Hi! This blog post series is all about my backpacking trip across Europe this summer, which I did using a Hop On Hop Off bus pass. Dresden was my first stop of the trip and here’s what I got up to:
After a quick, one night stopover in Berlin, I was up early the next morning to hop on a bus to the first proper stop of my trip: Dresden. It was one of the optional stops on the HOHO network, which is probably why I was the only person on the whole bus to get off there, but I’m so glad I did because it’s a really cool place and I also made some pretty ridiculous stories to tell you all during the 2 days I was there. Fantastic.
I chose to stay at Hostel Mondpalast, Busabout’s pick up/drop off point in Dresden, because I wanted convenience on my first day and the reviews looked pretty good. It turned out to be a pretty good choice. After getting dropped off and saying goodbye to literally everyone else on the bus who were going onwards to Prague, I had some time to kill before checking in and discovered an amazing currywurst place down the road. It’s called Curry and Co and it’s very cheap and very tasty. They also have these holder things in every table so you don’t look like a tit trying to eat everything:
Okay, to quote every clickbait article you’ve ever seen: What happened next is a bit of an odd one. After finally checking in, I went up to my dorm to dump my bag and walked in to see two other people in there, one asleep and one awake. I said hello (to the awake one) and we started to chat, but we didn’t speak any mutual language at all so ended up communicating entirely through Google Translate on our phones for about twenty minutes. Bloody hell. Alexa, help me? After a couple of failed attempts at suggesting we should probably admit defeat and go back to our respective native tongues, we somehow end up going out and doing this around Dresden for 2 whole hours before I eventually gave up and came back because:
1) I was running out of data – 2GB contracts were definitely not built for this incredibly niche scenario
2) It was about 35 degrees and my dehydrated brain couldn’t cope with thinking of a charade for literally every sentence anymore. (At one point I tried to say that I was getting a bit sunburnt by pointing at my arm and miming a fire with my hands. A FIRE. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I PANIC IN COMPLETELY MANAGEABLE SITUATIONS.)
Anyway, after a nap and a quick Google of some basic words in as many languages I could find, I ventured back out on my own and found another cheap place down the road called Burgermeister Royale. (I’ve no idea if this is just a German equivalent of Burger King or something but they had cheap burgers and beer and what else do you really need?) When I walked back to the hostel, praying that I wouldn’t need to whack out Siri my language assistant again, I saw that a bunch of people from my dorm room were sat outside so we sat and drank and chatted for a few hours, which was lovely until someone set fire to a bin next to us. I’m not joking. (Fire miming skills from earlier coming in handy again here).
The next day I woke up bright and early for a free walking tour that was starting at another hostel called Lollis Homestay, a 10 minute walk away from where I was staying. The tour started at 9:30am and was about 2 hours long, taking us through the neighbourhood and on to the main bits of Dresden’s centre. It was one of the best walking tours I’ve ever had – probably because our guide Clara was so informative and enthusiastic and didn’t laugh at me when I had to stop every 5 seconds to pour Factor 50 onto my Northern, ginger skin.
One of the best things about doing a walking tour is it’s a great way to meet other solo travellers who you can hang out and make plans with afterwards. Me and a girl I’d been chatting to on the tour (English speaking, no awkward miming necessary) did just that and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around a bit but mostly eating and drinking because we’d seen pretty much everything on the tour. Then, as it was both of our last days in Dresden, we decided to finish off the day with something a bit different and book ourselves onto a Dresden night tour.
We met up again at about 7pm where the guide came and met us to start the night tour. It took us through various bits of Dresden which somehow looked completely different, either because it was dark, or because my sense of direction is so bad I’d forgotten where everything was, or both. I couldn’t quite understand what he was saying to us the whole time – I remember struggling to understand his accent and thinking it was karma for all the poor souls who never understand mine – but it was so much fun and it included free shots along the way so that was good too. After a couple of hours of walking and drinking the tour finished near a club/bar that had a bit of a weird vibe but was playing the most amazing combination of 00’s rock and cheesy pop which made it worthwhile. I can’t remember the name of it or where it was but if I ever find out I’ll add it here.
The next day I woke up with a nasty hangover, spent about three hours trying to get out of bed, took a very difficult but thankfully vomit-free shower, and got on my next bus to Prague. Read all about it in my next post coming soon!