With three hours sleep in my system I meet my colleague for breakfast at 7 o’clock where we strategize about our upcoming business meetings.
In the afternoon we all don coats, scarves, mitts and any woolens we have to participate in a two and a half hour city and museum walking tour. The idea being we have activities to do along the way as well as correctly answer questions about Dresden sites along the tour. Although our team does not win we end up learning lots and having some laughs.
Some of the activities include;
1) a stopping in front of a an old-fashioned taxi cab where we must load some luggage in to the trunk of a taxi as quickly as possible, after which we are served some lovely hot mulled wine
2) spelling out a word that signifies “moving in the right direction” (the theme of the conference I am attending ) with alphabet cookies, after which we eat the cookies of course!
3) stopping “at court” in front of a palace where we are met with a prince and his lady and where the “Ladies” are taught how to curtsey, swoon and bow in the fashion of the epoch and the “Lords ” are taught fencing. Very funny indeed.
Dresden is an incredibly rich architectural city. Very interesting in that it was completely destroyed (bombed) during WWII (40,000 people lost their lives!) and completely rebuilt to resemble the original city and architecture . As an example, the Church in the old square even has the demolished tiles put back in their original place. All the buildings look as though they date from the 1700s and they are completely restored.
Dresden which is in Saxony is of course in East Germany which used to be separate from West Germany. The city is especially known for its Porcelain which was the first Porcelain ever made and a Factory still stands here. Aside from Dresden Porcelain though this is where very important items taken for granted today were invented. Items like; tooth paste, mouth wash, coffee filters and yes ladies; the “Bra” ! 🙂
We also visit a museum with some of the most incredible porcelain, gold and ivory items I have ever seen all dating from the time of the “Elector” August (equivalent to a prince or consort) some amazing feats of early mechanics and engineering are on display such as tiny porcelain and ivory items with cogs and wheels and mechanisms uncanny when considering the era in which they were engineered.
After returning to the hotel to thaw out and do a quick change we head out again to a beautiful palace like restaurant where the entire restaurant is bought out by our group. We have a delicious many coursed dinner and start saying farewell to our friends new and old.
On our last day we have lunch in Coselpalais the Grand Café and Restaurant which is one of the most historic restaurants ( 1765) in Dresden.
The “last supper” in Dresden involves more food “Italian” more wine and the company of wonderful colleagues.
We retire our final night with a belly full of gnocchi, a briefcase full of assignments and a head filled with memories.