Thursday, August 13, 2015

Trip to Dresden

I spent a couple of days in Dresden (about as far east as you can go in Germany), part of the old DDR empire, and a fairly historic town.  I'll probably write three or four pieces out of the trip, but this is the general all encompassing ten observations that I'd make over the location.

First, just about every American ought to go and spend three or four days in some former east-bloc Soviet empire state (DDR for example).  You end up marveling over four zones of life: the marble and historic period (before the 1890s), then the period before WW II and the 1890s, then the Soviet era from 1945 to 1990, and finally the ultra modern period.  In a matter of ten minutes, you can walk through all four periods and think for a minute that you are in some Disney-Twilight-type zone.

Two, no matter what you think the real price of ice cream ought to be in 99-percent of's thirty-percent more expensive.  Go figure.....they had to find some way to make money back fast.

Three, on a hot day of walking around come to the end of the day and realize you've consumed at least six beers, a dozen water-bottles, and still feel thirsty.  In 90-degree-plus heat, staying hydrated takes up two hours of the day.  Thankfully, they've got tons of open shading and city parks where a slight breeze offers relief.

Four, Saxsons (that's the region) know how to cook.  If you can find an open table and get a non-tourist-trap restaurant......opt for the big 'grill-platter' and prepare yourself for a feast.

Five, there's some unique dressing style for gals in the Dresden/Saxson area.  It's half Parisian, half-Soviet trashy tramp, half-ultra modern with rips and cuts in cloth that challenge the mind, and somewhat messing up your mind with weird stuff that you wouldn't think would exist.

Sixth, crime is almost non-existent.  It was curious to be walking around at 10PM at night....major city of 500,000 and just not feeling any threat existing.  People out.....drinking.....and everyone seems someone 'nice'.

Seventh, once you get past the WW II or Soviet start to realize that Dresden and the whole Saxson region had tons of money, innovation, capital improvements, and probably had the strongest educational structure of any place in Germany.  All of that came to an end in 1945 (don't bring up the US/UK bombing of the city.....there's a negativity still in existence today), and the Soviet era probably didn't help matters.

Eighth, the whole city of Dresden runs off a four-star light-rail tram system, and it's probably a model for any city that wants the stuff.  Tons of money spent on this, and it's all ultra modern stuff from the past twenty years.  You start to notice traffic isn't a big deal around the city....mostly because of the tram and the usage of bikes by residents.

Ninth, lots of economic and capital deals are sitting there in Dresden.  A guy with a smart idea, some cash flow, and willingness to seize opportunity.....would find five-star situation awaiting him there.

Tenth, the river, which everyone gets all peppy about and talk least to a guy from more of a creek than a river.  But don't insult anyone by suggesting such.

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