The Vltava River in Prague, joins the Elbe and crosses the border into German Saxony. From there it flows through to the regional capital, Dresden. We managed to find a really good overnight stop in Dresden in a car park pretty much on the opposite bank to the historical centre, with an easy bridge to get to the other side.

As a massive industrial city, Dresden was pretty much totally destroyed by allied bombing during WWII, which included the dubious use of incendiary bombs. The worst night of bombing caused a massive firestorm. People sheltered in the huge domed cathedral, which withstood bombs bouncing off its curved roof. However, after 2 days and 650,000 bombs, the firestorm caused temperatures to reach roughly 1000C and the sandstone exploded in the heat. The ruins were left until it was rebuilt 2004-2005. Some of the stone that was reusable has been incorporated into the rebuild, they can be seen as blackened bricks in the mostly light coloured walls.

We had visited Dresden before on a river cruise and had explored the centre before. This visit we decided to take a look at the treasures in the Green Vault as this had been closed on our previous visit. As access to the green vault is limited on a time slot basis we walked over the bridge and purchased our tickets before stopping for a cake and coffee. Then we entered the Historic Green Vault or “Grünes Gewölbe“. No photos are allowed inside, but we admired the many rooms restored to how they would have looked before they were destroyed in WWII. Each room had a theme with the decoration to complement it. There was an amber room, an ivory room, a silver room and a jewel room amongst others.

We then headed over to the shopping centre so Joolz could have a quick browse, not sure whether the historic Green Vault had any influence on her but she bought some jewelry.

Local brew in a beer garden

After browsing the shops we headed back across the bridge to The Van. After a quick rest we then headed to the nearby beer garden on the river for a drink and to listen to the live music that could be heard being played across the water.

Next stop is further north, but a bit different…

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