Sunday, January 30, 2011

Frauenkirche, Dresden


Dresden, Germany, was once a filigree of spires and steeples, depicted in numerous 18th- and 19th-century paintings. But on February 13, 1945, the city center was destroyed by an Allied firebombing so intense that the flames burned for five days and burned thousands of people alive. It still stood after the bombing for three days and people said that it was a miracle and a message from god. And then it collapsed. Mmmm For the next half century, the 1743 Frauenkirche - 'Church of Our Lady' in German - the city's most recognizable landmark—lay in ruins, a pile of charred rubble. The stones were nearly cleared for a parking lot during the Communist era, until a quick-thinking resident convinced the government of the ruin's merit as anti-capitalist propaganda. In the 1980's, demonstrators adopted the site for nonviolent protests against the East German regime. After the Berlin Wall came down, locals campaigned to rebuild the structure, eventually winning the support of the church and the government. The reconstruction project began in 1994. Thousands of stones were salvaged from the rubble and placed in their original positions, determined by computer simulation; the rest were excavated from the quarry used when the church was first built. And now its just Wow!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rusalka @ Semperoper Dresden


First opera I have ever been to that people actually booed. lol It was a bit like a footy match with different parts of the audience trying to drown the other out with either clapping or booing. I liked it and had a great night. But I did slip over a few times on the ice on the way home.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ten things that I discovered during these holidays!


About Thyme Bar & Bistro - 82 Wilton Road, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DL

Great location in Pimlico. Five star food, but nice and casual, not one of those restaurants where you feel uncomfortable if you aren't in Gucci. But it is packed out every night. You MUST book early. Best to do it a couple of days ahead if you can, but if you book on the day you will probably get a table if you eat early.

Where I had:

A dozen Snails Baked in the Shell with Garlic, Brandy, Parsley and Pernod Butter £7.50

Barbary Duck's Breast, Potato Rosti, Braised Red Cabbage and Red Currant Jus £15.50

Tia Maria, Espresso and Baileys Creme Brulee £5.50

with a

Les Jamelles Marsanne, Vin de Pays d’Oc 2006 £17.50

A very yummy discovery and excellent value by London standards.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

An Interesting Discovery - The Abandoned Hospital Where Hitler Once Convalesced

This is decaying Beelitz-Heilst├Ątten, a "men's sanatorium" just outside Berlin where Hitler recovered from war wounds during World War I. Today it is abandoned and could be the setting for a horror movie.

Beelitz-Heilst├Ątten is an amazing complex of 60 abandoned and derelict hospital buildings. The oldest buildings are from 1898. The complex became a war hospital during WW1. In 1916 Adolf Hitler recovered here after being shot in the leg at the Battle of the Somme. The movie 'The Pianist' was partly shot here.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Greetings from snowy Dresden!

I am having a great time and even though I have been in Germany a couple of days now I have yet to have any sausage and potato!!! lol
It has been snowing quite regularly and is freezing cold.

This is the Dresden Semperoper where I saw an opera called Rusalka last night. It was very interesting, in that I have never been to an opera before where people booed! lol It was a pretty radical and raunchy interpretation and a number of people walked out before the last act having booed the cast at the end of the second act.

I thought it was fantastic but understood when the lady next to me decided, on advice from the usher, that the last act would be a bit too violent and raunchy for children. The Dresden Opera has a reputation for pushing the boundaries. I loved it! lol I can't wait to see what they do with Carmen tomorrow night. The pic is of the Opera Theatre.