Jonathan's time in Dresden
I spent 3 weeks of the summer of 2022 in Dresden. Obligatory quips about the weather aside, I was very lucky to get to go at this time of year. The school life was relaxed and varied - people were very welcoming, and the idiosyncrasies, namely the End-of-Exams celebrations (Abistreich), came as a very pleasant surprise. I found it easy to establish a routine for my stay – wake up, go to school, have lunch, catch-up on work from back-home, and then head out into Dresden in the late-afternoon/Evening. My host’s house was no more than 400m from “Das Blaue Wunder”, so I was able to take a hike along the banks of the Elbe, or one of the very very-frequent trams into the city-centre to visit a museum.
Despite venturing into the centre almost every day, the variety of museums in Dresden is such that I somehow I ended my stay not having see a much of the Zwinger Museum Collection. What I did see was fascinating and revealing of the immense historical importance that I wouldn’t have thought to attribute to Saxony.
At the weekends we ventured further afield, into the spectacular landscape of “die Sächsische Schweiz”, and to the idyllic gardens of Schloss Pillnitz, the latter by paddle steamer, which was a real highlight for me!
I was fortunate enough to join the class-trip to Berlin – highlights including the East Side gallery, and the excellent and inspiring Futurium museum. It was also an education in food for me; I tried authentic Döner, and Currywurst, as well as a ‘Bifi’ (the latter I can’t recommend, although I suspect it was a practical joke anyway).
The experience has really broadened my perspective on German life and culture. Not only will I continue to be fascinated by and discover more about German history, but it has given me a whole new angle on my own world back home. The openness of people to foster international links was really humbling, and I am now certain I would like to spend a year abroad there at university. I will cherish the novelty and variety that this experience, and ones built on it, will continue to bring into my life. I owe the greatest gratitude to the Dresden Trust for making this experience possible.
You can read Jonathan's Die Versöhnung essay here