Berlin to Prague – December 30, 2013

As the Americans left for the airport, we left for the Berlin Hauptbahnhof.  This is Berlin’s main train station and is considered Europe’s largest train station.

We decided to take the train from Berlin to Prague with a stopover in Dresden.  Our train left around nine am and we arrived in Dresden around eleven am.  As much as I was dreading dealing with our luggage on the train, I didn’t want to rent a car as I’ve done the drive from Berlin to Prague before and it’s not an easy drive.  The roads in the Czech Republic are not well maintained and forget about any sort of Autobahn type roadway.  The train allowed for Mr. MM and myself to pack snacks and relax during the journey.

Mr. MM on the train to Dresden.

Mr. MM on the train to Dresden.

While Mr. MM planned our time in Dresden, I relaxed and watched the landscape pass by.  After maneuvering our luggage off the train, we went directly to the storage lockers located in the station.  The luggage lockers are a little tricky to find.  Make your way to the model train.  When you are facing it look left and you will see signs for the luggage lockers.  We were able to store everything in one large locker for the day.

We made our way to the S-Bahn platform across the street (Altstadt side of the Bahnhof).  Our plan was to make our way to the farthest destination and work our way back.  We took the S-Bahn across the Carolabrucke to Albertplatz where we switched to a tram that would take us east along Bautzner Strasse.  It took us about 20 minutes to get to Brauhaus am Waldschlosschen.  The Brauhaus is located at the top of a staircase off the street.  There’s a decent size beer garden in the front with a wonderful view of Dresden.  I imagine this place is great in the warmer months.  It was too early for lunch so we just had a couple of beers and made our way back to the Altstadt via foot.

L:  Brauhaus menu.  R:  View from the Brauhaus beer garden.

L: Brauhaus menu. R: View from the Brauhaus beer garden.

We walked back to the Altstadt so that we could explore Dresden along the way.  Our first stop was Molkerei Pfund.  The ground floor cheese shop is covered in hand painted Villeroy & Boch tiles.  Obviously this is a big highlight on the Dresden tour bus circuit as two were parked outside.  This tiny establishment was packed to the gills so we took a quick peek around and took off.  We had hoped to buy some cheese for the next leg of our train journey but it was pricey and maddening with all the other tourists.

I appreciate that Dresden still reflects its communist past in the residential neighborhoods.  There’s a worn patina to the architecture.

L:  Shopping.  R: Graffiti.

L: Shopping. R: Graffiti.

After turning toward the Altstadt at Albertplatz, we walked along the Neuerstadt Markt, a pedestrian tree lined shopping street.  We stopped in a couple of stores along the way.  Crossed over the Augustusbrucke into the Altstadt.  In front of the Katholische Hofkirche we made a left to walk up the stairs to Bruhl’s Terrace, “The Balcony of Europe”.  This terrace runs along the river Elbe and was such a lovely walk with plenty of people watching.  I can imagine how nice it would be in spring to stop and have a coffee outside.

One thing I like to do when I travel is take a picture with my foot on a city street grate.  The street grates in Europe tend to be nicely designed and contain the name of the city.  They’re not at generic as ours are.

L:  Katholische Hofkirche.  R: Dresden city grate.

L: Katholische Hofkirche. R: Dresden city grate.

When we saw Munzgasse, we knew that was the street we should take on our walk back to the train station.  They still had their Christmas Market in full swing.  Such a charming little street and being able to walk through one more Christmas Market made it all that much better.

L:  Munzgasse from Bruhl's Terrace.  R:  Munzgasse at street level.

L: Munzgasse from Bruhl’s Terrace. R: Munzgasse at street level.

As we walked past the Frauenkirche, I asked Mr. MM if he wanted to go inside any of the historic buildings.  I’ve been to Dresden with my Mom so I’ve seen everything but he hasn’t.  Unfortunately, the line to get into the Frauenkirche was so long that he decided to keep on moving.  I guess once you’ve seen the Berlin Dom, it’s going to be pretty much the same or less.

L:  Frauenkirche.  R:  Musicians in front of Frauenkirche.

L: Frauenkirche. R: Musicians in front of Frauenkirche.

We continued on to one more beer place that Mr. MM wanted to check out:  Watzke am Ring.  Mr. MM does a bit of writing himself and I think his review of Watzke am Ring is spot on.  While he enjoyed beer, I went in search of a soccer scarf to ready myself for the upcoming World Cup.  Success.  Per the recommendation of the Watzke am Ring bartender, I found one at a sporting goods store right around the corner.

Soccer hooligan accessory.

Soccer hooligan accessory.

Now for our 10 minute walk back to the train station to retrieve our luggage and board the train for Prague.