Aside from Cologne, Dresden is the farthest city to the north that we've visited in Germany. I know...kind of sad, right? For some reason, even though we live in central Germany, we tend to gravitate towards Bavaria and the Southern regions of the country more often. No particular reason except that from what I hear, Bavaria is known for having more of the quaint, picturesque villages you envision when you think of what Germany must look like. When I think of northern Germany, I think of Berlin-type cityscapes...lots of history, but lots of modern buildings. Not having been to many (or any) Northern cities, I can't say for certain if my visions are correct. But if Dresden is any indication of what the north looks like, I'll be happy to declare I'm wrong!
D and I made a quick overnight trip to Dresden just after the New Year began. The air was chilly, but the city was warm and inviting, tourists and locals bustling everywhere. Our hotel was located right beside Zwinger Palace (Dresden's most popular attraction), placing us central to everything we wanted to see in the city. We spent quite a bit of time marveling at the colorful Baroque architecture of the Neumarkt. The Frauenkirche commands the Neumarkt skyline, with restaurant and shop-filled alleyways jutting off from every corner of the church. I found myself looking up quite often, gazing at the gorgeous stone facade shining against the blue sky. Dresden boast some major eye candy, to say the very least! Just behind the church lies the the famed Bruhlsche Terrasse, also known as "the balcony of Europe." From here you can look into the Neumarket, across the river Elbe, and view many classic Baroque buildings and sculptures scattered along the promenade. D and I snapped photos along the water, ate dinner at the ever-popular Augustiner Brauhaus, and ducked into Paulaner for an evening beer, but I think my most favorite part of our day in Dresden was watching the street performers dance with bubbles in the Neumarkt. Absolutely not something we'd usually waste time watching, but the crowd that formed around the 3 dancers drew us in, and the adorable bulldog that kept trying to eat the bubbles as they floated by made us stay. It was completely random, but definitely entertaining. That night, the opening of Dresden's Winterzauber filled the Altmarkt square, so we stopped in for a mug of gluhwein and watched as Perchten (the winter demon) snuck up on unsuspecting passersby (including myself). After our brief weekend away, Dresden had me wishing we'd made time to visit more German gems in the north. Guess we'll just have to make our way back someday! :)