It's always great to have a local guide and many thanks to Doreen for showing me all the nooks and crannies of her hometown, Dresden.
Five years later I am lucky to call the lovely lady my wife and now I get to show her some things in her own hometown. : )
Bring gloves if traveling in winter for those night photo shoots and wear your hat, no matter how stupid it looks. At the Christmas markets we wore long underwear and were glad we did. No amount of gluhwein makes it too warm for long undies!
Photo Equipment: A tripod is essential, there's not always a handy trashcan lid. 800 ASA film is handy though you don't always have it in your camera when you want it there. ;> I found on my most recent trip that a digital camera is much easy to use for night shots though a tripod is still well worth carrying.
Climate in Dresden varies over the year.
Summer: Most of time warm and sunny - around 25°C (77°F). Sometimes temp can hit 35°C (95°F). Don't forget suntan lotion and sunglasses! Unfortunately, there're also rainy periods! So don't miss umbrella and warm clothes!
Winter: Winter is chilly - temp around freezing point. Sometimes temp can drop down to -15°C (5°F) or less. Don't miss warm pullovers and a fur!
Spring/Autumn: Temp varies from 0°C (32°F) to +30°C (86°F). Sunny and rainy periods are possible.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can buy everything you need at drugstores ('Drogerie') or parmacies ('Apotheke')
Photo Equipment: It's easy to get films and batteries for every kind of camera! Shopping malls, drug stores or petrol stations offers a huge assortment of most current kinds.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Credit Cards: paying with credit cards in Hotels, big stores, restaurants and boutiques is possible, in pubs or small stores less customary.
Miscellaneous: Rainy season: There is no special rainy season
Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 8 – 19°C ( 47 - 66°F ); min: 2 - 9°C ( 36 - 48°F )
Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 21 – 24°C ( 70 - 75°F ); min: 12 - 13°C ( 52 - 55°F )
Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 6 – 19°C ( 43 - 66°F); min: 2 - 11°C ( 36 – 51°F )
Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: 3 – 6°C ( 38 - 43°F); min: -1 - 1°C ( 30 - 34°F )
Get a copy of the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, to read on the train on the way to Dresden.
Vonnegut was an American soldier in World War Two. Towards the end he was captured, taken to Dresden and imprisoned in a slaughterhouse which had a very deep cellar to store slabs of meat at cool temperatures.
Here he was one of the few people in Dresden to survive the firebombing on February 13, 1945, in which the entire city was destroyed. At least 25,000 people lost their lives.
Page 178: "It wasn't safe to come out of the shelter until noon the next day. When the Americans and their guards did come out, the sky was black with smoke. The sun was an angry little pinhead. Dresden was like the moon now, nothing but minerals. The stones were hot. Everybody else in the neighborhood was dead."
Earlier, on page 146, someone had said: "You needn't worry about bombs, by the way. Dresden is an open city. It is undefended, and contains no war industries or troop concentrations of any importance."
If you wanna go hiking in the 'Saechsische Schweiz' (Saxon Switzerland) take some shoes for hiking or sneakers with you because some ways are not so easy to go.
Photo Equipment: Take a camera and a lot of films with you!!
Miscellaneous: ATMs and Plastic money: they are the most convenient way to take your money abroad. You get lots of benefits and (almost!!) no problems. You'll get lower exchange rate than if you were to exchane your cash, and you will pay lower commissions than if you came up with a travel cheque. But, above all, you'll get safety: you will not be crying over money lost forever even if your ATM card gets stolen. And, even more than that, you can pay in many shops by a plastic card: Karstadt, Peak&Kloppenburg, Hertie are just some of them. So, I am always travelling with my ATM cards in my pocket. And in Dresden (and in some smaller towns nearby that I've seen) there are plenty of ATM machines. But, however, here are some important rules to keep in mind: 1) Do use Electron/Cirrus/any other debit card for withdrawals, as any other thing will be considered a cash advance, 2)Try to take out money few times but in bigger sums so as not to accumulate fees, 3) If you loose you card call the issuing company immediatley and better call you bank, too, to block the card.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
It's not a sort of 'third world' and therefore you can find almost everything for this kind of stuff.
Photo Equipment: As usual good rechargable batteries for digicam are not so easy to find; bring the spare pack with you or just go for standard batteries.
Miscellaneous: Money-money-money !! as in the rest of Germany credit cards are not always accepted; use them to withdraw cash from bank outlet.