Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Dresden to Hilde's Haven (5372)

And now, a little break from the trip proper as we hole up for a while at Angelika's mum's place (and A's childhood home) in Deisenhofen, just south of Munich. Hilde (for it is she) is laid back, friendly and the perfect hostess for two travellers in need of a rest.

Posh hotel

The Pillion, grinning and bearing it
But not as as needy as we would have been were it not for opting for the Hyperion hotel in Dresden. We enjoyed it. Really friendly they were. And, you know, we had access to the Exectuve Lounge, as you do - a light breakfast perhaps, a complementary afternoon beer, early evening repast, that kind of thing. (But you had to get in sharpish for breks or the Yanks got all the bloody eggs!)

Dresden on the Elbe
The Dresden Panometer
As with many of the places we've been, I knew little of Dresden. In my narrow awareness, its name was always prefixed with the phrase 'The bombing of', and I was interested to learn more about this. I was a little surprised (aren't we all when our self-o-centric view of the world is overturned?) then, to find that the only event I knew of warranted one short sentence in the Museum of Dresden's timeline of the city; 'On 13th February 1945 the centre of the city was destroyed by bombing'. And that seemed to be that. They have a long history to address, 'my' event was just one of many.

It's been a major trading city, a centre for fishing, a shipbuilding hub (the latter two many miles from the sea but on a major river of Europe), and latterly, a major base for cigarette and optics manufacturing. Then there was WW1, then Nazism, then Communism and then reunification.

And history continues. As it happened, on the very day we were there, an election took place, with echoes of the past ringing around.

AFD: not everyone's choice
Outside the city centre, though, was the Dresden Panometer. It is a permanent art-installation-come-historical-monument based in a disused gasometer. It's a monument to the bombings and it made me cry.

There's no self-pity, no shying away from the responsibility of the Germans - and Dresdeners specifically - for the role they played in bringing about the horrors of WW2. Full acknowledgement is made of the havoc wreaked upon Guernica, London, Coventry, Warsaw and Leningrad amongst others, placing the bombings 'here' fully in perspective. The focus was on how war kills and the deep sadness of this.

The Panometer wall
The historical background
Our cinema
Carmine Street GuitarsThat evening the Pillion outdid herself by finding a very charming film for us to watch in a very charming bijou definitely-off-mainstreet cinema. It's called as above and if you like people, making, music and all things lovely (especially if you like guitars), go see it.

Hilde's Haven
And now we're at Hilde's, chillin'. We'll probably be here for a few days. I'm travelling to the backgammon in Nürnberg, Angelika will be reading, chatting in Bayerisch and drinking tea. But we'll be in touch.


  1. I'm glad you're a Champion in Nuremberg. Not like that so called "Intermediate" Alex Polden. You can say "hustler" to him from me.


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