Dresden via Berlin ~ Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Apologies for a late post--actually, it's about a year late! Last September I attended a conference in Dresden, and have been sitting on pictures from the trip ever since.
The trip had an auspicious start in that we flew right over the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction.
Naturally there are no direct flights from SFO to Dresden, and rather than change planes somewhere I flew into Berlin to take a train. The new central station in Berlin is nice, and even contains an HO model of itself.
I had to jump right into speaking German because on arrival, I discovered I had forgotten to bring a printout of my train reservation. The staff at the DB office said they needed a confirmation number to help me. I knew I had this somewhere in my email, but I didn't have internet access--their unofficial recommendation was to stand next to Starbucks and try their WiFi. It worked!
All this took up a little while but I still had some time before my train to see a few sights and take pictures.
...and shopt for a few things. Back Home, Nathan was about to start first grade right after I got back, and I found a stationery store in the station and bought him a Schultüte and school supplies to stuff it with. Maybe we can make this tradition catch on in the US, too.
I had a late night change of trains in Leipzig. The Leipzig station turns out to have some vintage railway equipment on display, such as this Krokodil:
There are several stations in Dresden, and "Dresden Neustadt" was closest to my hotel. This is a small neighborhood station. The lobby has a coin-operated model railroad!
Dresden has an extensive tram network.
There are plenty of things to see in Dresden, which is nicknamed "Florence on the Elbe". A few pictures of more conventionally-touristy signts...
This building looks like a mosque, which is intentional, but it's a fake: originally it was a warehouse for a tobacco importer. It is called the Yenidze, and today it contains a restaurant and a children's theater, which shows performances of fairy tails, appropriately including stories from the Arabian Nights.
These "Ampelmännchen" pedestrian crossing signals are found all over the former East Germany.
A colleague and I did some exploring of the city. At the east side of town, there is a hill with two funiculars. One is simultaneously a funicular and a suspended monorail, called a Schwebebahn (like the more famous monorail in Wuppertal). We rode up this one; there is a very nice view from the top.
On a lunch break I visited this local hobby shop. It's small, but when I asked for N scale kits, the proprietor found a whole stack of them in the back. I found a few that seemed applicable to my layout, and got a Roco "Hirter Märzen Dunkel" boxcar purely as a souvenir.
I also attempted to get a look at the main carbarn, but did go quite the right way and had to get back to work. If you want to see it, it's labelled as "Btf (Betriebshof) Gorbitz" and is on the 2,6, and 7 lines, and is actually close to hobby shop I visited.direct link