Dresden - Großer Garten and Blaues Wunder

On our final morning in Dresden we fortified ourselves with a substantial breakfast outdoors at Schwerdtner before setting out on an ambitious trip to cover both Großer Garten and Blaues Wunder in the few hours we had remaining before our train would whisk us to Berlin.

Actually, these pictures also cover breakfast the day before so we're not as big gluttons as we may seem ;-)  We liked this place so much (and it was so convenient...) that we came back twice during our trip.
We noticed these strips of colorful fabric tied to the fence around a construction site nearby.  I wonder if there is a significance to it or if it's just art for art's sake.
We took the tram to Großer Garten and were greeted by this little fellow, a fieldfare.
The park is nicely wooded with paths and streams running through.
We soon emerged into a clearing in the center of the park where an old mansion still stands.
We stopped to admire the detailed embellishments on the facade.
A rectangular pond sits alongside the house.
This swan and her cygnets were taking advantage of this beautiful spot to nest.
We continued along the path soaking up the sun.
Passing through another wooded area, we chanced upon a small railway that runs in the park.  We were there pretty early so didn't get the chance to give the train a go as it wasn't open yet.
We emerged from the park and passed Volkswagen's 'Transparent Factory'.
There were some detours in effect on the tram lines but one of the conductors helped point us to alternative transportation to Blaues Wunder.
We passed through a posh neighborhood of stately homes.
We emerged along a strip of bustling shops housed in architecturally interesting buildings.
I always like taking a closer look at the details.  In this case, I discovered man's best friend immortalized in the doorway.
More classic themes also appeared.
Just around the corner were the banks of the Elbe.
We could see some lovely hiking trails and even a few castles in the distance.
A local fisherman was spending the day exercising his craft.
We then turned toward Blaues Wunder, (The Blue Wonder).  Dresden was heavily damaged during World War II and this is especially true of the city's bridges.  Blaues Wunder is a rare example of a bridge in this area predating the war (it was built in 1893).
We walked across and admired the Elbe from the center.
Horses grazed alongside the bridge on the other side...such an idyllic scene.
A small strip of shops and restaurants greeted us on the other side in a mainly residential neighborhood.
We wandered through the smaller streets on this side of the bridge back toward the river.  We saw some really cool structures...
...and a chocolate shop en route.
Such a peaceful neighborhood...
Back along the Elbe, we admired Blaues Wunder from a different vantage point.
A small cracked path led directly to water's edge.
We walked back toward the bridge...
...climbing a set of stairs for the return crossing.  We spotted the famous Schillergarten (a popular beer garden) but alas we were too early (around 10:30 am) and they weren't open yet.  We'll have to revisit this spot at a more convenient time if we ever find ourselves in this part of the world again.
We caught a ride on public transit from the high street back toward Dresden City Center.
We managed to squeeze in a quick visit to see the inside of Frauenkirche.
This cross used to sit atop the dome but when the church was bombed in World War II, this cross became the gnarled, twisted piece of metal we see today. It's housed inside the church now and serves as a reminder of the ravages of war.
Overall, Frauenkirche has been lovingly restored to its former glory.
With that, we were out of time and dashed to the train station for our journey to Berlin.  I took advantage of this awesomely convenient conveyor belt to transport my luggage up the stairs to the platform and we were on our way!
Goodbye Dresden, and thanks for a fascinating trip!

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Sidewalk Safari: Dresden - Großer Garten and Blaues Wunder
Dresden - Großer Garten and Blaues Wunder
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Sidewalk Safari
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