qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Schindler's Lifts (2/3)

As most museums in Europe shut on Mondays, we planned our longest journey for that day. The first hour or so was spent on a comfortable ICE train to Nürnberg; for rather more than four hours we had to make do with an inappropriately named Regional "Express" to Dresden. (This is apparently quite standard for Germany: North-South services are much better than East-West ones, perhaps for obvious reasons). For the first hour we were accompanied by a Summer Camp group, who looked a little like the local Hitler Youth but behaved more like St Trinian's. I might have preferred them bursting into a rousing chorus of Tomorrow Belongs To Me.

On arrival in Dresden we navigated in the wrong direction to our hotel, taking us on a less-than-scenic route through the Stalinist boulevards on the southern fringe of the central districts. But once we were settled in our hotel (with another of Schindler's lifts, this time simpler to operate) and no longer carrying our luggage around, things became better. I had some rather nice Saxon Sauerbraten on the first evening, followed by the more exotic Uzbek Plov the following night. We toured museums, palaces, churches and galleries. After a false start (the bus departing from the Bahnhof Neustadt, not the Hauptbahnhof as previously advertised), on one day we also took a trip to Schloss Moritzburg before returning in the evening to an organ recital in the reconstructed and rejuvenated Frauenkirche. I did feel that Pierre Pincemaille tried to be rather too showy in Franck's Choral No. 3 - he was just too fast for the acoustic in the dome - but the rest of the programme (Vierne, Duruflé, and Messiaen) worked quite well (though a number of people began to trail out during the Messiaen). He finished off with an improvisation on a theme that seemed a little like Strawberry Fair, quite possibly some Lutheran Chorale. Disappointingly, the Mathematics and Physics Museum in the Zwinger, and the Albertinum, were both long-term closures, which meant that our final day before catching a 5pm train was perhaps a little drawn out.
Tags: europe, music, places, travel
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