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Dresden SignAfter about 12 hours on trains over two days, we finally made it to Dresden!  Our welcome couldn’t have been warmer.

When Mom worked for the college in Fullerton, CA. she met a pair of German exchange students and they became friends.  Since that time those students, Connie and Peter, have married (each other!), started careers, bought a house, and had two sons (J and E).  This was the family we were here to visit.  Connie picked us up at the airport and drove us back to their house in the suburb of Weinböhla.

By the time we arrived it was getting dark and a steady snow had begun to fall.  The snow would last through our entire visit.  DS could not have been more ecstatic!  Snow, family, kids to play with, nifty stuff to see and eat and learn.  This was his Happy Place!

E. is 4 and not entirely comfortable with strangers in his home.  So, it took him a while to get used to us.  At first he was hiding under the table.  But, DS completely understood.  He got down on the floor and started scooting around.  E. scooted, too.  And soon both of them were giggling and racing around the living room.  They became fast friends.  J., the older son, had a school sleep over to attend that night.  The teachers had all the students there and with the help of some parent volunteers were engaging in somewhat of a read-a-thon.  All the kids got to bring in favorite books and the adults would read them through the evening.  Sounded like a great plan!  But, it did mean that by the time we saw him in the morning, J. was feeling a wee bit under-slept.

Here are some images from our first day in Dresden/Weinböhla.  I will have separate posts about our trip to the Palace and about the interesting German foods we ate along the way.

NOTE: As always, you must click on the photos to see the captions.  Also, there are two pages of photos here.  You must click on the 2 at the bottom and let the page reload in order to see the second (awesome!) set.

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Fountain FrontMy favorite piece of art on the entire trip was a fountain that they have near the White Tower and St. Elisabeth’s Church in Nürnberg.  It is called Ehekarussell, or Marriage Carousel.  The piece is based off of a poem by sixteenth century poet Hans Sachs that describes marriage in rather unpleasant terms.  The romance and lust turn to obligation and decline, ending with the couple in old age grasping at each other’s throats.  I tried unsuccessfully to find a complete translation of the poem, so if you have (or could create) one, drop me a note and I will happily add it here.  I am absolutely in love with the grotesque imagery of the piece.  It was installed in 1984 amid much controversy, but I think it is well integrated in its space now.