Saturday, 22 June 2013

Day 9; Train Day 4; Marienbad-Dresden

We were sad to say goodbye to Miroslav, the proprietor of the Villa Art, and promised to recommend the place to all and sundry. He said that, despite Marienbad's having practically been founded by Edward VII, they get very few English visitors.

We had ordered the car for 10:30 (doesn't that sound grand!), but nearly made a nonsense with the trains, as the fast train was late, then they wouldn't let us on as it was reservation-only, and the train we had planned to catch was on another platform than advertised, but we just caught it by the skin of our teeth.

And so to Cheb, which has the most gloriously unreconstructed station, straight out of the Communist era, with an ultra-modern bus station outside. And then a little diesel rail-bus to Marktredwitz; it was not run by DB, so we weren't sure our tickets were valid, but nobody asked us to show them, so it didn't matter.

I was surprised to find that we were in Bavaria; I had thought we were too far north. However, we didn't stay there, we almost at once got on another train to Dresden. A taxi took us to the hotel, which is part of the BB chain and such a comedown after the Villa Art.

Tea was necessary, and then we set out to explore the city. I had fallen down the steps of the railbus and jarred my leg, and walking is, not painful, exactly, but uncomfortable. So we decided to be trippers and take a sightseeing bus round the city, which was fun. Dresden is an odd mix - the old centre reconstructed, lots of buildings left over from the Communist era, and lots of modern ones, too. And this extraordinary former cigarette factory that looks rather like a mosque.

We ate dinner in a random restaurant which was the best steak I've had for a very long time, and then walked back to the hotel.

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