The end of my graduate thesis is near, so a breather and a quick blog post are certainly warranted. This summer has been incredible; a hot and sunny four months filled with both physical and mental adventures. Amidst a draining (yet rewarding) thesis process and Berlin explorations, Max and I made it outside of the city for a few weekend (and week-long) getaways. We went as close as the city boundaries, to Liepnitzsee, and as far as the states, to Vermont and Cape Cod. A week was also spent in Tuscany, and a weekend on the Baltic Sea in Dranske, Germany.
Most recently, we visited Dresden, a German city just 2.5 hours south of Berlin, and the neighboring Sächsische Schweiz national park. The entire trip exceeded expectations, and I highly recommend it to any Berliners who’ve not yet seen Saxony. Dresden is inexpensive to get to (24€ roundtrip per person via Flix Bus), bars and restaurants are equally affordable, the city itself has a nice blend of hip/young and historic areas, and the national park is a breathtaking site and hiking destination.
With no prior knowledge of Dresden’s neighborhoods, our Airbnb ending up being right in the center of one of the “cool” neighborhoods (as the East Village is to NYC, or as Kreuzberg is to Berlin), Äußere Neustadt. The Elbe river runs horizontally through the city; on the south side lies the historic district, and north of the river is Innere Neustadt and Äußere Neustadt. Of course there are many other districts worth checking out, however, centrally speaking, these are the ones to note.
We arrived Friday evening and walked ten minutes from the central station to our conveniently located apartment, on the corner of Jordanstraße and Alaunstraße, said hello to the resident courtyard cat, and started our night at Katy’s Garage, a Biergarten/club (depending on the time of day, I suppose) just a block down from our Airbnb. Next, we had dinner at lila Soße, a German tapas restaurant with delicious vegan and veggie offerings. The food was great (although, I did find their manner of serving dishes in mason jars to be a bit unnecessary), and the experience was amplified by the restaurant’s location. Hidden away from the main street in a cobblestone courtyard, lit with candles and string lights; lila Soße is the perfect date spot.
Upon recommendation from our Airbnb host, we stopped at Side Door for an after dinner drink. The cocktails were worthy, however, the bar was too smoky for my liking. Finally, we ended the night at Horst Vier Vogel Bar, a nicely designed spot with a fun energy and super craft beer. Dresden cat greeted us on our way back to the apartment, and the rest is history. And by that I mean, proceeding our lively night out, we forgot to hydrate, passed out, and woke up questioning our life decisions before a planned 30k hike Saturday morning. Exercise really is the best remedy, so we suited up, coffee’d up, and took public transpo (first train, then ferry) to the trail head in Stadt Wehlen. From there, we hiked along the Maler Weg route through woods and two towns, and after summiting the final lookout, turned around and saw Bastei on the way back. I have no words or pictures (damn midday light) that do justice to the beauty of the park, but I have these :
Exhausted after a full day of hiking, we somehow still managed to rally and went for dinner at scheuencafé, a cute spot around the corner from our apartment. On Sunday we had time to explore Dresden, and walked from Äußere Neustadt across the Elbe to the old town and further east. We stopped in at Ladencafé aha for a drink, and then made our way back up to Äußere Neustadt for a late lunch and drinks at Bottoms Up. I didn’t manage to snap many pics of the city, just the following:
Back to my thesis, and more adventures soon to come!