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DSCN0731 editedSo, here I am still recapping our European Vacation! Like I mentioned in the last post I am dealing with some medical issues right now. But even with that I want to keep everything as normal as possible – including this blog! Recapping about our trips helps me to relax and takes my mind away for a while.

So, where did we leave off? If you remember we started by landing in Vienna (Point M), driving to Budweiser (Point B), then to Prague (Point C), a quick detour at Pilsner Urquell (Point D), and now we are in Dresden (Point E):

Map of TripThe first morning in Dresden we decided to do a little exploring. We heard of Pfunds, the most beautiful dairy house in the whole world! Since my grandparents are dairy farmers I knew this had to be a place to stop. They sell cheese, milk, cakes, teas, and souvenirs.

DSCN0727Sadly they don’t allow you to take pictures of the inside – boo!!! So I cannot show you how pretty it is. But it really is worth seeing. The inside is covered in these beautifully decorated tiles from floor to ceiling. We really enjoyed being there – it’s tiny but they have used every space. We decided to order some tea, a cheese sandwich, and some Dresdner Stollen cake! Yum, yum, yum! The cheese was absolutely delicious and the stollen was perfect! Here’s a picture we sneaked:

2013-12-19 13.09.47From here we decided to explore the site of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 book. Scott loves Kurt Vonnegut so this made it one our list of things to do in Dresden. Vonnegut was in Dresden during World War II and was a prisoner of war at the meat slaughterhouses when Dresden was severely firebombed.

DSCN0750His book Slaughterhouse 5 is partly based on his experiences. Vonnegut, though American, thought that the bombing of Dresden was such a tragedy – both because civilians were involved and also because the city, according to him, was so beautiful.  Vonnegut described the city before the war as “the loveliest city that most of the Americans had ever seen.” Vonnegut has often talk about how unnecessary the bombing of Dresden was. It was not strategic, mostly civilian, and at the end of the war. After the bombing, Vonnegut states that this beautiful skyline was black with smoke and looked like the face of the moon. He describes in the book how looking out the POW camp windows he could no longer see the beautiful sky line, that the city had been obliterated. Needless to say, it was really moving to stand there and see in the distance the skyline of Dresden that had been rebuilt over all these years.

DSCN0968It is very difficult to find the Slaughterhouses – today it is part of a convention center located in Messering 6. Also the book is virtually unknown in Germany. Most World War II memorials around Germany are only marked by small plaques or nondescript medallions. Here is Scott standing in front of the sign that briefly describes the Slaughterhouses:

DSCN0743 editedThe Slaughterhouses are on the outskirts of the city and are not that easy to find. Like I mentioned it is now a convention center and you cannot enter the complex without a pass. So we stayed on the outside taking pictures though the fences and making everyone suspicious of us. We found out a bit too late that you can do a tour and go inside – this tour has gotten great reviews as well. If interested just click here for the Trip Adviser reviews or here for the website of the guy who does the tours. They are personal tours done on request so make sure to contact him in advanced.  Anyways here are some pictures of the different Slaughterhouses. What is most interesting is that although this is now a convention center there are still clear signs that this was once a place where animals were butchered.

DSCN0739DSCN0763 editedDSCN0760DSCN0762DSCN0752 edite DSCN0756It is still not clear to us which building Vonnegut was actually in, but one of the buildings had a number 5 on it, meaning that maybe this was Slaughterhouse 5:

DSCN0736 editedDSCN0767After this, it was time to explore the Christmas markets of Dresden – but that deserves to be a post all on its own – so stay tuned, it will be a Christmas in May post . . . and so it goes . . .