Searching for Kid-Friendly in Dresden

 

Dresden was the royal capital of the Kings of Saxony, who for centuries brought the city cultural and historical significance.

The British and American bombing destroyed the city center and killed 25,000 people. Until recently I did not realize this action was controversial. Personally, I think it truly was a travesty, not only for the loss of civilian life, but because it seems to me that Dresden has yet to recover.

The city face is truly beautiful, but once you walk past its walls it feels oddly empty.

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The people were not friendly here. Our friends who lived there for over a year now confirmed our suspicions. They feel it’s cold—even for Europe.

Especially having a child, I felt that mean looks and snappy comments were directed towards Ryder more than most destinations we have been.DSC05452

If you read Eckhart Tolle, you’ll recognize the term “pain body.” It’s where a person, group, or even a nation experiences collective pain that has not been resolved and manifests itself in feeding and creating pain in others. I do think Germany has some of that.

We shortened our stay here for that reason—the emptiness of the city and its inhabitants, and the fact that finding decent housing in Europe during the spring is a nightmare. We got lucky in Vienna, catching literally the only apartment that met our list of requirements which is not insignificant (wifi, close to public transportation, washing machine, at least one bedroom, and no more than 40 euros a night.)

If you do go to Dresden, here’s what I’d recommend:

Before you go:

Read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

Watch Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Where to Stay:

In Altstadt, the old city. We got a fantastic deal at the ApartHotel Munzgasse. They even arranged for a babysitter so we could go hear a fellow BYU graduate perform at the Semper Oper. It’s located next to the heart of the city, the Frauenkirche. There’s also the tourist information center right next door, which is also oddly empty—but the bakery, thankfully, is not. Buy a pastry, sit in the center square, and enjoy the view.

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We also stayed in Klotsche, which was too far away, about 45 minutes to get to Altstadt, and the town’s center was only about three shops. The grocery store wasn’t even walkable  to get to which is unheard of in Europe—at least in my experience. The church bells clanging on Sunday morning did lead to a charmingly rustic feel.DSC05422DSC05427

What to Do: If you do indeed go to see an opera—which I highly recommend seeing as the Semper Oper premiered works by Wagner, Strauss, and von Weber—then you should also take a tour of the building beforehand to learn its significance. The amount of pride that the artists and citizens had in opera and the building makes the fact that it was destroyed that much more unfortunate.

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Ryder’s favorite part about Dresden was the horse-drawn carriages.

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Where to Shop: Prager Strasse is the major shopping street, where you can get a doener and walk from the train station to the city center.

Globetrotter is the best store I have ever been to. It’s five stories of heaven. We took a midnight bus and had several hours to kill beforehand. I took a nap, used their free wifi, let Ryder play on the playground, looked at books and travel clothing, and walked out of the store with a gift of colored pencils from the store employees at store closing (as they soothingly reassured me that I could return first thing in the morning.) I love and miss you Globetrotter store! Mwah!

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Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 361 awesome articles for us.

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