After fixing the bike cover we headed to Dresden where there are 3 permitted motorhome areas close to the old town, and bizarrely we chose the same as last time we were here! That’s not changed much, but the roads all seem very new and all the old building sites have gone. No, Dresden isn’t finished, they just have 100s more new building sites! Where the Germans get their infrastructure budget from is anyones guess!
Still, Dresden very much worth a visit and look around all the old (albeit rebuilt post WW2) buildings, and the Zwinger palace and gardens still impress. So cue icecream, smoothies and cold beers! We opted for home-cooked food after the police started turning up in large numbers for some demonstration or other. Not wanting to get involved, decided safer to hide back in the van! However there were no riots or broken windows or burnt out cars, so must’ve passed smoothly. We saw no sign of anything on our morning run, zig-zagging the river between old and new town. We like Dresden, compact and pretty and worth a visit.
From Dresden we went to Pirna which is a pretty enough town, free motorhome parking, and is nice enough to walk round. No wow factors but nice ice-cream shops. Walking up to the castle we stumbled on a hospital with a memorial attached where in 1940-41 was one of the first “furnaces” and mass killings of 13,000+ physically and mentally disabled people and 1000+ from other camps, and seemingly writing the guide on mass killings, mostly unbeknown to the town. Another sad and moving piece of history.
En route to Czech there is “the Bastei” which one guidebook barely mentioned, and the other said was OK. Actually, we thought it was very much worth the visit and the extra payment to explore the bridged rocks. It’s a bunch of sandstone pillars created over the years, with some stunning views over the national park. The views from the €2 paid area were worth it as it also explained some of the ancient history of the stones. Really impressive for Europe. Not as exciting as Asian versions as it was a little too safe and you knew the steel bridges weren’t going to fall down – whereas Asia you never really know! But Brilliant, and the P&R allow motorhomes to stay the night in the massive green meadow. And it should’ve been a quiet night….
Whilst watching a TV series, there was a bit of noise from the outside which we didn’t think about too much (as a farmer had been ploughing the next field earlier). Then a bit later there were lots of sirens we thought was background to the TV show, then only when we heard a helicopter did we twig it was real. On the road behind us, think very quiet B road, someone had had an off, and the police had a huge presence and the air-ambulance had landed in the next field. Oops. Maybe we need to be more alert. Driving out the next morning showed some skidmarks (marked by accident investigators) but little else.
Our final stop in Germany was going to be the Kongstein fortress, but on arrival parking was free for 30 mins, and €8 there after – with no mention of any other entry fees – seemed very strange, so opted to just proceed and leave Germany for the Czech Republic which, bizarrely is the first new country we’ve been to since Laos 5 ½ years ago! So with a bit of excitement, we headed towards the border…..