Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Welcome To The Slaughterhouse (or Welcome Home, Sax of Saxony)

27 August - Alarm was set for an early wakeup call and I managed to extricate myself from Berlin without too much trouble - certainly not completely willingly but when travelling one does have to keep on moving. Had a slight journey to get myself to the rendesvous point for the carshare journey that was graciously organised for me by Erik - a tram then a train out to Schonweide where I was supposed to wait outside the McDonalds for a Rene. Upon getting off at the station I couldn't see a McDonalds and after asking a local shopkeep she directed me towards Burger King (i don't want to eat pre-digested American franchise food lady, I just want to meet someone there) and I unwisely jumped back on the train to the next stop which had a similar name. After exiting this station I saw a sign for McDonalds and after asking a workman for directions he sent me back from whence I came - time was running out for my rendesvous and I'd been told that the car shares wait for no man. Eventually found myself back at the original train station and around the corner was the McDonalds (and Rene) that had thus far eluded me. Turns out that Rene was not actually going to Dresden himself and was operating an illegal shuttle service but hey, it was 10 euros and that's the cheapest way to get to Dresden. Upon arrival got in touch with my local contact, Crisis Markus, who came to pick me up in his behemoth of a van and proceeded to give me a very excellent tour of the city - was goingg to moan to him about the state of my legs after the previous Saturday's fusbal participation but decided against it as I was aware that markus had just ridden the 90hr 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris,probaby not the time to complain - I have to admit my interest was a little macabre, after all, all I really know about the city is that it was the subject of Slaughterhouse 5 and was destroyed by the Allies in a fit of mostly petty vengeance - all things considering, it seems to have been rebuilt rather well. The signs of the destruction are quite visible though - the main church is half original stone and half new, one of the mountains that gives a great panorama of the city is completely man made - the result of piling up all the leftover rubble after the city was laid to waste. Still, there's a lot more to this place than the fire bombing - the fact that its the capital of Saxony and therefore the place I must return to and rule one of these days means I should probably get to know it better. I don't think there's anyone living in the castle right now so I might have to sneak in and change the locks before I move on. It's a nice castle, I think it'll do just fine.

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