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My parents were visiting us for a week and we wanted to show them another part of Germany. Dresden is only two hours away and we had enjoyed out previous visit so we suggested it. Saturday was a warm sunny day and we started by visiting the Zwinger, the pleasure palace for the ruler of Saxony. This was still a way over the top set of buildings but it is amazing to see it. After the Zwinger we wandered around the rest of the main sites like the Frauenkirche, the Hofkirche, the Residenzschloss and the terrasse looking over the Elbe. In the afternoon we all split up. I went to the transport museum. This is small but has a number of historically interesting pieces among the usual collection of trams, trains and cars. My parents went to the Gemaldegallerie and reported back that the collection on display is stunning.

Saturday had been very warm and sunny and this continued into the evening. After dinner we walked around the town enjoying the atmosphere. There were loads of people wandering around. Add to this the couple of small groups playing music and it made for a very relaxing evening.

Sunday dawned wet and cold, the contrast was remarkable. We decided on a boat trip on the Elbe. The boat we were on is shown here and it is a historic steam powered paddle steamer. The company has a fleet of them for various trips up and down the river.

Ours sailed up the river allowing us to see the rather large and expensive looking houses on the river bank. These were not so much houses as mini schlosses. Some of them even had a vineyard attached. We also passed under the Blaues Wunder, the suspension bridge over the river and after that saw one of the earliest cable car systems. After about an hour the boat turned to head back to Dresden and going with the current the return trip was much quicker. The rain was heavy by now but we were under cover and so were dry. We were also close to the funnel and this provided some very welcome warmth As the boat returned to the quay we got some good views over the city. The Frauenkirche stands out as it is so clean. All of the stone was cleaned during the reconstruction and it looks like it is new. The other buildings are all rather dirty.

Just after the end of the boat trip it stopped raining. If you look at the previous photo of Dresden and this one you will see the difference. We drove up into the Saxische Schweiz area to have a look around. We drove to a place called Kurort Rathen. This is a small village with fantastic views out over the Bastei Rocks. These are rather impressice combination of cliff face and rock towers. The stretch down the river and look rather inviting for a spot of rock climbing.

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