|Dresden, views through to central square|
Contrary to appearances, the old town is actually, in large part, rather new. Dresden was one of the many German cities bombed in WWII and most of the buildings pictured above and below were destroyed. They only finished rebuilding them in the last 5 years, but they have done an amazing job of the work. Other than looking particularly clean and well kept, the buildings could pass for their historical counterparts.
|Dresden central square|
I started the trip expecting I would be vegetarian but not vegan for the 3 days. To give some context for this, when asked to pre-order choices for our group dinner, the main meal options were described as "meat (chicken) or vegetarian (fish)". It took me a while to figure out what this meant because to me, of course, fish is not vegetarian! Further, on our first night here when ordering in a local restaurant, a salad with nuts and goat's cheese was labelled as vegan.
|Mural of Saxon kings and leaders|
Contrary to stereotypes, though, the food has not been all meat and potatoes. I also know there are options for vegans, because we drove past a modern looking restaurant called "We Love Vegan". I have enjoyed plenty of fresh vegetables and despite the fish confusion, vegetarians are catered to.
Our group dinner was at the fancy Lingnerterrassen restaurant, which is in a 19th century palace that rather looks like a castle (above). It was a beautiful setting with views back towards Dresden and beyond.
After ordering a vegetarian meal without fish (!) I was delighted to find my request had been translated to 'vegan' along the way. When travelling for work, I am wary about being too demanding with my food choices and would have coped with dairy or egg if needed - but it was a huge bonus to be presented with beautiful vegan food instead. I don't have photos of anything on account of the work context, but I had a stack of roasted vegetables minus the standard cheese for a starter; a large plate of roasted vegetables and potatoes for a main (perhaps not entirely balanced but tasty); and beautiful berry sorbet and fruit for dessert.
|Views from Lingnerterrassen|
All in all, it has been a whirlwind but positive first glimpse into Germany. Dresden is but one corner of what was East Germany, and I gather there are still differences between the east and west sides of the country. Clearly I have more exploring to do here one day. For now, though, I am rather looking forward to flying home tonight and catching up on sleep after one last, normal work day tomorrow. Between early flights, late dinners and the one hour time difference, I am operating in a rather sleep deprived state!
|Views along the river Elbe|