Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eurotrip 2011, Day 5: Berlin to Prague via Dresden

On the 5th day of our Eurotrip, it was time to leave Berlin and head to Prague - which I was actually really excited about. But thanks to the fact that the distance between those two cities encompasses only about...five-ish hours...we were able to make some interesting stops along the way. And I was not complaining about that ;)

First things first - the East Side Gallery. We visited this on our way out of Berlin and I am very happy that I got to see it! I honestly didn't know what it was, though once I saw it I realized some of my friends had recently posted pictures of it on Facebook! Basically, the East Side Gallery is a just-over-1 KM-long section of the Berlin Wall that has about 106 paintings on it. Paintings depicting - fittingly - freedom, equality and the like. Another absolute must if you're ever in Berlin, for sure.

After about 30 minutes to explore the East Side Gallery, we were on our way to Dresden! We would be stopping there for lunch and a bit of sightseeing before continuing on to Prague. I'll discuss our time on the bus more in my eventual review of our tour as a whole, but for now...Dresden is the word of the day! :)
First decent view of Dresden
Our bus dropped us off by the river and we walked into the historic part of the city to eat lunch. We ate at a little restaurant called No. 3 - it wasn't amazing but better than any rest stop food for sure! Some other people in our tour had a less positive experience there, from what I heard, but the price was right and the food was decent so I don't have any major complaints.
Martin Luther statue and the Cathedral
No. 3 menu :)
After lunch Kiwi Katie met us back at the Frauenkirche Cathedral and we had a quick tour of Dresden before going back to the bus.
AmpleGAL sighting!!!
The beautiful Frauenkirche was basically completely destroyed during World War II. They rebuilt it using as much of the original material as possible and it really is an amazing symbol of German resilience. Dresden was a beautiful little city and I am still super excited that we got to stop there, even if it was just for a few hours :)
Dresden Sgraffito
Dresden Opera House
We continued on the road to Prague, our stop in Dresden lasting about three or three and a half hours. My one complaint about our arrival in Prague is that we were dropped off quite far from the hotel. Apparently buses couldn't fit up the streets in the Old Town, or weren't allowed in them, or something. I was okay with that but the walk was definitely much longer than I was expecting :-/ That, and we weren't allowed to use the stairs in the hotel! Which meant one heck of a wait for the elevators to get up to our rooms that first day. Still, we had time to freshen up before our included dinner, and when we made our way downstairs to meet for it, the day sheet was up!
The included dinner was just a five minute walk from our hotel and it wasn't half bad. Steve and I enjoyed our first Pilsner Urquells of the trip...little did we know that we would grow quite sick of them over the next couple days, haha.
After the dinner we had a bit more free time at the hotel before meeting up for a non-sponsored "bar crawl" hosted by Kiwi Katie. We went to the first bar and stayed for a couple of hours, but wasn't really our type of place. The Natalies left quite a bit earlier than Steve and I did, but about the time the rest of the tour group was heading on to the second stop of the bar crawl we broke off and went our own way. And I'm very glad we did. We stumbled into the "Prague Beer Museum Bar" and this ended up being the only place in Prague that we saw beers other than Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Krucovice!
Prague Beer Museum Bar taps...constantly changing!
If you end up in Prague and you're a beer lover, you need need need to check out the Prague Beer Museum.

Unfortunately, at this point it was getting late and as usual...we had an early morning to look forward to. We headed to bed around midnight, but not before I shot a picture of Steve in front of one of the many Smurf posters we saw on this trip. I mean, those Smurfs are apparently very popular in Europe, but they really really love them in Prague.
After a long day of travel and just a couple hours to explore Prague, we were ready to really see the city the next day!

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