Enchanting Dresden & the Elbe River
Traveling to Dresden, Germany began like a dream, a fairy tale really. Arriving in the main square, I was greeted by blue skies, charming structures, and a woman producing lots of large, beautiful bubbles. My first impression, viewing the city center through these bubbles, made me instantly fall in love with this quaint city. Seeing Dresden through these bubbles allowed for a skewed reality, which is appropriate for what the city is according to its history.
One’s perception of Dresden is a city comprised of ancient, historical buildings. But in reality, these buildings are all remodels of what they used to be. Because Dresden was badly bombed in World War II, none of the historical structures still stand. But instead of being rebuilt as a modern city, the state of Saxony decided to preserve the old charm and intricate architecture from hundreds of years ago. Everything was deliberately rebuilt as old and aged. This perception versus the reality fascinates me. If you see it through bubbles like I did when I arrived, it adds another layer of fantasy and altered reality.
Taking a wine tour at the Schloss Proschwitz Winery in Meissen, which grows 13 varietals, was another unforgettable experience. It was interesting to hear about the challenges this winery faces in terms of which grapes grow better than others. There are so many factors that contribute to a successful harvest. This particular in-demand winery produces about half a million bottles of wine a year. They sell to bars and restaurants throughout Germany as well as internationally. Afterwards, I noticed every bottle of wine ordered at meals was from this winery!
Because I saw firsthand the winemaking process and pride that goes into this craft. It made me appreciate drinking the wine all the more.
And what would a city be without excellent cuisine? From a traditional Bavarian Schnitzel to an elegantly prepared filet of cod, Dresden offers something for everyone. With complexflavors and generous portions, I was impressed with every single meal I ate during my trip. Indulging with food while traveling is almost a rite of passage, one must never leave the table without a full belly. The dessert is irresistible as well. I saw many people walking the squares with ice cream cones in hand, and I had my eyes on a decadent ice cream sundae that was being offered at the outdoor café right next to my hotel. I went for it with no regrets. It was worth every calorie!
My previous travels in Europe have been to the major cities. While the energy and endless activities in big cities appeal to me, I fell in love with the charm, class, and elegance of Dresden and the surrounding area. It’s a place that makes you feel at home, a place that you could see yourself living in. Like every travel experience I’ve ever had, I’m grateful that Dresden has opened my eyes to a new way of life. I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for Dresden.