Dust settled over day one in Dresden and the world rebooted anew. Our AirBnB apartment was beautiful; three bedroom, two bathroom, full kitchen, large living room. And it couldn’t have been better located, smack in the middle of half a dozen Dresden Christmas markets. Brianna and I gave our room up to the kids, electing to crash on the living room couch beds. This trade worked to our advantage in that a fairly sound resistant door separated our sleeping quarters from the rest of the bedrooms = we got to sleep longer.
We started our day with a proper German breakfast and a visit to Frauenkirche, ‘Church of Our Lady’. Our goal at the church was to find a way to the viewing area at the top. We ended up in the central church area and down into the crypts, both good views in their own rights, but we never did make it up top. I haven’t had many opportunities to tour a 18th century Baroque Protestant church. So much history in such a relatively short period of time, rebuilt several times over the various reformations and wars. The church, much like the city, was bombed to rubble by the Allies in WWII. The church, much like the city, looks beautifully rebuilt.
Dresden Christmas markets open at 10am and we had first drinks in hand by 10:30am at the latest. Each market had it’s own story, theme, and collectible cups. We navigated our way to five or six of the eleven markets over the course of a hard worked ten hour day.
The eight of us covered a lot of distance, all things considered. Kids were happy with random treats and foods, adults were happy with unlimited access to hot wine and beer. The central location of our AirBnB allowed us to stretch out for long distances before returning home for a rest and then do it all over again. We even got in a mid-day nap break for “the kids”, though Rachel and I slept longer than all of the kids combined.
One thing struck me about Dresden that was different than the other markets we have visited on this trip. Many of the other cities had multiple markets but seemed more or less united. In Dresden, each of the different markets we visited was very much an independent entity. Each market has its own website, glühvein cups, and theme, some even had their own open Wi-Fi networks for public use. It almost felt like people living on the different city blocks were running their own block party and thought theirs was the best. I don’t know if this is symbolic to how the city’s community functions all the time or if it’s just my inaccurate interpretation of what my wine blurred eyes were seeing. The Strasbourg Christmas markets had various themes but felt like differently flavored pieces of the same home cooked pie.