After good-byes to the group heading out for a day trip to a castle – we hit the road for Dresden, Germany about 10:00. (Dad requested a side trip to Dresden because he had heard about the war devastation and could never understand it, because it “had no military value!”)  After more winding countryside roads, we got on the Autobahn in German and zoomed to the airport (>90 mph) to return our rental van – then called the hotel for courtesy pick-up, only to discover that they don’t do it anymore!  (had not yet changed their website!)  Sooooo… we hired 2 taxis, loaded up the luggage and headed to Hotel Achat – deceptively advertised as being “nearby the Opera House the Old Town attractions”… but it’s clean and pleasant,  with all of the usual *** amenities.

            We lucked out in finding a wonderful restaurant for lunch right next door – the Feldschossasschen Stammhaus, where the boys discovered the popular dark beer on tap – Schwartzer Steiger.   Each of us had a fantastic meal, including Sauerbraten, lamb medallions, yummy potatoes and gravy, thick potato soup with bratwurst, and delicious veggies and warm homemade bread.  Candy, Stan and I needed a good walk after that meal (Dad and Paul opted to relax), so at 2:45 we headed toward town – a long hike – but we toured the sights of the old town – castle (with WWII bomb damage still visible), Opera House, churches, etc., and the Elbe River which one month ago flooded this entire area – amazing!   After two hours, yours truly was ready to rest, so we split up and I walked back to the hotel.   We re-grouped at 6:30 and took a taxi-van to TheatrePlatz in the old town.  The plaza in front of the Semper Opera House was packed with people for a rock concert, much to Dad’s dismay – so we walked across the Augustus Bridge, then returned to the old town as the lights came on – beautiful!

            We enjoyed a delicious dinner in the Café Bistro am Schloss – Meals included Goulash with spaetzle, pork and potatoes, beef in wine sauce with potato croquettes, sauerkraut, etc., etc.  (The walk back to the hotel was highlighted by three giggling men smoking cigars and enjoying a farting contest!   ? Too much Schwartze Bier?….)    :=)   After a nightcap at the hotel bar and a jump on the internet, we said goodnight after a short, but pleasant day in an interesting city.  Tomorrow:  Geneva, Switzerland!   Whew!

            (9-16) After a typical German breakfast at the hotel, we headed for the Dresden airport and sweet-talked the Lufthansa lounge receptionist into letting us wait there.  The short flights to Frankfurt and Geneva were pleasant, with light lunch provided on both since Paul, Dad and I got upgraded to business class.