Showing posts from May, 2013

Dresden, Nazis and blood on the ground

We recently had a holiday in Bad Schandau, one of our favorite spas on the Elbe in Saxony, a quick getaway in all seasons. We love Bad Schandau for several reasons:

its picturesque charm
its position on the Elbe among sandstone cliffs (Schrammstein)
its ease of access, with trains, boats and highways all around
its nearness to the Saxon-Bohemia Switzerland National Park
 the state-of-the-art thermal spa facility, Toscana Therme
The best part is that Bad Schnadau is just over the border with Germany, so it's an easy train ride/car ride to get there, less than two hours door to door. It's really an ideal holiday choice for us. And if we get restless, we can hop on a boat or a commuter train to Dresden, 45 minutes downstream.

Because of my interest in Bad Schandau, I have read several books (in English) about the region. If you take Dresden as the midpoint, Schmilka as the upriver endpoint and Meissen as the downriver endpoint, this stretch of the Elbe in Saxony is a tourist dream: vi…

still chilly, still rainy

I remember a summer I lived in the North Country, northern New York, where every month we had to light the woodstove. June, July, August...the rainy, chilly weather just would not let go.

 It's looking like that in Prague this spring. Following a grey, dull winter of light snow and few really cold, bright-blue sky days, we Praguers really wanted a spectacular spring. Instead, we've gotten a spring of bone-chilling coolness and perpetual clouds. You can count on your fingers the beautiful days of fresh breezes, cheerful sunshine and sweet-smelling flowers.

Okay, I get it. I am not in charge of the weather. It does what it does. But even when we leave the country, the chill and damp follows us. We were in Bad Schandau, about 1.45 hours from Prague down the Elbe in Germany, last week. Sunday, when we arrived, was fabulous--30 degrees and sunny.

People were everywhere, dressed in summer clothes and happy.

I was starting to regret the sweaters and long pants I had packed. Not to wo…