Eastern Germany

Jan 20th, 2002, 04:54 AM
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Eastern Germany

Touring in July will include Leipzig, Weimar, and Dresden. Will these cities be interesting and what would be the best sites to see?
Jan 20th, 2002, 09:13 AM
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Hi Sharon,

Dresden is my home town and I hope to be of any help.

Although the old city of Dresden has been destroyed in world war 2 there are a lot of sights (most of them rebuilt). The castle and the church Frauenkirche are still under reconstruction. You should visit the Zwinger, the Opera, the cathedral and the famous museums (picture galleries, “Gruenes Gewoelbe” (incredible jewelry), porcelain collection) and several castles in the surroundings (Moritzburg, Pillnitz, Koenigstein, Weesenstein). A guided tour will lead you to the “blue wonder” bridge (next to the bridge café Toscana, the best café in Dresden) and the funicular to the restaurant “Luisenhof” with splendid view of the city.

Of course there is also some nightlife, it depends on your interest where to go.

Don’t miss the beautiful landscape called “Saechsische Schweiz”, green hills, rocks, with magnificent views of the river Elbe, the fortress Koenigstein etc. The most famous viewing point is called “Bastei”, a rocky ridge 200 m right above the river Elbe – a must. You can go there by car, train or (steam) boat.

The small towns Meissen, Freiberg and Bautzen are worth an excursion if you have some time left.

Jan 20th, 2002, 09:29 AM
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If you are of a minority race you should prepare yourself for the level of racism in this area of Germany.

I actually cut my trip short by 5 days because of it.
Very unpleasant and very frightening.
Jan 20th, 2002, 09:32 AM
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I agree.
Having been born and raised here I can tell you this is the truth.
Not very nice.
Jan 20th, 2002, 09:33 AM
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This is true although much has been done to counteract this over the years.
Still if I was a black man I would go elsewhere.

Refreshing to hear a German finally admit that this is true.
Jan 20th, 2002, 09:35 AM
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If racism makes you weak in the knees better avoid most of Germany and go to France instead.
Jan 20th, 2002, 10:33 AM
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Thumbs way up for Weimar. Not sure why the racism remarks were injected into this thread. I couldn't comment on its presence nor absence, but I find it hard to believe that it would be relevant.

Best wishes,

Jan 20th, 2002, 12:05 PM
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Racism is relevent when you're the target of it.
But thanks for your input anyway.
Jan 20th, 2002, 02:00 PM
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Sharon ,

If you are in Dresden you should also plan a visit to Meissen, the small town outside Dresden where Dresden china is made, Leipzig is only worth a day or so while Weimar is very interesting - you might also want to take a trip up to Berlin or down to Prague by train from Dresden, either city is worth a visit if you could stay for a few days.

Hope this helps,

Jan 21st, 2002, 05:16 AM
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We recently stopped for a half day in Weimar and walked through the old part of town. A fellow we met recommended the 2-hour walking tour (in German), but we were too late that day. Thus, we found our way to the various houses of famous residents and some of the more architecturally significant buildings with just a map. At least when we got lost a woman stopped and offered to help. We found traveling in towns in this part of Germany that there were few signs (Weimar had some of the best) or other facilities for tourists and my husband had difficulty understanding the local German dialect so even having a German speaker wasn't enough at times.
Jan 21st, 2002, 04:38 PM
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I to8ured this area of Germany in 1999 and let me tell you what I saw.

I saw an interracial couple being pushed around at the bahn station by a group of thugs and later in the day i saw that the man (black) had a swastica painted on the back of his shirt.

If that wasn't bad enough, it seems my wife and I were the only ones who tried to stop it or call the police, everyone else just watched or tried to ignore it.

I swore I would never again spend one minute or one penny in that country.
Jan 21st, 2002, 05:07 PM
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I was in Leipzig & Dresden in Spring of 98 & 99. I didn't see any racial problems, but then I was only there for 2 weeks each time and I'm caucasian.

The most annoying thing for me was being accosted by Mormon missionaries around the University/Opera House area.

Downtown Dresden is very compact with a lot to see. The Zwinger Museums and opera house were nice. The Zwinger art collection was pretty impressive. So was the cathedral.

Leipzig's art museum was under reconstruction both times I was there. The JS Bach house is interesting and so is the nearby church where he worked. Their are several other beautiful churches in the downtown are.

The massive Battle of Leipzig monument a little south is a piling of stone that is different to see. A very orderly red/green light system keeps the narrow staircase to the very top flowing smoothly.

A nice little Egyptian Antiquities museum exists.

The train station has been recently done into a huge shopping mall complex. Leipzig is trying to position themselves as a major passenger rail junction.

The opera house is rather East German utilitarian. None of the opulence of Dresden's opera house.

A university building just to the southeast of the opera house has a fascinating elevator. It's a continuously running loop of 2 person boxes that you just step into and out of. I wasn't brave enough to see what happened if you try to ride over the top.
Jan 21st, 2002, 08:47 PM
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Leipzig, weimar, Dresden...all have much to offer. And if you're a German speaker ans white you shouldn't have any trouble.
Ciao and have fun.
Jan 23rd, 2002, 10:54 PM
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I can tell you there is some racism all over Germany. I wouldn't let it worry you, it's nothing bad, it's just that it does exist. And oftem more visisibly in east Germany.
Worry more about the rash of gyspy thieves that have become a problem for Germans as well. The Bosnian as well as Turkish Gypsy is a real problem for our polietzi. Our health department is alarmed at the illnesses these peoples bring to the country.
Please keep all valuables deep in your bags or wear money belts and things think this.
Enjoy your trip.
Jan 24th, 2002, 12:22 AM
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Indeed there is a racism problem in Germany. But in my experience it is more a problem concerning immigrants, not tourists. It is the same problem as other countries have, too.

Jan 24th, 2002, 03:25 PM
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As a native American I was called "Hey brown man" in a town called Pforzheim.

Don't know why they said this.
I was a tourist at the time.
In no other country was I called such a name.
Jan 24th, 2002, 09:40 PM
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I'd like to apologize, Otaka for your very bad experince. Most of Germany would not treat you that way,
The racism in German is a new racism and it will only get worse without people complaining.
Jan 26th, 2002, 10:27 PM
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Thank you very much, Nadia, it means a good deal to me and also my family.
Peace be with you.
Jan 26th, 2002, 11:38 PM
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I ask why this racism runs out of control.
We all sure be able to travel about freely, even if we look different, our strenght as a people comes in our diversity.
I hope the people of Germany will change their minds about all of this racism. God Bless them
Jan 28th, 2002, 10:20 PM
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