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Symphony World Travel - Fetcham

29th October 2019

Germany – Berlin and Dresden 2 centre tour

 In June 2019, my husband and I visited Germany. On arrival at Berlin Tegel Airport, we were transferred the short distance to the four-star Maritim Hotel in Berlin, ideally located near the famous Potsdamer Platz in the heart of the city. 

Potsdamer Platz Sony Centre

The following morning, we engaged on a city tour taking in many of the city’s famous landmarks, including Checkpoint Charlie, a symbol of the cold war when Berlin was divided between East and West. The tour covered both sections including the Brandenburg Gate and the historic Unter den Linden.

The afternoon was free, so we took the opportunity to visit the Reichstag (parliament) building – one needed to book in advance as queues were very long for the same day visit. The Dome area has amazing views over the city and I highly recommend the visit. For another fine view of Berlin, you can pre-book the revolving restaurant at the top of the Berlin TV Tower. 

Saying a sad farewell to Berlin the following day we travelled to Dresden, making a detour in order to visit Colditz Castle, the infamous Second World War prison where our guide offered such interesting insight into the day to day running and lives of the prisoners held there during that period. On display are the escape tunnels, false uniforms and other escape equipment all crafted from whatever the prisoners could lay their hands on. 

The infamous Colditz Castle

At the end of the visit the group were asked: “What were the four items needed in order to escape and evade capture successfully?” (Answer below)* 

A short journey on from Colditz, we arrived at the famous Meissen porcelain studio, where it was explained how individual creations are handcrafted using centuries-old techniques. We also had time to explore all the stunning artefacts on display.

Meissen Porcelain Studio

Finally, after a long day travelling, we arrived for our two-night stay in Dresden on the river Elbe. This city dates back as far as the l2th Century, and although the majority of magnificent buildings were destroyed by the allied bombing in 1945 most of it has been rebuilt to its former glory. It’s a beautiful city to stroll through with many Baroque, Renaissance and Classical buildings to behold. Within its cobbled streets there are delightful shops and quaint restaurants to stop and have a coffee break or a quick snack whilst listening to the many talented street musicians.

Old Town Dresden on the Left Bank of the Elbe

Dresden is an easy walkable city in which to explore. Our last evening was spent in a cosy restaurant enjoying fine wine and a superb meal made from local produce. All in all, two very interesting cities and definitely worth a visit. 

Did you get the answer to the Colditz question – it was clothes, money, ID and a map. Well done if you got it right!

This review was written by June Riggs, a member of the Symphony Fetcham team.

By Nicky Banin
29th October 2019