like changing currency, so I turned around and rode back!
Once back in town, I bought brötchen, my favorite German food (OK, they’re just rolls, and I can’t explain why they’re different from American rolls), along with some cheese, cherries, and Coke, and picnicked on a bench facing the river. Then I set off in the other direction with my bike.
Once I’d had enough, I hopped on the ferry back to the train station.
These pictures aren’t bad, considering they were taken through the window of a moving train:
It was a nice day of solitude, and I’m sure I had more fun than I would have had in the city on that particular day. And it just means that Mr. Flyaway and I can discover Dresden for the first time together (along with Munich, which I’ve also never visited), when I finally manage to get him to visit Germany.
Sunday was a much-needed day of rest, other than attending my roommate’s choir concert in a beautiful on church on the west side of Berlin:
And now it’s the weekend again already! Tomorrow morning one of my law school classmates arrives on the night train from Paris, where she’s working this summer. So I’ll spend the weekend being part tourist and part tour guide to her. Until next week!