I'll never forget my first Christmas market. It was absolutely freezing and I was amazed as the hearty Germans walked around outside shopping, snacking around apparently unfazed by the weather. Well, then I had my first glühwein and I understood why! After many more, I wasn't cold either. This hot spiced wine is the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold winter night. These photos are from my first outing with D's family and friends, having one at Dresden's Christmas market.
The tradition of baking Dresdner Stollen is an ancient custom and can be traced back approximately to the Year 1400. Originally without butter and milk, the Stollen (=Striezel) was a rather dull pastry. Elector Ernst of Saxony and his brother Albrecht turned to the Pope to lift the 'butter ban'. The Holy Father gave in to their entreaties and declared that milk and butter could be used for the Stollen with a clear conscience with God´s blessing.
The Stollen is an ideal gift for your loved-once at home but make shure you are allowed to import food to your country. Especially overseas country might have a restriction!
Since Western cars were not available in the Eastern Europe, local industry was producing its own vehicles. Most were derived from the dates Western designs, but GDR had two car factories that were making independently developed vehicles.
The more "luxurious" was Wartburg, but the most famous one was the Trabant. It had a non-rusting plastic body, two-stroke engine (!) and was extremely spatan and noisy. Both had very dated and somewhat ungainly designs. After the fall of socialism, Trabants have acheived a bit of a cult status, and many are still found on the streets of Eastern Europe, attesting to their durability.
Almost immediately after reunification, VW purchased the factories to make VW Polo there.
Feldschlossden is Dresden's big brewery and though not impressed with their Pils, they are linked to brewing giant Holstein and hence, you can get the tasty Duckstein locally. This hot air balloon happened to take off as we walked along the Elbe River one day as the sun set.
Around Dresden, hidden in the forests or along the Elbe-river, are many castles and mansions. Most of them are open for visitors and have collections or special little museums (about hunting or the artcollection of the former royalty that lived there). Examples are in Pilnitz, Moritzburg and the mighty castle Königstein (Kings' Stone). This last one is a castle that has proven to be invincible in medieval times. No wonder, it is situated on a high steep rock.
Baroque: As Dresden is predominantly a Baroque city, it was interesting for me to learn something about this style before I went (when I was much younger I was more keen on learning and less on traveling ;))) ). The word comes from the Italian 'barocco' meaning 'strange' (strange it might be,
but looks wonderful!). Baroque established itself as the architectural style of Europe in 17-18 C. reality is mixed with fantasy, and architectural surprises
await the visitor around every corner. You could find anything, even statues with real hair (not in Dresden, though). Whatever was built in the Baroque style it was done in accordance with the golden rule #1: 'The Baroque building must be impressive'(read: big and well decorated).
I guess that maybe this truck delivered roasted chickens to the merchants or vendors, and maybe to the home residences? The marking on the truck is undeniable that chicken is what he is into.
In the Neustadt area (North of the Elbe river) is a sence of alternative living. The influence of students is noticeable. Prepare yourself for some odd encounters.
The family houses in this part of Germany are very typical German, what is reflected by the many door bells at the ground floor entrance. But also here: a well organised set of knobs and name tags.
The sparrows in the inner city are used to the many visitors. They have a good eye for food leftovers and are not shy at all.
This great pic of a sunset I took from my appartmenthouse. I love to see such sunsets over the roofs of Dresden.:)
This is the view from my window. I must (!)took a pic from this great rainbow!:)
In the backround you see a part of university.
In Plano, Texas there is a HUGE Hot Air Balloon festival, so I was excited to see my first Hot Air Balloon in Europe.
The advertisment for the balloon was of course BEER! :o))
As we visited Dresden in December, Santa Clauses were everywhere. Obviously even Santa Claus is some times hungry!