A free day in Dresden (shame it rained!)

Trip Start Jun 26, 2011
Trip End Jul 18, 2011

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Flag of Germany  , Saxony,
Monday, July 4, 2011


Well today we had a proper lie-in. I know I’ve said before we’ve had lie-ins, but this time no alarm
was set! We got up, showered & dressed & headed into town for breakfast. We reached Starbucks at about midday. We walked in & saw Carol, Tina & Andrew so we said hello, then noticed that the
Stoneys were there, along with Jilly, Eni, Unitt, Fara & Casey. They all waved and grinned at us.After breakfast we decided to visit the Tourist Information shop to see what they had to offer in there. En route we came across the Dresden Pride Parade! It wasn’t going anywhere when we stumbled upon it, the move-off time was 2pm & it was a quarter to at this point. The parade is a small affair, just 15 floats long, with probably about 150 people watching. But what it lacked in size it certainly made up for in noise! Each float was parked right behind each other. They all had their own sound system which consisted of at least 8 waist-high speakers & at least 1 person on a mic. The sound they were blasting out could be heard for a good few roads away! We waited for move-off time & the parade followed a long-time Pride tradition & was led by the local Dykes on Bikes group. Once it moved on we carried on up to the Tourist Information centre, only to discover the parade was following us! We carried on regardless & eventually (after about 20 minutes) we parted company. We bought a weather-proof map from the Tourist Information centre & moved off to have a gentle stroll around town. The weather was miserable – it was cold, damp & windy. And what made it worse was that we had heard how good the weather is back home – we were the ones who were meant to be on holiday, not everyone back home! But then, we’ve never let a bit of bad weather put us off before, and we certainly weren’t going to let it happen today.During our walk, we came across what looked like a dirt car/monster truck type rally. We followed the line of vehicles up onto the bridge & found out it was the Breslau rally. We watched the cars start the rally for quite a while before continuing over the bridge to the other side of the river. We decided to walk along the river bank to the next bridge. On reaching the river bank, we were approached by a man wearing smart trousers & shirt, braces, a bow tie & a straw boater. He stopped us & in broken English told us that he was trying to raise money to go out drinking to celebrate him getting married on a boat tomorrow, to do this he had heart-shaped balloons & was giving them away & asking for a donation in payment. He gave us two balloons, so we gave
him 2Euros. By the look on his face this may well have been the largest donation he’d had all day! Bless. Further along the river bank, what looked like a festival of sorts was being set up. It was a film night festival that was there for the week. They had a giant screen (a proper giant screen, not a collection of 20” TVs that are a distance away from the viewers) and were doing a sound check for the gigs that were going on there as well. We could hear them rehearsing even when we were back on the other side of the river.We slowly made our way back to the hotel, via the station for train information and cheesecake. We were meeting the Carneys, Bern, Steve & Keith in the Dubliner to watch the fight, so thought we’d have a rest at the hostel & catch the second half of the USA match before heading out. This was obviously code for a sleep. We (well, I, Lis had woken up before me) woke up just after nine, so then it was a quick change into warmer clothes & out we went. Halfway there I realised I was hungry, so we decided that if the Dubliner had finished serving food we would step out & find something elsewhere. We had been given directions from the stadium to the Dubliner, but not from our hostel, so we looked up where it was & marked it on our map. We walked into town & knew we were close to the pub, but couldn’t find it. We asked at reception in the NH hotel & he gave us directions – turns out it was in the only part of the road we hadn’t gone down. We were just round the corner from the pub when we bumped into Steve & Keith. They were on their way to get food as the kitchen in the pub had just closed. We went with them & had a bite to eat. Then the 4 of us walked back to the Dubliner. We arrived just as the introductions for the fight started. We chatted to Bern, Mark (Jilly’s brother), and sat with the Carneys. The Stoneys came in shortly before the fight started. The fight wasn’t all that if I’m honest, we all kind of knew that Haye would lose on points as the fight went on (commentary was in German, so couldn’t follow what they were saying). Unsurprisingly he did lose on points. He did, however, launch the new England away shirt. It’s blue. Neither of us quite get the blue away shirt, when we’ve worn red for so long. I’m expecting some sort of marketing explanation on the Umbro site which we’ll get round to reading at some point. Have also seen the new keeper's kit - erm! Really? It's not one that I would choose to wear! We left the pub just before 1am & walked back to our hostel. Exhausted. Early start in the morning,
we’re getting the 11.55am train to Munich & have to fit breakfast in on our way as well.Until then: Come on England – We Believe!Big loveS&L xx
p.s. still rubbish internet speed, photos will come, honest!
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