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Dresden, Germany

My husband, Matt, and I decided to visit Dresden during our stay in Prague.  It was only a two hour train ride away and we wanted a little break from everything touristy.  Dresden did not disappoint!



DRESDEN HISTORY
Years ago my husband, Matt, read a book Slaughterhouse Five, set in Dresden, which details the destruction after the carpet bombing in WWII.  (He told me a little bit about it and it is actually fascinating.)  Well, this city wanted to restore all of the old buildings exactly as they were before the bombing.  So, everything has been rebuilt, with the most beautiful old architecture, however, using fresh, new materials and it is absolutely breathtaking.
TRAVELING TO DRESDEN BY TRAIN
We got to Dresden by train from Prague.  It only takes two hours, so it was a perfect day trip.  Let's talk about traveling by train real quick.  It is probably my favorite way to travel with kids because, in my opinion, it is SO EASY!  At the train station, we keep the boys in our tandem stroller so when the train arrives we can just both lift them onto the train.  This is so much easier than taking them out, folding the stroller and carrying both boys and our bags onto the train.  Plus, what if one kid is napping or being difficult outside the stroller?  It's nice to have them contained and all our bags attached to the stroller and just lift them into the train.  Because we have a front/back tandem stroller, it fits through the aisles in the train easily while the boys are contained and then we generally find the luggage/bike section of the train to hang out.  I love that area because it's closed off and small, no one is around, and we can all sit on the floor and play with Dylan's matchbox cars, or do a puzzle, read a book, whatever!  Also, we are normally right next to the bathrooms, which is a nice perk for mothers of "potty trained" toddlers. ;-)  I prefer trains over renting cars because the kids can move around and play, and aren't stuck in car seats.  Plus, we save time not having to make bathroom stops, get gas, etc.

EXPLORING DRESDEN
When we walked out of the train station, we found ourselves in the new city section, nothing like what we were expecting!  So we walked along the pedestrian streets, passing well known stores such as H&M, TJMaxx, and a Starbucks (about ten minutes walk) until we got into the old city section.  The buildings were intricate and so well restored.  We also happened upon a really cool market/festival, which felt sooo German and we loved just walking around looking at the food and little kiddie rides!


FOOD
Because Dylan fell asleep soon after arriving in Dresden, Matt and I took advantage of his nap to have a little German date at the outdoor market! I'm pretty sure Matt's mouth was watering the whole time we were trying to decide what to get.  He finally decided on nice mixture of pork, sauerkraut, mushrooms and potatoes.  I'm not a big meat and potatoes girl ;-) but I have to say the sauerkraut and mushrooms were soooo yummy.  I've said this before: we love using the boys' stroller naps to eat a sit down, bigger meal that may be difficult to enjoy when the boys are awake.  It's special time for Matt and I, and we don't have to worry about antsy children crawling all around while we are trying to eat/talk! :)  Once Dylan woke up, we stopped at a local grocery store and found him some snacks and of course, picked up ice cream as well at a local ice cream stand! :)  Before we left, we desperately needed a cup of coffee and were recommended to go to Cafe Latte Art, which was perfect.  The workers inside were so friendly, especially with our children, which was so refreshing for us.  We've noticed that some cultures really embrace children, and others seem to really embrace the "seen and not heard" mentality, lol.  At Cafe Latte Art, the waitresses were so sweet and every time they walked by our table they would stop to play and talk with both our boys!

We are so glad we took this day trip because we LOVE Germany and it was fun to experience a little German culture, even if it was only for an afternoon.  The architecture was outstanding and we loved just walking around and looking at everything!  Oh, and my favorite part was walking into Zwinger (a building surrounding this huge court yard with fountains and gardens) and hearing the cutest group of elderly men playing all our favorite classic songs... it was magical! ☆

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