Monthly Archives: February 2010

Dresden

For our anniversary, we took a weekend trip to Dresden, a place Herr has been very interested in visiting. We rented a car (we were upgraded to an Audi when the car rental learned it was our anniversary), and drove through a snow storm to get to the Schloss Hotel in Dresden – Pillnitz. We had the second best room in the palace (the first was already booked), but it was really nice. 🙂 Because we got in fairly late, we ate dinner at one of the two restaurants. The food was fantastic, and we had the whole place to ourselves. 😛

Schloss hotel.
Elbe sunrise.

We started the full day tour of Dresden at the Frauenkirche. The church was just rebuilt in 2005 after being bombed in the second World War. We did not go in immediately, but rather ran into a little pub and drank some hot chocolate (tea for Herr) to warm up for the strong bitter wind blowing through the platz.

Frauenkirche.

Once warm again, we walked south passing the Kreuzkirche and catching a tram to the main train station. Then we returned to the Frauenkirche to tour the interior, and paid extra to go to the rotunda for a blustery yet clear view of the city.

Dresden.

We ate at a small sushi restaurant before making our way to the Semperoper opera house. They had an english tour that we joined an hour later, after visiting the Zwinger. I really want to go back to Dresden this spring now to see the grotto with the fountains on. 🙂 The Zwinger is mostly a big open courtyard encompassed by a museum. We hung around there until the tour was ready to leave at the opera house.

Semperoper.
Zwinger.

The opera house was interesting enough, although we were unable to see a performance there due to conflicting schedules with the ticket offices… but we did stop by the Residence Palace to see some of the state treasures. This building is easy to spot at a bird’s eye view due to its massive puffy looking glass dome. 😛

The Residence Schloss was another building razed and recently rebuilt to house the remaining artifacts of the Green Vault (and other museum collections). In order to enter the Green Vault, one must enter at a specific time through an electric airlock after depositing just about everything except your underwear in a locker. Once inside, however, you get to experience how the pieces of art were originally displayed, not the modern style of separating each onto a pedestal with five feet of clearing space.

For dinner, we went to the fancier restaurant at the palace where Herr ordered a full five course French cuisine (we were given a sixth, complimentary of the chef). Admittedly, I was falling asleep watching him eat so much while I only ordered a main course, but the food at both restaurants was excellent. 🙂 We had live music, a fire, and only a few other couples to enjoy the evening.

In the morning, we decided to go to Leipzig for Herr to railfan a bit (at Europe’s largest train station)… yes, it was his idea. 😛 The city was kind of scary though, with parts of it in disrepair. Herr enjoyed a nice romp in the Audi at 230 kph (roughly 140 mph) before we hit another snow storm on our drive back.

Music From Across the World

Lately I am listening to a lot of popular music, but a lot of international music as well. Some of these artists have made it into the mainstream, but others… well, you may not have heard of them yet. Here are a few I have really enjoyed. (If anything, check out The Baseballs!)

Katzenjammer (Norway)

Blaring horns and catchy beat, A Bar in Amsterdam is a very energetic song. The animations are fun too. 😉 I ran into this while on Imeem, now just a sub site of Myspace.

Movits (Sweden)

Herr actually heard of this group first, I think while listening to NPR or something. I can’t recall exactly, but their Fel Del Av Garden is a great pseudo rap/big band/swing song, and their album title song Appelknyckarjazz is very entertaining as well.

The Baseballs (Germany)

I just found out about this group today. If you loved the sound of the 50s, look no farther! The Baseballs take modern lyrics and transform them into Elvis hip-swinging slicked-back grease-haired 50s rock. Very amusing if you are familiar with the popular songs they cover.

Emiliana Torrini (Iceland)

While I was flying back to the States for work, I heard this on their international music segment. Jungle Drum is cute and perky, although a tad weird… but hey, quirky is in, right?

Zee Avi (Malasia)

A ukelele is the main instrument with a fun but slower beat. I cannot recall how exactly I stumbled across Zee Avi, but it is good stuff nonetheless. 😉

Little Boots (United Kingdom)

Found this artist on a 2010 upcoming artists to watch for list. The music itself is simplistic but really catchy, but as far as dance electronica music goes, that is par for the course. 😉 I have played Remedy several times, sometimes in a row, and it lifts the spirits a bit.

Xavier Naidoo (Germany)

I was in a hotel somewhere a few months ago when I saw this and really liked the message and beat. He has a great voice too. 😉 Plus, I liked how the video came together. I found out afterwards that he is a neighbor of one of my friends here. How cool, eh?

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 😀