Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter in Dresden, Germany

March 30 - April 1, 2013 

With Poland being a super Catholic country - Easter weekend is one of those holidays where everything shuts down. It's not like the states where food stores stay open till noon or tourist areas are open no matter the holiday - everything closes for Easter here.

For us, this means one thing - our first vacation! This also marks my first month in Poland - so many  reasons to get out of town. We decide on Dresden, Germany. It is about a 3 hour direct train ride from Wroclaw. It proves to be an easy getaway with maximum time to explore. We left March 30 at 6:00am via train and arrive in Dresden around 9:00am. It is a short walk from the train station to the historic district where we are staying.

Historic Dresden

Most American's know Dresden from WWII - it was pretty much destroyed. Amazingly, if you visit today - it is such a beautiful city with lots to offer. It is known as the Baroque City for all the beautiful Baroque style architecture. The city runs along the River Elbe. They also have a beautiful opera house and many beautiful museums. We visited the Old Masters Gallery Museum which is home to Raphael's Sistine Madonna. Truly a beautiful piece of art and the museum itself is possibly one of the prettiest we have been in. Don't miss the grounds if you have the chance to go. When you purchase the ticket, it also grants you access to the China exhibit which was neat to look at as well.

Dresden from across the River Elbe

For Easter Sunday mass, we went to the Katholische Hofkirche in the historic district. In German, but still very pretty mass. 

Other notable church is the Dresden Frauenkirche.

Our suggestion when visiting Dresden is get out and walk - and walk over the bridge to the new town. This is where most of the locals live and non-tourist sites. It is home to some of the best Doner Kebab (a German twist to the Gyro) restaurants and also you will find Curry Co. over there which is a must try - a hot dog with curry ketchup.

Doner Kebab
Curry Co. - Currywurst

On this side of town - you will also notice it is a very artsy community. One of our favorite finds was the rain house - when it rains - the house makes music.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wroclaw - Life As We Know It

During the month of March, Chris and I adjust to life in Wroclaw. From doing our first load of laundry and finding out it's not a washer/dryer in one but just a washer - to setting up internet in the apartment and having to have a Polish guy tell us, we were plugging in a capital "I" and not a lower case "l" as our network code. We laugh because Chris is pretty IT savoy. Interesting fact is the router and modem are in one over here.

We enjoy the city very much, taking long walks, meeting new friends and trying out the different restaurants. There are so many to choose from it is slightly crazy but we enjoy it because they are a very social culture and enjoy being out for late nights with friends over food, music and drinks. And by drinks, I mean vodka and beer.You can pretty much find any drink you want (which is good because we don't like beer all that much) - but I find it interesting in a country known for vodka, most places don't have martini's on the menu or bloody mary's. They are missing out!

During this month - we also are figuring out the joys of applying for residency in a new country. They love their stamps here, kind of funny that something is official until is has at least 10 stamps on it. Fortunately, we have a nice, patient lady helping us with the process and translations because everything has to filled out in Polish.
Town Hall in Rynek

Friday, March 1, 2013

Kristen Arrives to Wroclaw

So I too, packed my life in 2 checked bags and 1 travel pack (and one overstuffed carry-on and my own pillow - while wearing my biggest winter coat) and headed to Poland.

I have the best family in the world to send me off. My parents, my in-laws and my aunt all came to DC to celebrate our new adventure and life in Europe. It was the best send off one could ask for. And as sad it was to leave my family behind, I couldn't wait to arrive in Poland to see my love!

Chris was at the airport waiting for me once I arrived. We went to the apartment to drop off my bags, and then went to a traditional Polish style restaurant, Kurna Chata, for dinner.