Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eurotrip 2011 - Day 11 (6/27/2011) - To Dresden

We got a semi-early start this morning so that we could catch the 10:48 to Dresden.  Another guest at the Berlin hostel, Ben, was to stay at the same hostel as us in Dresden (Kangaroo Stop).  So we headed to the Berlin Hbf with him. He had a second class pass, so we separated to board the train. Unfortunately, Galen and I were slow on the draw, and by the time we got to the first class car all the seats were taken.  So we walked to the adjoining second class car to try to find seats.  We found a couple that were unoccupied, but we were not sure if they were reserved - instead of the info line next to the seat number saying the cities between which they were reserved (e.g., BERLIN-DRESDEN) or being blank, they said something like "GGF RESERVIERT", which we didn't understand, but hoped meant that they could not be reserved (Update: it turns out this means that the on-train reservation system is not up to date with the latest information from the booking system, so the seat may be reserved).  So we sat in them and hoped that nobody would kick us out during the 1.5 hour ride - which they didn't.

After arriving in Dresden we all took the S-Bahn (without paying - an attendant told me that our rail passes were valid for the local trains, which looked like the regional trains, but I'm not sure she understood what I was asking) a couple of stops to Neustadt (New Town) and then made the short walk to Kangaroo Stop.  After checking in (Galen and I had a private 2-bed room) Galen and I headed out to find something to eat.  A few blocks down we realized that we should have grabbed Ben to tag along.  But when we went back to get him he had already taken off (after not being able to find us, we later found out).  So we walked down to a Turkish place by the train station and had a dürüm (me) and felafel döner (Galen).  After that we walked around Neustadt for a while, including a stop for a couple of ice cream cones.  Next we walked into a nearby park and joined in with a couple of guys who were kicking a soccer ball around.  Then we headed back to the outdoor ping-pong tables and played some doubles with a group of three guys that had an extra paddle.  Germans are so friendly!

When we were finished playing, the ping-pong guys pointed us in the direction of a local microbrewery that Galen wanted to check out.  We eventually found the place, but then realized that the map info said that it was only open for 2 hours (12-2) each day (though longer on Saturdays).  So we walked back to the hostel, intending to rest a bit then head out to the riverside "beach" before dark.  But once we laid down we were out for a while - I slept for about 1.5 hours and Galen slept about 3.  After I got up I went out on the patio and hung out with Ben and some other guests, including a couple of Aussies and a Dubliner.  Galen later joined us, and we all eventually headed out to grab some food.  We settled on another Turkish place (eastern Germany is apparently full of them), where I had a Hawaiian pizza and some green (Exotic) Fanta.  Most of the guys each grabbed a beer and then we all wandered around fairly aimlessly for a bit (drinking in the streets is legal in Germany) before Galen and I decided to head back, and the others followed.  I went to bed sometime around 1.

Some pictures from the whole trip:

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