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Via Dresden to our friends in Zermützel

Home -> Europe -> Germany -> Travelogue Germany -> 20 to 22 July 2003

Sunday 20 July, via Dresden to our friends in Zermützel

Last breakfast at PragueOur holiday is almost over; a last breakfast in Prague and then we get into the car. At 9, it is already 30 degrees.
We want to take a short break in Dresden, but we don't seem to get there.
As soon as the highway comes to an end the road is getting worse and there are a lot of road works. The second hour we drive only 30 kilometers. From the border with Germany towards Dresden it is the same. On the radio they say it is 34 degrees and we have noticed that already. We are totally soaked with sweat when we get out of the car at Dresden.
Dresden Ruins from the war, DresdenDresden is a monumental city where one can walk around for a few days and have an interesting time. We just walk around for an hour through the old city centre. Maybe another time we stay a bit longer.
Dresden has been heavy bombed at the end of the second world war and one can still see the consequences. Much has been restored but we also see a lot of memorials for buildings that had to be broken down completely.
Dresden DresdenIt is not really pleasant to walk through a city with such a high temperature, but we are here for the first time, so we want at least see a bit of the town centre, just to get a first impression. Well, the first impression impresses us.
Dresden DresdenMost tourists are probably off to cooler places, but we notice that tourism has become a booming bussiness here. There are many ways to be guided through the city: by busses, taxi's and small open cars. We end our walk with a cup of coffee and decide this town is surely worth a longer visit.
After 3 weeks without seeing too serious accidents, we are back on the beltway around Berlin where we saw the first one in this holiday. Today we see another, we hope the last one. Two cars are on the highway facing the wrong direction and totally wrecked. A bit further we enter twice into a long traffic jam. Caused by accidents, although we fortunately don't see anything of it after the jam ends after 15 long kilometers. Despite the open windows it is terribly hot in the car and the brakedown lanes are blocked by dozens of cars with the hood open and steam coming from the engines.
Near Neuruppin we can escape the second traffic jam, since we are going to spend the last two nights with our friends Wolfgang and Annemarie Falkenberg in Zermützel. It is still early, so we first drive to the coffeebar of Roman, their oldest. After an hour talking we drive the last kilometers and feel as if we are coming home already when we are received very heartily. Better to have a good friend far away than a bad neighbour...
We sit outside until after midnight and it still feels very warm, 23 or 24 degrees. It has been another nice day.

Monday 21 July 2003, Zermützel, with our German friends

At the FalkenbergsThe day starts just as cool as it was at midnight, so very pleasant. We didn't have to put up our tent since there was a bungalow available where we could sleep. When Teije walks out the door this morning he sees a Pfennig lying on the ground. It turns out to be an old Reichspfennig from 1941, adorned with a swastika. A souvenir from a dreadful period in history, which one doesn't find every day.
We just relax and have nothing to do, like having a real holiday. We chat with Annemarie and Wolfgang and some friends of old who pass by. Meanwhile it is getting warmer very quickly.
Paddle on lake ZermützelThe Falkenbergs live in a beautiful spot with a lake behind their house and in the afternoon we have a few hours of fun in the water, swimming and playing. There are some people, but not very many, not the multitude one would expect to see in such a nice spot in the holiday season. The inhabitants of the village are quite happy with it.
Swimming ringed snakeElisabeth still sits on a surfboard when suddenly a snake comes swimming by, at least 80 centimeters long, maybe even a metre. We both once had pet snakes, so we are not afraid, but we are surely surprised. We think we would have been startled though, when we would have been swimming in the middle of the lake and then see a snakes head swimming next to us. We try to make a good picture of the snake, but he moves very fast, so you have to look at the bigger picture. It appears to be a grass or ringed snake, a real watersnake, but harmless.
We spend the rest of the afternoon and evening with Annemarie and Wolfgang, their son Thomas and his wife Coletta and son Niklas, who have just returned from their holiday. We also get a visit from the sister of Annemarie and her husband, acquaintances who Teije saw 14 years ago for the last time, when he was in East Germany during the fall of the wall.
There is a little bit of lightning and about 10 drops of rain fall, but after a few minutes it gets warm and dry again. We sit outside, covered by a patio roof and we have a great time before we return to our bungalow, quite late since we have so much fun.

Tuesday 22 July 2003, the holiday is over, going home again

The last day... 5 weeks we have been on our way and, like always, it feels so much shorter in the end. Tonight we will be home again and tomorrow we both start working again. We try not to think about it, yet.
Enjoying until the endWithout traffic jams the way home takes only 5 to 6 hours, so we first enjoy breakfast and the whole morning, until after lunch. We sit outside in a beautiul garden while the sun is shining brightly.
At eleven the sky very suddenly turns totally dark and a strong wind starts to blow; rain pours down for fifteen minutes, but just as suddenly as it started, the weather changes and the sun starts to shine without any wind blowing. When we say goodbye to our friends and leave after lunch, the thermometer tells us it is already 30 degrees.
The journey goes very fast; only near Hamburg we have to drive slowly, but it is always very busy there. When we enter Holland, the temperature has dropped quite a bit, but we expected that, since we saw the weather forecast on the internet. After exactly 5 hours we are back home again, after 5 fabtastic weeks. We make a short phonecall to tell Annemarie we are home and she tells us we have forgotten 'our snake'. When she opened the door, just after we left, she saw the biggest ringed snake she has ever seen.
Well, how to end this story... Are we glad to be back home? Maybe for some few comforts, but when we would have the opportunity to leave again, we immediately would. We are already looking forward for our next adventure. Soon!
To end the story we have written a sort of conclusion, a short summary of the ups and downs of this holiday, click on the arrow to the right down here. Next to our jobs we will be busy updating the website with information about the countries we have visited and checking everything. And don't think we are ready with travelling yet, not for a long while! Thanks for your attention in following this travelogue and we hope that you, reader, may have many beautiful voyages as well.


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