After a bus ride of several hours we reached what may have been the pleasant surprise of the trip…Dresden. Martina walked us to the town square, after a brief break, and gave the travelers some background. She focused on the famous carpet-bombing of the city during WWII. The entire city was leveled, some pictures of the city after the bombing resemble pictures of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. At the center we were shown the only building to survive, a massive church.
After a little free ice cream snack, Martina led us further into the city. Much of the history she explained on this leg concerned the Cold War era. The Communists punished the city by not rebuilding the city, there is some speculation Putin kept the money since he was the KGB chief for Dresden at the time and responsible for its rebuilding. We stopped at another church, the Women’s Church. This magnificent church was rebuilt with a focus on women and was very pretty on the inside.
Travelers were given the opportunity to shop and get lunch. Dresden has many shops and restaurants, a little more consumer friendly. So the students set out to experience a little more German cuisine and shop for souvenirs. Ironically some found great Italian cuisine instead, but many tried pretzels and had other more German.
We came away charmed with Dresden and headed for Prague. A little over an hour saw us arrive in Prague. The area around the old city center survived WW II with very limited damage and retains much of it’s Old World flavor especially streets. So we hiked about 15 minutes into the old city center and took the students to the astrological clock. After watching it chime and run through it’s routine Martina headed us off to dinner explaining various parts of the city we passed along the way.
After a pleasant dinner much like pot roast we walked back to the city center and headed past the Jewish Quarter through the high end shopping area of the city to catch our bus to transit to our hotel and settled in for the night.