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Another Idiot Abroad
12th Jun 2017 - Prague
Day trip to Dresden....

An early start this morning as taking a trip back into sausage country to visit Dresden on the 08:20 train.  

Not the best start to the day when I tried to order my breakfast in the native language.  My expected full English transpired to just be four rolls!  Although two were long and the other two had seeds on.  I still have no idea if there was some kind of wind up going on as at least three of the restaurant staff came over to ask if everything was good.  Didn't have much time so just cracked on through them as if it was all planned.  That showed them!

It's a great trip to Dresden, just over two hours and the train follows the Elbe river all the way there.  A real scenic journey.  

I'd read a little about Dresden, which is famous mainly for being heavily bombed by Britain and the US in the second world war and was aware that they had completed the restoration of the cathedral.  I wasn't expecting to see such a spectacular number of amazing old buildings however,  it's a real surprise.   

Another surprise was the police presence around the place.  I reckon I saw more police in one day here than in every other place I've travelled to.  They were literally everywhere, heavily armed too.  Wonder what that would cost,  Diane Abbott?

I took a trip a little further out on a couple of trams to check out the Schweberbahn, a suspension railway and the oldest in the World.  It's not as big as the one at Wuppertal in the west of Germany,  but it was the original.

There was a bit of quality entertainment going on in one of the main squares as well.  If you've been on Norwich market you'll have seen the stall that basically consists of a pile of vacuum cleaner parts and accessories.   A guy here had a similar pile and was picking up and playing each in turn...and getting a pretty decent tune out of most of them.   He also played a crutch like a flute.  The highlight though was when he switched on a hoover and somehow made a tune with the sucking end in his mouth!  Definitely one to file in the 'don't try this at home' pile.  It looked incredibly painful....but it did attract a large crowd and a heavy police presence.

Another good trip back on the rattler, although my passport came under massive scrutiny from yet another policeman just as we were setting off.  Not sure what warranted that as it's never had a second glance from customs anywhere else I've been. 

Just the trip home to get through now, which does have potential to not be as straight forward as it should be.  When booking flights etc I was taken in by a flight price of £27 from Prague to Gatwick.   I hadn't heard of Smartwings, but just assumed they were the budget arm of one of the usual carriers.  It seems they are the Czech equivalent of Easyjet, but without the reliability,  customer service, quality and everything else they get slated for.  Most of the reviews mainly have gripes about why they aren't able to give a zero rating and some wanted to give minus marks!!  They say you get what you pay for....probably not a great criteria for flights now I think about it.  We shall see......

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