Prague - Dresden, with a bit of an introduction to Dresden!

Pictures here: Dresden

So, Tim left this morning about 3 AM and since I don't think I slept more than an hour before left, I was quite happy to sleep in until 9 AM or so. I had breakfast at the hotel, repacked my backpack, and headed for the train station by 10 or so. My train wasn't leaving until about 12:30, but I'm quite happy to partake in some people watching and train stations are great for that. Random fact – the train station I left from (Praha Holesovice) was built in 1985 and sports some partiularly dull Soviet architecture. Very straight lines, and low ceilings... what a depressing place. Nonetheless, I enjoyed hanging around waiting for my train. I staked out a spot about halfway down the departures hall, and leaned back against my bag while reading a book (Fluke, if you're wondering, and it's fantastic). After a while, a pair of young women took the seats just behind me, and somehow they knew I spoke English (so much for blending in) – the first thing one said was “Keep a close eye on your bags – an American guy just down the hall was just robbed when he turned away from his bags to give someone directions!'

So, we got to talking, and it turns out that they were from Canada (Vancouver), and were also headed to Dresden – kind of a random stop on the train we were taking. We decided to stick together on the train, and it turned out that our hostels were near eachother in Dresden too – about a block apart, in fact. We took the same tram to get there, then decided we'd meet for dinner after we'd had some time to unpack and settle in a little bit. We wandered around for a bit trying to find a place to eat, and finally settled on an Italian restaurant that had a patio with big umbrellas and a nice view of the street. The waiter (owner?) was hilarious. He was native Italian, and was singing to us with a great sing-song manner, and always referred to the girls, Shyla and Natalie, as “m'lady” - his English was probably about as good as our German, which made ordering even more of an experience. Lots of fun, and the pizza I ordered was delicious.

After supper we decided to go check out some of the sights in the Aldstadt (old town). We visited the courtyard of the Zwinger Palace, as well as the giant square where Fraeunkirche (Church of our Lady(?)). Next we walked along the promenade that runs along the river (The Elbe) where there was an art exhibit comparing Germany and China in a series of simple drawings – pretty neat. I got some awesome pictures of the city's skyline here at sunset. Also, we were able to see the Euro football “Fan Zone” - a big stage and a number of big screens that were set up for fans to watch the soccer games – the next evening was going to be the final game (between Germany and Spain), so we figured we'd head there to watch it after sightseeing for the day.

As it was getting dark, we made our way back to the tram stop nearest to the Aldstadt, and enjoyed some ice cream before we heaeded back to our respective hostels for the night.

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