Friday, 10 June 2016

2 Bad Schandau to Dresden

Bad Schandau: A short walk before breakfast into the town square and the delights of a camp statue: a river creature depicted doing something questionable with a young boy. The church looks benignly on, having already given this charming scene its benediction.

(Mike, Dave, Ian, respectively a former fishmonger, airline pilot, chauffer and wannabe artist thought it would be nice to cycle up the the Elbe. Or is it down the river Elbe?  These five days are the first part of a project that is planned for the next couple of years, powered by Kalkhoff electric bikes.)

By 9 o’clock we were on the cycle path. We had hired excellent bikes, with a modicum of electric help to make the going good!

We passed through hay fields, wild flower lanes. Across the river were mountainous outcrops and small villages. These scenes that set the rhythm for our day. On one occasion there was the sounds of children’s’ cries from the forest, reminding me we are not far from Austria.  We took a coffee stop at 11:05 and only two hours later we collide with the perfect place for a lunch of wurst and kartoffelsalat.

In the afternoon the river broadens as we are close to Dresden. On the east bank there are grand villas, some are architectural flights of fancy in the Von Trapp style. Each villa is south facing explaining the deep tans of wealthy Germans.  

Once Dresden is clearly visible the chaps stop to allow me to paddle in the river. This is a delicious and symbolic experience.

We arrive in Dresden, in good time for Tour Guide Mike to show us the nice bits, including the remarkably reconstructed cathedral.

Poor Dresden, as I draw the cathedral Mike goes off to buy me the post card of Dresden at the end of the War. This votive offering remains in the back of my book now.

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim