Escape from Cold…itz now warm & sunny!

Posted by on 23, Jul 2012 in 2012 - The Last Dictator Tour (Belarus & Russia), Germany

Escape from Cold…itz now warm & sunny!

We’ve actually whizzed about since the last blog entry and are now at Radebeul, about 15km downstream of Dresden on the Elbe. We picked this stellplatz purely because it was on the river and away from the noise and hustle and bustle of Dresden – we are definitely acting like grandparents these days! To be fair that’s how we pick most places we go. Anyway, as seems to always be the case we hit the jackpot and Radebeul is a real Gem. We’re now in old East Germany and part of Radebeul – Altkötzscenbroda – was abandoned under communist rule and left to crumble away. It was scheduled to be demolished but reunification saved the area and it has now been fully restored to a beautiful Mediterranean type boulevard lined with restaurants and bars. The trees down the centre feature an exhibition on the flood here 10 years ago which would leave Taffy 4 meters underwater where we are camped now. Each tree also has a snow sledge tied to it for some reason hand painted by the local school children and best of all, it’s not busy at all. Apparently it’s called the German Nice.

From here we’ve cycled to Dresden twice, stopping to watch Prague play Dresden at, rather surrealy, cricket, been on the cable car to the top of the hills overlooking the Elbe valley and visited the Frauenkirche cathedral that was rebuilt only recently. The Elbe valley is one of only two places ever to be removed from the UNESCO world heritage lists, this because the Germans built a motorway over the river. We planned one of our cycles to Dresden around visiting a gorgeous little cafe right on the opposite bank of the Elbe to the old town with tremendous views of the cathedral which did veggie burgers. Unfortunately we had to settle for chips as they only did veggie burgers on Tuesdays!

We’ve also cycled to Meissen – just for an ice cream and today we cycled to the station to get the narrow gauge railway up the hills to Moritzburg. It was a real humid corker today and so naturally enough we missed the train by a good 45 minutes and so as punishment decided we had to cycle instead the 10km uphill route. Actually it wasn’t too bad, mostly in the shade and a fairly long gentle slope next to the railway and once we reached Moritzburg we were rewarded with a fantastic castle to sit and gaze at whilst we had our picnic by the enormous lake its set in. The cream cakes, rolls, crisps, more cake and jaffa cakes too were lovely and we really felt guilty thinking about our friends Jaques and Mandy who have are cycling in Java at the moment 70km a day in the middle of Ramadan and in a sweltering temperature too. Mind you, it didn’t stop us polishing it all off though!

The way back was a lovely roll, interspersed by thumps and complaints from the back seat driver who constantly felt we were going too fast!

Before arriving at Radebeul we had to stop at Colditz, which is full of Brits – not POW’s, but the tourists and we brilliantly timed our visit to get a guided tour all to ourselves with the one before and after having dozens of people on them. We’ve also been to another spa, which had a great water slide with rubber rings to go down on. It was full of kids, and Jon, who kept going again and again!

Our visas are now with Mike and Ali and we head off to meet them at Bad Muskau in the morning. Poland next!

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